[scribus] ePub to Scribus

Gregory Pittman gpittman at iglou.com
Sun Aug 11 01:35:18 UTC 2013

There has been a lot of discussion about making ePubs or ebooks from 
Scribus, or from Scribus files, but I'm in the process of going in the 
other direction.
The specific task is making something usable from the list of diagnostic 
codes (ICD 10). This is voluminous. Just a simple text file listing of 
the codes is 13MB.

After first creating a database in Postgresql so I could slice and dice 
the information, I began with Sigil. Maybe not surprisingly, Sigil can't 
really handle this much in one ebook (it can if you're willing to wait 
20-30 minutes for saving sessions or creating a TOC). I broke it down 
into smaller yet still sizeable chunks, with which Sigil can still be a 
bit sluggish, but it does work.

The next issue was the ePub reader on my tablet (Nexus 7), which gags 
and chokes when trying to navigate these large files. eBook readers also 
don't have a lot of flexibility with typeface, etc, so I decided to use 
the output of the Sigil to feed into Scribus to make PDFs. (I made a PDF 
using calibre from the ePub, but the quality was not acceptable) Even 
though Scribus can import HTML, it doesn't recognize the xhtml files 
from Sigil. Also, even though I might check the box on the importer to 
"remember this file association" with HTML, Scribus doesn't remember.

The end results are actually quite good, and certainly the Android Adobe 
Reader is much superior to any eBook reader I've tried.

Scribus is known of course for slowing down when files get big, but I 
just finished a section of 549 pages (US Letter), which was a bit 
sluggish, but saving the file or even exporting to PDF didn't take all 
that long. For some reason, importing a paragraph style is very time 
consuming, even before you've used it.

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