[scribus] pdf size

ZASKE Martin zm at revue-gugu.org
Tue Jun 10 20:33:04 UTC 2014

Yes, I have to "confess" that outlining, is basically like turning our
texts into "pretty pictures". Luckily it is not heavy bitmaps, but nifty
vector outlines. And as the shapes repeat themselves (I mean the vector
markups), I believe compression is still reasonable.

Each user has to balance the needs of his context: In our case, it
literally is all about being able to see our text (or not). So keeping
text as text and being able to search a PDF is a "higher luxury" which
we sacrifice for the lower benefit of showing what we want to show.

Background is that Unicode is all wonderful as a concept. And everybody
and his pet got himself a codepage, even classic Greek (although those
heroes are all extinct, I believe). But sadly, West Africa has missed
the party, when all those codepages were assigned. And we got many
languages here and they are full of "rich features" like for example one
language using ten vowels plus optional tone marks. So today we got many
many technical problems here: We have to create our documents (even our
alphabets) from a selection of codepages (like latin plus latin extended
plus IPA plus one or two more) to find all local characters.

And from that we inherit side-effects: Not many fonts provide our
special selection of characters and those few fonts that carry "all"
Unicode are so heavy that including those into a PDF would add megabytes
to each document; sorting is a nightmare across codepages, keyboarding
is also always a challenge, and text-rendering in Scribus does work for
a good portion of our texts, but combining diacritics (which we need for
marking tone), often cause problems.

This is why I never even try to "promote" our local solutions (fixes) as
THE solution; I just share what works for us (and sorry if I forgot to
mention that outlining fonts does sacrifice searchability). Seeing that
Scribus is used in so many different settings is why we so appreciate
the choices in Scribus. There is no best solution for every need.


>> We like this very much, as we are working with an "exotic" language and
>> most of our readers would not be able to show or print, unless we
>> outline. Our Unicode fonts also happen to be very large as they cater
>> for many languages, so outlining in our context even reduces file size!!
>> So from our perspective Scribus is giving great options. And it is not
>> about "avoiding" to outline or not. It is about choices.
>     i totally agree about the benefits of having choices.  my concern
> (and reason for avoiding font outlining) is that if a font was outlined,
> the actual "text" was no longer available in the final PDF, thus text
> searching was not possible.  most likely i am not understanding
> correctly what outlining a font actually entails.  however, in my tests
> when a font is outlined, text searching in the PDF does not work as
> expected (i.e. when the font is actually embedded).

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