[scribus] Scribus for phone books?

Gregory Pittman gpittman at iglou.com
Mon Jul 23 21:29:41 UTC 2018

On 07/23/2018 11:20 AM, Matt Hixson wrote:
> I'm tentatively looking for a tool that could replace the current
> software we use for paginating our phone books. From what I'm told the
> hardest problem is just flowing the entries around variable sized ads.
> Here's an example of what we produce:
> https://www.actionyp.com/prescott,az/a/1/book/
> When one of those ads changes or the size of a heading is changed it
> affects how the whole book flows. Is pagination something that Scribus
> does naturally or does even that require some scripting?

I think you would end up doing a mixture of scripts, along with some
manual tweaking afterward.

If it were me, I would approach this by starting with the text entries,
loading the information, then creating pages with a 3-column format,
with text frames linked.

The ads and the headings can be done in a similar way that the Infobox
script works -- this is included with Scribus. You might play around
with it to see how it works. An infobox can contain text, or could be an
image, and can fill 1, 2, or 3 columns, and be placed and sized as you
wish. It's also easy once they're created to adjust position and height
of the frame in Properties. All of these kinds of infoboxes will have
Text Flows Around Frame set. Inserting these frames then automatically
pushes the listings down the pages.

You would want to create Paragraph Styles. This could be scripted as well.

The colorchart script that Christoph gave the link for shows how to have
lines of text in a file, then parse that into Python lists, to be used
as needed, in your case for the lines of information with either
headings or names and phone numbers. The structure of your text file
would allow Python to differentiate headings from names and phone
numbers, perhaps based on the number of items in a line from the file,
using a tab as a separator.

It's worth manually playing with some of your listings, maybe a page to
two, so that you get a sense of what style settings are useful.


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