[scribus] OO styles (from ODT) once again

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Wed Feb 2 17:45:30 CET 2011

On Wed, 2 Feb 2011 15:42:29 +0100
Cezary Grabski <czarek at oferuje.pl> dijo:

>> if you don't use styles to make bold and italics
>> character style changes, you shouldn't get exported styles to
>> Scribus.

I do printing and publication for a small academic journal where I have
a similar problem - text files from various authors who use all kinds
of weird formatting, and expect their formatting to appear in the

My solution was to make a Word template and an OOo template with only
the styles that they will be allowed to use. They are required to base
their article on the template. They are told that if they use any
styles other than the styles in the template the styles will not appear
in the journal. 

There are a couple of paragraphs of instructions which accompany the
templates. The instructions explain further not to use certain
formatting that I know might mess up the text. As for character
styles, there are none in the template and I tell them that they must
apply direct formatting for things like bold, italics, superscripts,
subscripts, etc. And they are asked to submit a PDF along with the text
file so I can be sure of what they think the layout is supposed to look
like. The instructions are written in matter-of-fact style, neither
condescending nor obsequious

I also included instructions for graphics, explaining that the graphics
need to be supplied separately, plus a bit of information about
resolution, etc. And finally, there is a line with my e-mail and phone
number in case an author cannot understand the instructions or feels
the need to deviate from them.

So far it has worked very well. No one has complained. I did have one
author call me and beg me to allow him to create a particular style. It
was easy to consent. And I have had a number of questions regarding
graphic formats, as most don't even know the difference between raster
and vector. I'd rather answer the phone or the e-mail and clear up the
question than get an unusable graphic and then have to try to get hold
of the author to get a better version.

Most of the professors use Word, but it's easy to open their files in
OOo and save as .odt. There are often tables, which I convert to tabbed
text in OOo. Those who use OOo are delighted that I have provided an
OOo template. 

Working with various authors can be a PITA, but I'm the publisher, so I
have the right to make the rules. If you're only the designer and not
the publisher you might need to get the printer or publisher to back
you up. The important point I want to make is that authors are
accustomed to publication requirements and expect them. Life is too
short to let others make my life miserable.

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