[Scribus] Printing hopeless confusion

John Jason Jordan johnxj
Wed Sep 5 03:15:20 CEST 2007

On Tue, 4 Sep 2007 15:25:14 -0700 (PDT)
avox <avox at arcor.de> dijo:

> > The job will be printed on a Xerox Phaser 7400 DN. This printer can print
> > right to the edge of the paper. It can also print on custom paper sizes up
> > to 12.25 by 47.25. I have purchased cover stock and cut some of it down to
> > 9 by 12. I could cut it to different sizes, as the parent sheets are 25 by
> > 40. I have a 25 inch guillotine. 
> >
> > The problem is too many options, and many of them are not defined (no
> > documentation). I haven't done the math, but there are at least a hundred
> > different settings in the various print dialogs and some of them have a
> > dozen different options. The possible permutations are more than I could
> > try in a lifetime. At this point I have spent three hours trying, and I
> > have a stack of about a hundred incorrectly printed copies. I could keep
> > on trying, but it's time to ask for suggestions.

> Scribus takes these options right from the PPD Ubuntu/CUPS provides for this
> printer. You might want to check the Cups configuration if that is the
> correct one.
> There's a trick to use all default options from the PPD: specify 'lpr' as
> alternate print command. That should print your file ok if you configured
> your printer for your papersize correctly (the printer needs to know what
> papersize is in which tray).

I finally got acceptable output, but I think there is a problem is

The Phaser 7400 allows the user to define a custom paper size for the
printer. The printer will remember this paper size. You can then set
the MP tray (the manual feed tray) to this size. You do this from the
printer's control panel.

To review what I said earlier, I had created a stack of cover sheet
stock at 9 x 12 inches. 

Here is what I did to get output: I created a new paper size of 9.5 by
12.75 in the printer and assigned it to the MP tray. I put my 9 by 12
sheets in the tray, because, of couse, the printer had no way of
knowing that they were not really 9.5 by 12.75.

Back in Scribus I grouped all the objects on the page. Then I went into
Document Setup and changed the page size to 9.5 by 12.75. Scribus
defaulted to setting the grouped page elements in the upper left
corner. Using the property palette I centered it, so there would be
a .25 inch margin top and bottom, and .375 on the right and left. 

The print output from this gave me a page that was right to the edge of
the paper on the top and bottom, and a bit off left to right. So I went
back to Scribus and tried a couple more margin settings. I found that
if I moved the grouped image all the way to the right it printed with
a .2 inch margin on the right and left, giving me an actual image area
11.6 inches wide. This is barely adequate, but will get me by. 

For further experimenting I cut a few sheets to 9.5 by 12.75 and tried
them. These printed the entire image at 9 by 12 perfectly.

Conclusion: Scribus doesn't understand "no margins." This printer can
print right to the edge of the sheet, and the PPD file says so, but
Scribus insists on giving it a margin of .2 inches.

(All figures are +/- .05 inches.)

Having said that, I am not positive the problem is in Scribus. It may
be in CUPS. Or a combination of the two. I need to experiment with some
output from other applications to see if they can print with zero
margins to this printer.

Curiously, the print options change according to the application. For
example, KPDF has a slightly different list of standard paper sizes,
and does not list "Custom" at all. I don't understand this at all - if
the page sizes are in the PPD, then all applications should list
exactly the same page size descriptions in their print dialog boxes. Is
it not true that the PPD file is the source of all that is good and
holy in printing?

> You might also try 'kprinter' as an alternate print command. KPrinter gives
> you access to all PPD options but might do a better job than Scribus at
> providing defaults.

Since I found a workaround I did not try kprinter. As for lp and lpr, I
have used those in the past - mostly from Adobe Reader, which does not
see printers installed in CUPS on 64-bit Ubuntu (Ubuntu left out some
32-bit CUPS libraries). The problem with lp and lpr is that there is no
syntax to specify the features of high end printers like the Phaser

Thanks for the suggestions. Further discussion encouraged, as I'm sure
this is not the last time I am going to have a problem printing to this
printer. After all, I bought it to print book covers, all of which are
in odd sizes.

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