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December 10 2019 Inkscape, xfig and Scribus Meet

Posted on December 15, 2019
( 3 minute read )

David had been demonstrating shaders in GIMP and Mike sharing his experiences with broadband and servers when John arrived rather late with a demonstration of using free and open source software to do something which had originally been done in proprietary software.

John had been shown a template for a constituency election leaflet created in Adobe InDesign by someone at headquarters and then exported as a PNG for illustration purposes.

He had used Path>Trace Bitmap in Inkscape to create an SVG version of each page and then clicked on each colour in the SVG version with the Node Editor to generate the Fill and Stroke panel from which he had noted down the CMYK and RBG values of each colour.

In xfig he had created a rectangle with the pen and fill (i.e. stroke and fill) values set to the green RGB colour and added two polygons rotated 6 degrees, one with the pen and fill values set to the dark green RGB colour.

He had borrowed the EU stars from an existing legally correct EU flag which he had already created in xfig to complete the front page which he then exported as EPS.

He had created the back page in a similar manner noting that xfig has a Z-axis called ‘Depth’ which defaults to 50; decreasing the depth of an object brings it to the front while increasing it moves it to the back — much easier than the ‘Raise’ and ‘Lower’ options in Inkscape.

In Scribus he had created a two page A5 document in which he had used Insert image frame and Get image to import the front and back EPS files which were to serve as the background to the text. He had then created five text styles for the leaflet and added the black and white text using the standard Insert text frame and Edit text options in Scribus.

However, he could not set the white text in the Edit text dialogue — even though there appears to be an option to do that. He had to use the Properties>Text>Colours and effects option to make the text white. He noted that both xfig and Scribus have very good Properties options allowing you to tweak all manner of properties of a particular object.

Where the leaflet had green text on a white background, he had created blocks of green text on a white background in Inkscape, using the CMYK values noted down earlier, because xfig only allows you to use its own fonts and exported those as EPS; he had then imported them into Scribus using Insert image frame and Get image and rotated them using the Scribus Properties option.

The final document had been exported as a PDF for the printer.