Do You Use Scribus? We’d Like to Hear from You.

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scribus Do You Use Scribus? Wed Like to Hear from You.

Hello out there! If any of you are using Scribus with our PDF to Book workflow, we’d like to hear from you. For those of you who don’t know about Scribus, an open-source desktop publishing tool, you can find some info here. For the rest of you Scribus pros, take a look at our forum post below and let us know your thoughts:

Using Scribus? We’d like to hear from you.

In an effort to expand our PDF to Book Workflow options, we would love to hear from our bookmaking superstars if they’ve used the open-source application Scribus to make a PDF/X-3 for Blurb. We’re interested in (whether successful or not) your detailed workflow, what stumbling blocks you ran into and any pertinent info that could help us develop a recommended workflow for this application.

Feel free to post your response here or submit your feedback directly to us via our support form (make sure to choose the “feedback” option from the dropdown menu).


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  1. I have been using Scribus and Gimp (+ Open Office) for a while now, and have made two books so far. I am learning by doing and think it would be nice to recognise this emerging software as worthy to have yor support: the easier it is for people to use, the more will switch to Open Source, I am sure.

    re: workflow, I cannot imagine to work without the Gimp, and Scribus is fully integrated with it. Sometimes, I have some problems but forums and wikis always have some kind of answer to it. Eager to help with debugging and feedback if you have more specific questions.


      July 15, 2010 – 4:00 pm   Permalink
  2. I am currently using Scribus to create 2 B/W text only books. I will hopefully be able to give some feedback about my experience, and the resulting quality of the books in a month or 2. The tools available in Scribus seem great so far, I have never used InDesign, so I have no means to compare them. I understand the main concern Blurb has is the PDF output of Scribus? I’ll see what I get when I’m ready to upload it I guess.

    Cheers, Johan.

    By Johan Olsson
      August 4, 2010 – 7:34 am   Permalink
  3. I used Scribus 1.4.0rc1 to publish our book “Healing Arise” recently using Blurb’s PDF to Book workflow. It is a B/W text book with a few graphics. The book size desired was the digest size. In the document properties I set the page size to 8.5×5.5, added the .125″ bleed to the outsides of the pages, set the color management properties to use the Blurb ICC profile, and began creating the book. I exported to the PDF/X-3 format. I did outline one font because it was a cheap font and I’ve had trouble with it in other programs. The other fonts used were of course automatically embedded by Scribus into the document as per the PDF/X-3 requirements. I told Scribus to embed the Blurb ICC profile into the exported PDF. Also, I set the maximum resolution of graphics as 600dpi. The export worked flawlessly. I uploaded it and it passed the blurb pre-flight check immediately. I also designed the cover with Scribus. I used the Blurb spine calculator to find the dimensions based on my page count. It was a graphics-heavy cover with text overlaid. Again, there were no problems exporting, and after uploading the cover file, it also passed the check with no issues.
    The printed book looks excellent – the cover colors are correct, the text is sharp, the inside of the book is very good.
    The whole thing went smoothly and there were no issues with the compatibility of the PDF files output from Scribus. Overall I’m extremely satisfied with Scribus, and am planning to use it for book projects in the future with Blurb and other publishing companies.

    By Ruel
      February 18, 2012 – 10:51 am   Permalink
  4. Hello Ruel,

    Thanks for the great feedback! It’s great to hear you had such a positive experience.



    By Kent
      February 18, 2012 – 1:14 pm   Permalink
  5. It worked! After a long struggle I was able to create a pdf-x3 file with Scribus. The main problem I had was that all tutorials I found online told me to activate color management in the Preferences, but because I was working on a file that I had already created earlier, I also needed to activate it in Document Setup (which I finally found out from the built-in Scribus Help). I’m by no means a layout pro, but since I’m working on Ubuntu, the pdf-x3 method was my only chance to get a Blurb book. I had a little bit miscalculated the trims (probably because I took a one year break in between creating the file and exporting it as a pdf, so maybe I had a different paper type in mind originally), but I’m still quite happy with the result :-)

    By Annegret
      July 18, 2013 – 12:13 pm   Permalink
  6. Happy is what we like to hear! Thanks for your feedback!

    By Kent
      July 18, 2013 – 1:17 pm   Permalink
  7. I used Scribus to create a Blurb book and it worked flawlessly.

    I’d like to see support for Open Source software.

    By Leo
      November 24, 2013 – 3:59 am   Permalink
  8. Hey Leo

    We’ve heard a few things about Scribus. It’s something we’ll think about.



    By Kent
      January 3, 2014 – 2:32 pm   Permalink

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