[scribus] To Outline Or Not To Outline?

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 28 15:11:47 UTC 2011

On 07/28/2011 09:45 AM, Mike Sleger wrote:
> Thanks for the replies.  I've managed to get the OpenType fonts to embed with PDF 1.4 and it looks great on screen (much better than outlining on Windows Scribus 1.3.8).  This initial document is four pages, but other documents in the project will be significantly larger (200-300 pages).  (This will eventually introduce another problem later on, as Scribus supposedly has a problem with large documents, which is ridiculous.  Document size should have NO IMPACT on application stability, provided there is enough memory.)  The plan was to have a digital version for viewing on my iPad, and a printed copy for that old-fashioned tangible large-scale viewing (a sheet of paper is larger than the iPad screen).  It is to be printed at a service, as data goes all the way to the edge of the page and such cannot be printed on a desktop printer (at least as far as I know - mine can't do it and it's a pretty fancy printer).
> I'm curious now, if the font contains all the hinting and character information and it's included within the PDF, why would outlines print any better than the original text?  Why wouldn't it print just the same (or better) than outlines if using the original font for the output?  As John indicated, converting all the glyphs into vectors would result in a massive PDF for documents with lots of text, which is what my documents are - two columns of text on each page with several inset images also including overlaid text.  Unless there's a very compelling reason to outline for printing, I'm partial to embedding.
The compelling reason /not/ to outline is that this may prevent your PDF 
from doing a text search or extracting the text.

As far as document size and Scribus, the issue revolves not so much 
around the memory (excepting images) than it does with the fact that as 
you edit Scribus redraws the entire document, so it's more of a 
processor speed issue than memory. It seems that we've had several 
people report working with large documents lately and not seeing any 
performance problems, so perhaps with dual (or more) processor and 
faster machines we have to revise our advisory about document size.


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