[scribus] Using Scribus for novels and short stories

LORN MACINTYRE lorn.macintyre at btinternet.com
Wed Jan 5 18:19:24 CET 2011

Dear Rob,

Thank you for your response. My novel is 60,000 words long, split into 20 
chapters. It was written and formatted in Times New Roman 12 using Microsoft 
Word XP. I want to:
Transfer it into Scribus using OpenOffice to preserve the formatting.
Choose a font which will avoid kerning issues as much as possible, since I read 
that Times New Roman has kerning problems.
Create possibly two Master Pages, one for the first page of each chapter, the 
other (with page numbers and header) for subsequent pages. 

I presume that since formatting has been preserved to some extent, I will not 
have a great deal of editing to do, apart for attending to widows and orphans.
Produce a cover with a coloured photograph.
Produce a PDF file of single pages for printing. 

You mention LaTex, but I have already purchased the Scribus manual, and have 
been experimenting with portions of text transferred from my Word files.

I appreciate your help.



From: Rob Oakes <lyx-devel at oak-tree.us>
To: Scribus User Mailing List <scribus at lists.scribus.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 5 January, 2011 16:52:19
Subject: Re: [scribus] Using Scribus for novels and short stories

Hi Scottie,

Could you provide a little bit more detail about the project? Does the 
collection also include illustrations?  Is there any need for complex page 

If not, you might be better looking at another tool for the job.  While Scribus 
can certainly be used for novels and short story collections, if the material is 
mostly text, you would probably be better served using LaTeX, which in my 
opinion is superior for long text documents.  Especially if you've made 
consistent use of styles.  Are you primarily concerned with paragraph and 
heading styles, or are there character styles as well?

An alternative to using pure LaTeX might be to convert the word documents to 
LyX, which provides a WYSIWYG wrapper that can simplify editing.  Then, you can 
either work to create a custom style sheet or document class so that your book 
has a distinctive look.

Front matter, such as the cover, title page, and copyright page can be created 
using Scribus and then added to the document at compile time.  This is a good 
route to take as creating a custom title page and cover in LaTeX can be a 
miserable experience.

I look forward to hearing more about your project.



PS, if you have access to a newer version of Word (e.g., 2010), it can save ODF 
documents directly (which can be converted to either LaTeX or Scribus).  You may 
wish to save from MS Word to ODF rather than using OpenOffice to convert. I've 
had some trouble with character styles being preserved correctly in OpenOffice.  
Saving directly from Word seems to prevent the problem.
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