[scribus] Speeding up Scribus

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 6 19:12:53 CEST 2011

On 04/06/2011 11:39 AM, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> In the meantime I use tricks to get around the problem. The easiest
> solution is to break the work up into multiple files, e.g., make each
> chapter of a book a separate file. At the end you can export all as
> PDFs and then combine them with PDF tools.
> Sometimes I have no choice but to keep everything in one large file. In
> that case I open a second document of just a couple of pages to use as a
> working document. I import all the styles from the main document, and
> then in the main document I copy the item(s) I want to work on to the
> Scrapbook. In the secondary document I place the item(s) from the
> Scrapbook, finish the work on them, then reverse the process to put
> the altered versions back in the main document.

This seems to me a combination of something that is laborious, and also 
sooner or later to lead to confusion and mistakes.

This is what we might consider the 2nd or 3rd level of knowledge about 
making Scribus work with you instead of against. The speed limitations, 
the size limitations are right now insurmountable.

As you work with Scribus, there should be some benefit in having a 
series of documents simultaneously open, then switching from one to the 
next. In the Windows menu item, you can easily switch from one to the 
next. This does not solve the RAM issue, since all of these will load 
your graphics into RAM, but it does help the update issue with any 
document changes. It _does_ allow for copy/paste from one section to the 

Beyond this, some other features to become familiar with are:

* the ability to import pages, master pages, colors, styles from one 
document to another, whether it's loaded or not.

* the ability to copy/paste from one loaded document to another.

* using appropriate sizing/cropping of images in a document which has 
many graphics -- if you use a small portion of an image, crop it, then 
use the cropped file. If you have a huge image, scale the DPI down to a 
sensible level: 300-600 is enough for most uses. This reduces processing 
time, and the size of the ultimate PDF, as well as the amount of RAM 
needed for the Scribus doc. Learn about the settings in PDF Export that 
help with this.

* if you have a doc with a lot of graphics, but now you're working on 
the text, shut off display of the graphics to speed up screen updates. 
(File > Document Settings > Display: uncheck Show Images) Use the lowest 
image screen resolution you need at other times.

* a general rule of thumb is 20-30 pages as an upper limit for any 
current document. As it becomes bigger, break it up.

Scribus will work with a broad range of hardware, but expect performance 
hits when using processor speeds less than 1 GHz, single core vs dual or 
more, and RAM less than 1 GB (the more the merrier).


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