[scribus] Using Scribus for novels and short stories

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Thu Jan 6 22:49:27 CET 2011

On Thursday 06 January 2011 09:38:14 LORN MACINTYRE wrote:
> Dear Jean-Louis,
> Thanks for this advice about LaTex being preferable to Scribus for
> my purposes. How does the transfer from Word XP work?
It doesn't. You can save the file as plain text and use that file as the 
starting point.  All the pdftex or pdflatex tags must be added.
(BTW for something as simple as a novel I prefer pdftex to pdflatex.)

You can read the doc file into Open Office and save it as Latex.  But 
that output is very hard to modify because of lots of unnecessary {} 
pairs. It will process without complaint but modifications are tedious. 
I just used this technique on an academic text loaded with footnotes.

You can save the file as rtf, and then use the program rtf2latex2e. The 
translation will be a bit rough.
> Do the files go straight into LaTex or via Open Office?
> Will headers and footers (running titles and page numbers) be
> preserved?

You should delete all running page headers and numbers and let TeX set 
them up. The pagination will be different. 
>What do I do about kerning?
Avoid any kerning. TeX will typeset the text better than you can by 
hand. But do look into microtypograpy and optical alignment.
> Can I transfer pages into PDF format?
By definition pdftex, pdflatex, Context etc. will produce a pdf 
document. Is that what you mean?
> Where is the best place on the Web for a tutorial on LaTex?
Go to www.tug.org. There are tutorials there. But I rely on books. The 
downloadable pdf on the Memoir Class is beautifully done but it 
presumes you already know the rudiments. 

I started many years back with the paper "A Gentle Introduction to 
TeX," which deals with plain tex and not latex. I have it posted on my 
web site:
It gives you lots of handholding and introduces you to the basics. 

Other books that I have include the following on Plain TeX:
"The TeXBook" by Donald Knuth
"TeX for the Impatient" by Paul Abrahams et al. (can be downloaded as 
a pdf also)
"A Beginners Book of TeX" by Seroul and Levy

For LaTeX I have:
"The LaTeX Companion by" Goosens
"A Guide to Latex by Kropka"

The point I would emphasize that TeX is its own system. It antedates 
MSWord by decades. A TeX document consists of some preliminary tags 
plus text in pargraphs separated by blank lines. The TeX or LaTeX 
program takes all this in and makes it into a beautiful typeset 
document. I have an example (as yet incomplete) which illustrates this 
process from the bare text through the tagged version and then the 
final output.  The tags I use in this document can be used on any novel 
with little or no change.  Please see compare.pdf which I will post on 


John Culleton
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