[scribus] layout software...scribus or Tex?

john Culleton John at wexfordpress.com
Mon Nov 26 15:37:41 UTC 2012

On Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:10:42 -0500
Gregory Pittman <gpittman at iglou.com> wrote:

> On 11/25/2012 11:13 PM, Erich Dollansky wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > On Sun, 25 Nov 2012 20:50:04 -0700
> > Christen Anderson <christenanderson1994 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> >> Hey everybody...
> >> I've been working off and on with scribus for a couple years now...
> >> love it! My question is, I'm getting ready to lay out a book (~100
> >> pages). It's sort of a reference book... there will be probably a
> >> few (10 or 15 at the most) diagrams, and maybe side columns by the
> >> margins to take notes. Would it be better to use Scribus or Tex for
> >> this? I haven't done much with Tex, so it's kind of a steep
> >> learning curve, but I'm reasonably computer savvy, so I think I
> >> could do it. So.. should I learn Tex and use that, or import from
> >> OO directly into Scribus, or use Tex for the basic layout then
> >> import into Scribus.. or what?
> >>
> > 
> > I think that in this case, this list will not be of much help.
> > Scribus can do the job. If you feel comfortable with it, just use
> > it.
> > 
> > There would be no reason to consider other programs. Else, you could
> > also start writing your own software.
> > 
> > I do not see a reason for you to make a switch now. If you want, you
> > can learn TeX after this project when there is no pressure on you.
> > 
> More or less, I would agree with Erich. There would be a lot of appeal
> in using TeX for this, given what you are describing. Getting the
> diagrams right and to your satisfaction might take a little work. I
> would not recommend importing this much TeX into Scribus.
> But as Erich says, if you are comfortable with Scribus, it easily has
> the capability of handling this. You will want/need to break this up
> into smaller chunks, then use pdftk or something similar to assemble
> the final PDF, but this is quite easy.
> Greg

Scribus is WYSIWYG, TeX is not. Bottom line TeX can handle files
of any practical length up into the thousands of pages witout
subdivision. But if you do subdivide it is an easier process with
TeX. Statements like: 

\input Chapter03.tex
inserted in the main file will import text from secondary 
files without difficulty.

The advantages of TeX include easy inclusion of running headers,
and more automated handling of one or more TOCs, indexes, chapter
heads, footnotes, bibliographies and so on. TeX lays out even
margin justification of paragraphs better than any other program
except InDesign which copied the TeX code design in this area.

With any version of TeX (I use luatex and Context these days)
you can insert anything from a single word to several chapters
and everything---pagination, page numbering, chapter and section
numbering, footnote placement---will adjust automatically.

So for lengthy book interiors I use and recommend TeX exclusively. 
For covers I use Scribus exclusively (though I am playing with

With Scribus it is much easier to place and move graphics. It is
WYSIWYG. You can modify text glyphs with outlining etc. easily.
Finding and using a font is much easier. A variety of output
formats are available including, with Scribus 1.5.0, PDF X/1-a:2001.

For the project of the OP if the above features of TeX are not relevant
and he already knows some Scribus I agree he should use Scribus.
But I make money off the efficiencies of TeX for interior

All book authors, whatever tools they use, can benefit from
downloading the following file: 
In is an elegant and useful dissertation on book design. The
companion book (originally they were one book):
applies these principles to the memoir class of LaTeX. Both books
are interesting examples themselves of what you can do with TeX.

Just google on the above names.

I am in general not a fan of LaTeX version of TeX but for one 
academic work I used pdflatex and the memoir class. 
The efficiencies of automated epigraphs and so on were too
much to pass by.

John Culleton

Wexford Press
Free list of books for self-publishers:
PDF e-book: "Create Book Covers with Scribus"
available at http://www.booklocker.com/books/4055.html

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