Generating PDFs

In addition to the Scribus native, XML-based file format, which has the extension .sla, the program also supports export to pixmap formats including JPEG and PNG, as well as the vector formats SVG and EPS. You can find these options by choosing File > Export from the Scribus main menu bar. You can also choose File > Collect for Output to gather all the components used in your document into a single directory, including the native Scribus file and any fonts used, so you can send it to another Scribus user.

However, most DTP users want to produce PDF files, which are suitable for sending to any print shop without the risk of compatibility problems. Fortunately, Scribus is strongly orientated toward the creation of sophisticated PDF output, including interactive PDF forms with support for several PDF field types and JavaScript actions. Interactive PDFs aren't intended for prepress use. They have special features like hyperlinks, notes, bookmarks, and navigation features, similar to a web page. The Insert PDF Fields button on the Scribus toolbar has an icon of a gray button with the label OK. It enables you to draw a frame, into which you can set interactive controls by double-clicking to open the Field Properties dialog (see Figure 7-37).

Figure 7-37. The Field Properties dialog controls special features for interactive PDFs.

Next to this is another button, which has a yellow icon like a well-known brand of self-adhesive square note paper, with the letters PDF on it. This button is for creating PDF annotations, links to other files, and web links.

When your document is complete, to create a PDF, click the Save as PDF icon on the Scribus toolbar, which has an icon like a white piece of paper with a red stylized letter A on it (the Adobe Acrobat logo). To the left of the PDF icon is a traffic light icon button for the Preflight Verifier feature that reports any problems found, such as overflowing text. When you try to save a document as a PDF, the Preflight Verifier runs automatically. You can click the problem items in the list to be taken to the relevant location in your document. Fix any errors reported, click the X button in the upper-right corner to close the Preflight Verifier dialog, and run Save as PDF again. If the verifier finds no errors, you go directly to the Save as PDF dialog.

Examine the options presented in the Save as PDF dialog. The defaults are perfectly sane and usable, although it's worth paying attention to a few of the options. First, look at the Compatibility dropdown menu, on the General tab, in the File Options pane. There is a choice of PDF specification version 1.3, 1.4, or 1.5. Older versions of the PDF format have the broadest compatibility, but newer versions support more features. If your system is set up for it, Scribus is also capable of producing the PDF/X-3 flavor, which is an ISO standard specifically intended for prepress work; it contains ICC color profiles, so your document should look the same wherever you get it printed (see Figure 7-38).

Save as PDF

Output to File:

I ihomeJdaniel/Document-l.pdf P Output one fite für each page


General | Fonts | Extras | Viewer j | Colour | PDF/X-3 j

■Export Range-6 All Pages C Choose Pages i-

P Clip to Page Margins

IPDF/X-3 3 I Left Margin

■File Options-Corn patibilitjf Bin ding: P Generate Thumbnails P Save Linked Text Frames as PDF Arti-cies. P Include Bookmarks P

Resolution for EP5 Graphics: |3GQ dpi

W ComgressText and Vector Graphics

Image Compression Metliod-

Compression Method.; | Automatic

Compression .Quality: I Majcimunn

P Resample Images to: |





Figure 7-38. Scribus specializes in producing PDF output to ISO standard, suitable for sending to any print shop on the planet.

■ Tip If the PDF/X-3 tab is grayed out, cancel the Save as PDF dialog. You need to install the icc-profiles package in Synaptic, if you haven't done so already on this system. Then, restart Scribus, choose File > Document Setup from the main Scribus menu bar, click the Color Management icon in the left column, and check the Activate Color Management box in the Color Management panel.

On the Fonts tab, choose to embed or outline all the fonts listed in the left column; otherwise, no one will ever get to see your wonderful homemade typefaces. Finally, in the Color tab, set Output Intended For to Screen/Web or Printer (for CMYK), as appropriate. There is also a setting for Grayscale, should your document lack color. If you've selected PDF/X-3 output, this field is locked to Printer and grayed out. If the Save button is grayed out too, note that the PDF/X-3 format requires that you complete the Info String field in the PDF/X-3 tab with the name of your document before attempting to save it.

When the export is complete, you should check your PDF for errors in Adobe Reader or another PDF viewer (see Figure 7-39).

Figure 7-39. The final poster, viewed in GNOME's PDF reader program, Evince.
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