[scribus] Review by a pre-press professional

David Burleigh david.burleigh at gmx.com
Thu Jul 7 09:40:11 UTC 2016

Having been an ardent Scribus enthusiast for several years now, I
prevailed upon my friend Cal, who is a layout and pre-press expert, to
try his hand at using Scribus to prepare a publication I laid out in
Scribus for 4-color printing on a web press. Here are his comments,
which I hope will be helpful to the wonderful Scribus developers:

The jury is still out, or maybe it hasn’t even gone to deliberations
yet :)

But after having used a product with hundreds of millions of dollars of
R&D behind it for the better part of 15 years, perhaps a direct
comparison is unfair. I will say that Scribus feels oddly more like
*Aldus* PageMaker from the mid-nineties to me. But perhaps that’s
partially due to it being a GTK port. I’m still feeling my way around,
so relatively simple things such as trapping take time to discover
(where do they hide this or that expected feature… oh, over there?).

On trapping, it doesn’t seem as if there was a (sensible) global
“overprint all black type” setting as with InDesign. At first, it was
giving me 4C type on all plates; then it was knocking out (leaving
white where the type was). Then I got it to overprint the black type —
but it’s object-by-object, so it’s not a quick global or document-wide
setting. The PDF/X-1a export preset (what we use to generate
RIP-friendly files) seems OK. I’m not sure why the PDFs you generate
are so huge — your last 32-page PDF was 168MB! (Generally we
expect a press-ready digest PDF to be in the 30-50MB range.)

As development continues on Scribus, especially with 1.6 having the
ability to import and export out IDML, that will be a key to making a
transition period more accessible to us. 

- Cal

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