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Old 04-02-2005, 07:48 AM   #1
jvecht
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Default Make your own magazine with Scribus

Dear all,

Having discovered Tuxmagazine (I cannot wait for their second issue to appear) and its attractive as well useful layout of the pdf for reading from the screen, it sprung to my mind I as an amateur should be able to do just the same with Scribus (opensource - Linux only). So, just out of curiosity, I made my own magazine.

Whether it is anywhere nearly as good as Tuxmagazine in quality or at least useful?

Judge yourselves. I had great fun making it and I have a use for it too: the older posts on my Traveller's Blog. It did not cost me anything. Slackware and Scribus are free, the webspace too, what else does one need except the creativity needed to design and write.

I hope this will be of interest to you.


regards,


eJust on Justvecht.nl: My own Magazine
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvecht
Having discovered Tuxmagazine (I cannot wait for their second issue to appear) and its attractive as well useful layout of the pdf for reading from the screen, it sprung to my mind I as an amateur should be able to do just the same with Scribus (opensource - Linux only). So, just out of curiosity, I made my own magazine. … I had great fun making it and I have a use for it too: the older posts on my Traveller's Blog. It did not cost me anything. Slackware and Scribus are free, the webspace too, what else does one need except the creativity needed to design and write.
Very interesting, Just — thanks for posting that.

Are you thinking of replacing your blog with the magazine? Or using them together?

And most important — how much time did it take to put together?

   
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Old 04-03-2005, 02:09 PM   #3
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Hi Kathleen,

Basically I just wanted to know whether I could make a similar thing in Scribus than the professionals behind Tuxmagazine. I will keep my Blog anyhow and the magazine I might use to move the old posts to from time to time.

Time to make it: well, I am a 100% amateur time spiller (that is what hobbies are for, right?). About 10 hours total including quite some trial and error with layout choices until it was at least reasonable to look at.
Now everything is at place, I estimate making one page takes me about half an hour.

regards,

Just
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Old 04-03-2005, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jvecht
About 10 hours total including quite some trial and error with layout choices until it was at least reasonable to look at.

Now everything is at place, I estimate making one page takes me about half an hour.
Sounds like a reasonable bargain to me. Let us know when you have a new issue!

   
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:00 AM   #5
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Hi Kathleen,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
Sounds like a reasonable bargain to me. Let us know when you have a new issue!
OK <grin>!

regards,

Just
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:41 PM   #6
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Ooo ... Hadn't heard of Scribus. Will definitely have to play with that.

I'll be particularly interested to see how it handles management of fonts, something that hasn't been easy to deal with on Linux.

   
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by John Spragens
Ooo ... Hadn't heard of Scribus. Will definitely have to play with that.

I'll be particularly interested to see how it handles management of fonts, something that hasn't been easy to deal with on Linux.
Judy Miner's a great fan of Scribus. I'm sure she'll jump in here soon to tell you some of the things it can do.

   
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:53 AM   #8
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Hi John,

Well, I just installed the Gentium font on my Linux box. Simply used the KDE Font installer and Gentium was available in Skriep, no problem at all.

Or are you thinking of more advanced functionality. I am a mere amateur, but I know there is some software available, if I recall correctly for preview purposes to mention something.

One thing I did not get as I really wanted is a font that looks really well on a screen. Still puzzling on that.

My brother Jos (he is a pro in this business) told me I should not have those small columns of text next the images. He also said something about a 13 column base to get a three column text layout. Those three columns are each four base columns wide, giving you 1 base column as flexible room.

[after a lot of experiments]


TTF fonts seem not very suitable, Type 1 work better and I settled for Utopia in my Linux box. I replaced the images according basic rules, left-justified the text and cleaned up a lot of beginners errors. I am sure there are still many around but time will learn.

I uploaded the improved pdf again to http://www.justvecht.nl. Any comments will be highly appreciated!

regards,

Just

Last edited by jvecht; 04-07-2005 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:18 PM   #9
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Ann identified me as a "great fan of Scribus." I'm afraid that's a bit premature.<g> I am a great fan of Linux and am in the process of moving to Linux as my main operating system, and I do have Scribus installed. I haven't yet had much opportunity to work with it--Just has done much more with Scribus than I have.

It is a very promising Linux application and a true DTP program, unlike TeX and its front ends. Scribus has professional page layout in mind and already provides features like CMYK separations and the ability to export to PDF/X-3.

Linux font management is easier now with FreeType2 than it has been. Adding and removing fonts is as simple as dragging the files into properly set up directories on your font path and running fc-cache at a command line. This makes them available to your font-aware X applications, and even programs that used to be convoluted about fonts, such as OpenOffice.org, now pick up these installed fonts. Scribus uses fonts installed in X and has an option to set up additional font paths. It also notes when a font is missing and allows you to designate a substitute. We still don't have Linux font managers that let you create font groups you can easily install and uninstall.

Desktop publishing under Linux is nowhere nearly as mature as under the Mac or Windows, but it's coming along faster than I had expected.
--Judy M.
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:53 PM   #10
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Congratulations on creating your magazine, Just!

A couple of brief suggestions:
I think you need to set up a grid. Use a leading grid so that the baselines of your lines of type are aligned across the columns. You also need some sort of column grid so that your photos have some consistency in their placement within your columns. The photos should also fit into your leading grid so that you have a consistent amount of space above and below the photos and on their sides.

Your PDF is hard to navigate on screen because there are no navigation buttons or icons, no top menu, and only the right-click menu. It mentions "right" and "left" for getting to the next/previous page, but in my browser (Opera in Linux), nothing "right" or "left" works for moving through the pages. Not the right or left keyboard arrows, not the Forward and Back browser buttons, not the little arrows on my horizontal scroll bar. The mouse wheel moves to the next page if I scroll down enough.

I also notice one of the problems inherent in justified type: irregular spacing between words. On page 4, for example, the Dutch text to the right of the top right photo has some large gaps between words. In fact, just on that page alone I notice quite a bit of irregular word spaces, often much too wide. Justified text can be difficult to set because of this word spacing problem. The goal is to have all spaces between words "appearing" the same (even though they are not). I noticed you seem to have hyphenation turned off on page 4 (I didn't check the other pages). It's extremely difficult to set even-appearing justified text without hyphenation.

I hope I'm not coming across as too critical. You did ask for comments.<g> It takes a while to learn the details that make a document look professional. Fortunately, Scribus lets you do what needs to be done.
--Judy M.
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