[scribus] To Outline Or Not To Outline? -- a performance test

Meho R. mehor at gmx.com
Thu Jul 28 20:01:19 UTC 2011

On 28.07.2011 20:16, John Culleton wrote:
> I filled 99 pages with dummy text. Unfortunately the
> conversion to outlines stalled. I restarted Scribus and
> managed convert a few more pages. At this point the size
> of the original pdf with a single font embedded is
> 1,786,612 bytes. The PDF of the same sla file with some of
> the text outlined is 1,974,990 bytes.
> The sla file proper is showing more dramatic increases.
> The original sla with a single embedded font is 541,130
> bytes. The sla with some of the text outlined jumps to
> 9,037,694 bytes, a 20 fold increase.
> As I proceed to outline more of the text the numbers will
> climb higher. This is a tedious process because of
> frequent crashes while outlining the fonts. But already
> you get the idea. Whether the outlining of all of the text
> blows the file up to a point where either the sla or the
> pdf is unmanageable is yet to be determined.
> Bootom line, the outining of all the fonts in a 100 page
> document is a questionable procedure, how questionable is
> yet to be determined.
Here's my results on an old AMD Athlon 3800+ (single core) with 3 GB RAM:

– Number of pages (with dummy text, single page layout): 102
– Font: Minion Pro (OpenType)
– PDF file size (outline): 2.4 MB
– PDF file size (embed): 2.6 MB
– Exporting to PDF time: ~25–30 sec.

Interesting thing is that working with such a large file is quite 
pleasant, no slowdowns, crashes, nothing. However, I tested with 
text-only doc, so introducing graphic elements might change this 
drastically. But still, I'd always use doc-per-chapter approach, if for 
nothing else, then because of much easier navigation.


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