[scribus] Beginner question, TeX and Scribus

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Tue Jun 16 14:40:50 CEST 2009

On Monday 15 June 2009 05:33:47 pm Maurí­cio wrote:
> I'm curious about Scribus and would like
> to ask you: what is the difference of what
> I can acchieve with Scribus and what I can
> acchieve with TeX, Latex, ConTeXt etc.?
> Thanks,
> Maurício

I use both. Scribus has distinct advantages and some disadvantages. 
I use Scribus for book cover creation.  I even wrote an e-book on 
the subject (see below.) For covers  Scribus provides layers, 
transparencies, custom shapes, precise placement of  guides, visual 
placement of graphics objects etc. similar to Gimp. But it operates 
in CMYK color model and is much easier to use IMO. Text is text and 
not bitmaps of text.  Graphics etc. can be visually placed  but 
precise tweaking of numeric placement values is also available. 
Exact placement of graphics is much more tedious in TeX.  Scribus 
output formats include PDF 1.5 and PDF X/3. The PDF output range of 
both TeX and Gimp are more limited.

The downside is that the facilities for footnotes, running heads, 
table of contents, indexing etc. are more primitive or missing 
altogether. Scribus does not generate pages on the fly, although 
you can flow text from page to page.  For long documents it 
operates very slowly and generates huge output files.  So I do not 
recommend Scribus for long text heavy documents, although it 
certainly can be done. Some users have reported file sizes in the 
32 mb range. The printed Scribus Manual was created in Scribus  and 
is 439 pages long.  But I would have chosen TeX for that job had I 
been doing it. 

Because of the very large size of Scribus generated pdfs I was 
forced to write the e-book referenced below in pdftex to keep the  
output under 2 mb even though it is graphics heavy and could have 
been more easily created in Scribus.  

There are horses for courses. I use pdftex,  Scribus, and now and 
then Gimp for some fancy text tricks,  dissolving one image into 
another via blends etc.  

I do urge you to jump into the Scribus pool and splash around for a 
while.  There are some excellent free howtos and even ogg vorbis 
video presentations on the use of Scribus. 

John Culleton
Create Book Covers with Scribus/e-book $5.95

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