[scribus] Fitting page dimensions to an imported PDF.

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Tue Sep 7 23:05:45 CEST 2010

On Tuesday 07 September 2010 15:46:30 a.l.e wrote:
> hi
> > If I import a pdf file with an unknown horizontal dimension is
> > there a way (other than hand-fitting it) to change the Scribus
> > page dimensions to the exact measurements of the imported pdf
> > file? In other words I want the Scribus page and the imported pdf
> > to be exactly congruent.
> copying the values from the PP?
> but i wonder where you will get paper with unknown widths...
> ciao
> a.l.e

Book cover pdfs have a vertical dimension that is easily defined, e.g., 
9.25 for a 6 x 9 page size. But the horizontal dimension requires some 
mathematics, e.g, 12.25 inches plus the spine width. Spine width 
depends on page count, pages per inch and cover stock thickness. 
Templating programs, like my own given here:
do the numbers based on certain required input. The one built in to 
Inkscape does about the same thing, except it actually draws the 
guides on the electronic paper for the spine. It is not difficult in 
Inkscape to fit the pdf file to the drawn  template. The user is not 
required to do hand calculations to arrive at the width or the height.

At the Scribus end there is a corresponding need to fit the Scribus 
page to the incoming PDF template. A detour through Acrobat Reader 
will elicit the dimension and probably the bounding box could be 
examined in the PDF code. Both seem a bit clumsy.  And of course the 
imported pdf file and the Scribus page have to be lined up exactly.  
The book printing process is not a forgiving one.

If Scribus could import an svg file and take the overall page 
dimensions from that then that would be a more elegant solution but 
that is vaporware at the moment. Maybe someday. 

As you know when a graphic like a jpg is inserted into a graphic frame 
in Scribus then the graphic frame can be sized to fit the jpg by a 
Scribus function.  But a pdf file is imported into Scribus, not 
inserted in a frame,  and I do not find a function to do for the page 
what can be done for the image frame. 

The printer takes the paper dimensions from the pdf file and sets up 
the press and the paper cutter accordingly. Probably this is done 
automatically by the prepress software. 

My goal is to set up a workflow whereby the templating and significant 
parts of the layout are done in Inkscape and the conversion to CMYK, 
the creation of the pdf X/1-a format are all done in Scribus. The 
whole job can be done in Scribus of course (see my e-book) but there 
are goodies in Inkscape that don't exist and probably won't exist in 

So back to my question: is there a way to convince Scribus to 
automagically take the page dimensions from an imported pdf file? 
John Culleton
Wexford Press
"Create Book Covers with Scribus"
Printable E-book 38 pages $5.95

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