Scribus is a free desktop publishing program that you can use to create layouts for all kinds of printed products. The application has numerous design functions, which makes it a rival to any professional layout program – including for PDF creation. Scribus allows you to generate PDFs that comply with printing industry specifications. Our recommendation: you can use the program without hesitation. The PDF quality is very good, and if you have set all of the settings correctly, you will end up with a top-quality printed product.
Here’s how to create a printable PDF with Scribus 1.4.4:
A little tip: before starting with the layout, download the applicable data sheet for your product from FLYERALARM’s online shop. Here you will find all of the key dimensions and information.
Step 2: Defining the colour management
- In the “Preferences” window, click on the “Color Management” section on the left. This will allow you to set the right ICC colour profile for CMYK colours.
- Confirm your entry with “OK”
- You only need to do the settings for the colour management once
NB: For its printing, FLYERALARM needs the colour profile “ISO Coated v2 300%” (ECI). You can download this from www.eci.org. To be able to use it, you need to copy the colour profile to the following folder: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color
Step 4: Setting up the new document
- Specify the document’s layout in the “New Document” window, under the tab of the same name (“New Document”).
- Choose between “Single Page” and “Double Sided” (e.g. for a magazine)
- Enter the full data format (in cm/mm only)
- Confirm your entries with “OK”
NB: Always include the bleed when calculating the complete data format! You will find the dimensions for your product in the relevant data sheet. Example: For an A4 flyer: A4: 29.7 cm x 21.0 cm (W x H) + 1 mm bleed on each side = format: 29.9 cm x 21.2 cm
- To do this, click on “File” on the menu bar
- Select “Document Setup”
- In the “Document Setup” window you have the same settings options as under “New Document”. However, in addition to the format information, you need to select the option “All Document Pages”, or “All Master Pages” if you are working with master pages, under “Apply settings to:”
- Make any corrections
- Confirm your entry with “OK”
Step 6: Saving the PDF
- In the window that will now open, “Save as PDF”, select the location for storing the PDF under “Output to File”
- Under “File Options” in the “General” tab, check that the “Compatibility” is set to PDF/X-1a, that the “Compression Method” is set to “Automatic” and that the “Compression Quality” is set to “Maximum”, and that you select the “Maximum Image Resolution” of “356 dpi”.
NB: The PDF/X-1a setting ensures that all data (including photos and images) is converted to the CMYK colour gamut. The PDF/X- setting is only available if colour management is activated.
Step 7: Embedding fonts
- All available fonts are displayed under the “Fonts” tab in the “Save as PDF” window.
- Select “Embed all” or “Outline all”
- Then click on “Save”; the PDF will be created
NB: You do not need to make any more selections under the “Extras” tab.
- In the “Viewer” tab, “Single Page” should be selected under “Document Layout”, and “Use Viewers Defaults” should be activated under “Visual Appearance”
- With PDF/X-1a you cannot change any settings under the “Security” tab; the area is greyed out
- There is no tick beside “Convert Spot Colors to Process Colors” under the “Color” tab if the data is set up with a special colour (e.g. partial UV coating, etc.)
- There must be no selections made under “Printer Marks” in the “Pre-Press” tab. Once you have set up your document in the final format with 1 mm bleed, you need to put a tick beside “Use Document Bleeds”. The right colour profile must be set under “PFD/X Output Intent”