Sunday Aug 24, 2008

So then scribus...

Scribus is tooted as the newest bestest open source product since Open Office!  And why, because of its interoperability with Open Office for one and its general compliance with publishing industry standards.  The open standard of the PDF, portable document format, is recognised as the PDF/x.  This was brought around by the W3C world wide web consortium, the body that set itself up to promote interoperability and forward progression of the web.  A PDF originally was a document format that could be produced and read on any system at any time and replicate flawlessly, words, layout and format.  Since technological progression however PDF's have so much dynamics and options within them creating a pdf is now a very complex business to get right.  Scribus was the first to come out with the pdf/x standard by an entire year margin.  Scribus is professional enough that some publishing houses, such as Urco Editora a spanish publishing house, use it totally.

I am working on a pdf at the moment combining multiple files together, the formatting has been done and each is set up in Open Office ready to go.  I decided I would give Scribus a go.  Its a simple insert pdf function I am looking for only.  Its not supported in Scribus, while Scribus will import pdf's only one page at a time, to be fair it will directly import Open Office material the same way.  So unfortunately that sends me back to using Acrobat for now.  I suppose if I was setting up a project I could start off with Scribus in mind and work towards it.  But it was a truly annoying situation.  For now Scribus will stay on the shelf!


If you are just wanting to concatenate PDFs then you should find PDFCreator does the job neatly. For more complex edits rumour has it both OpenOffice 3 and KOffice 2 (both currently in alpha but useable) have PDF editing capability.

Posted by Chris Puttick on August 26, 2008 at 06:58 AM GMT+00:00 #

OOo 3 has a plugin that will read pdf's but yet again because of a lack of native support it reads that as an Open Office file so to guarantee format it has to be re-pdf'd and then checked out from there. Also I am sceptical as to how the interactivity and additional parts to a pdf actually work or can be editted in OOo. OOo3 has a better note taking facility but it is sadly lacking still so I can not see how it can accurately deal with making notes for pdf's. It does mean though that pdf information can quickly and easily be read into Open Office and then republished in a new file. As for PDF Creator I am still working with it and for this job it can work well and is a very complex tool but yet again it is a pdf print driver rather than a primary editor / creator of itself. The way in which Acrobat or Scribus would be so therefore the functionality of a pdf can't fully be supported!

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