[scribus] Compare.pdf (crossposted)

Barry McKenna bmcken at pobox.com
Mon Jan 31 19:24:46 CET 2011

On 1/31/2011 9:57 AM, John Culleton wrote:
> On Saturday 29 January 2011 15:59:47 Barry McKenna wrote:
>>>>> John,
>>>>> It may be a particular Windows/Scribus/pdf issue with my
>>>>> system/HP 1018 - or not, I don't know - but the Scribus
>>>>> printed output looks distinctly different from the Tex and
>>>>> Open Writer; the same as my Scribus (1.3.9) to pdf output
>>>>> when I _don't_ "Embed PDF": The printed output looks a bit
>>>>> jagged under a loop as when the font is converted to outlines.
>>>>> Barry
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> scribus mailing list
>>>>> scribus at lists.scribus.net
>>>>> http://lists.scribus.net/mailman/listinfo/scribus
>>>> It is possible that I messed up. I'll check. But the issue I am
>>>> addressing is the layout of the text, hyphenation, space between
>>>> words and the like, and not the typeface as such.
>>> I blew those samples up in Acrobat Reader to 800% and the text
>>> was perfectly smooth. No jaggies. Try AR instead of your loupe.
>> John,
>> It's not that important, but I'm not talking about screen
>> pdf. My bottom line concern is how my book/output looks when
>> printed and that's how I test. The Scribus page printed
>> looks exactly like test pages that I print that look a bit
>> jaggy and when I send the test pdfs to my local printer he
>> tells me that Adobe Illustrator tells him that my font was
>> not embedded and the text was converted to outlines.
>> Again, perhaps it something particular to how my system
>> interprets pdfs and how it converts sla to pdf.
>> In my Acrobat Reader 9.4.1 the text looks just a little bit
>> softer than most of the others.
>> As for justification, on both the larger width and the short
>> line, I see that Scribus comes in just a bit behind the Tex.
>> Barry
>> _______________________________________________
>> scribus mailing list
>> scribus at lists.scribus.net
>> http://lists.scribus.net/mailman/listinfo/scribus
> I went over both my original pdf from Scribus and the finished booklet
> which is created with pdftex and imported pdf files.
> It is possible that Illustrator is the problem. I can't imagine what
> work flow for a book interior would require Illustrator. The original
> pdf from Scribus and the copy imported into my compare.pdf both show
> the embedded fonts. Printed at 600 dpi on my old B/W Laser they show
> minimal roughness under a magnifying glass. Printed on my new color
> laser at 3600 Ret (whatever that means) I see no roughness.
> But the product is the pdf. If I can see no roughness at maximum
> resolution in Acrobat Reader then there is no roughness inherent in
> the pdf. The pdf merely tells the printer to print this letter from
> this font at this size.  If however it is processed through other
> software that converts it to bitmap  then some roughness may appear.
> This happened with the original Masterson pages. He did not send me a
> pdf at 5.5 x8.5 but rather one at full page size. I had to trim it in
> Gimp and export it as png which is bitmapped.


My printer only opened the pdf in Adobe Illustrator to get 
more information about the file. He did nothing in terms of 
changing the file.

And I agree that the output device used to print fonts which 
have been outlined can make a significant difference but 
still not be the essential factor.

While the pdf with outlined fonts looked a bit rough with my 
600dpi HP 1018, the same pdf printed and compared with a 
version that was not outlined - both on a Xerox Docucolor 
Postscript 3 600dpi device - looked almost exactly the same, 
in terms of the text. However, the one pixel lines in the 
pdf whose font had been outlined were still a bit broken up, 
but not as bad as that from my HP 1018, which is one of the 
most entry level lasers, but normally totally adequate for 
my day to day needs.

Also, I can almost always see a slight difference - at 100% 
- from pdfs generated on my system when the fonts have been 
outlined in comparison to a version of the same original 
file when the fonts are embedded and not outlined.

The essential point of this, as I see it, is that users 
should be aware that any pdfs which are produced with 
outlined fonts _may_ suffer from some loss of resolution, 
either in the text or in the graphics, especially if their 
graphics require _very fine lines_. And it may also be that 
for some users, the difference might not be significant. 
However, for my use, producing a book with many graphs with 
fine lines with text, it turned out to be a major factor for me.


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