Why can't I use a file created with Scribus 1.3.x with Scribus 1.2.x (or earlier)?

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This article is part of the FAQ series.
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The short answer is that the file formats are incompatible, and for now at least, there are no plans to be able to make files backwards compatible. You can load any older file into 1.3.x, it's just that once saved from 1.3.x, the file cannot be read by older versions of Scribus.

If you are using 1.3.x and try to save a file that came from 1.2.x or earlier, you should get a warning before saving. If you have a need to retain the original file's 1.2.x readability, change the name of the file in some way, so that you don't overwrite the original.

I'm using Scribus 1.2.x. How do I tell if my file is compatible?

  • First, just try loading the file. If it loads, it is 1.2.x or earlier.
  • If it doesn't load, check the first line of the file. It should look something like this:
<SCRIBUSUTF8 Version="1.2.1" >

or maybe

<SCRIBUSUTF8 Version="1.1.5" >

If it looks like one of those and still won't load, there is something else wrong with the file.

But if it looks something like:

<SCRIBUSUTF8NEW Version="1.3.0" >

it will only load into Scribus 1.3.x versions.

So what's the big deal? What's so different?

Here is an example. The following is one PAGEOBJECT in 1.2.1, in this case a single text frame with one short line of text:

   <PAGEOBJECT BottomLine="0" REXTRA="10" ALIGN="0" LANGUAGE="English" NUMPO="32" PLINEART="1"
TXTSCALE="100" RightLine="0" LOCALSCX="1" LINESP="26.4" ROT="0" TXTSTROKE="Black" WIDTH="400"
BACKPAGE="-1" GROUPS="" LOCKR="0" IFONT="Century Schoolbook L Bold Italic" LOCALSCY="1"
NAMEDLST="" AUTOTEXT="0" FLIPPEDV="0" EXTRAV="0" PCOLOR="None" RADRECT="3" REVERS="0"
PRINTABLE="1" RATIO="1" FLIPPEDH="0" COLGAP="0" PCOLOR2="None" NEXTITEM="-1" NUMGROUP="0"
TransValue="0" INVERS="0" PLINEEND="0" FRTYPE="2" PTYPE="4" isTableItem="0" TEXTFLOW2="0"
SHADE2="100" PWIDTH="1" HEIGHT="81" DASHOFF="0" PFILE2="" PFILE="" TEXTFLOW3="0" ISIZE="22"
PLTSHOW="0" TXTSTYLE="0" CLIPEDIT="0" BACKITEM="-1" BookNr="0" TransValueS="0" EMBEDDED="1"
PFILE3="" ANNAME="" SHADE="100" COCOOR="3 0 3 0 397 0 397 0 397 0 398.657 0 400 3 400 1.65685
400 3 400 3 400 78 400 78 400 78 400 79.6569 397 81 398.657 81 397 81 397 81 3 81 3 81 3 81
1.65685 81 0 78 0 79.6569 0 78 0 78 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 1.65685 3 0 1.65685 0 " BASEOF="0" PICART="1"
COLUMNS="1" LAYER="0" BOOKMARK="0" TopLine="0" LOCK="0" EPROF="" BBOXX="0" DASHS=""
IRENDER="7077985" TEXTFLOW="1" BBOXH="0" TXTFILLSH="100" YPOS="73" ANNOTATION="0" LOCALX="0"
GRTYP="0" XPOS="100" NUMCO="32" POCOOR="3 0 3 0 397 0 397 0 397 0 398.657 0 400 3 400 1.65685
400 3 400 3 400 78 400 78 400 78 400 79.6569 397 81 398.657 81 397 81 397 81 3 81 3 81 3 81
1.65685 81 0 78 0 79.6569 0 78 0 78 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 1.65685 3 0 1.65685 0 " EXTRA="10" LOCALY="0"
NEXTPAGE="-1" TABS="" NUMTAB="0" NUMDASH="0" LeftLine="0" PRFILE="" TEXTRA="10" SCALETYPE="1"
TXTFILL="Black" BEXTRA="10" PLINEJOIN="0" TXTSTRSH="100" > <ITEXT CAB="1" CCOLOR="Black" CSIZE="22" CH="News from selected articles� related to stroke"
CSHADE2="100" CSCALE="100" CSHADE="100" CSTYLE="0" CFONT="Century Schoolbook L Bold Italic"
CEXTRA="0" CSTROKE="Black" /> </PAGEOBJECT>

Here is that same text frame in 1.3.1cvs:

 <PAGEOBJECT OnMasterPage="" BottomLine="0" REXTRA="10" ALIGN="0" gHeight="81" gWidth="400" 
LANGUAGE="English" NUMPO="32" PLINEART="1" TXTSCALE="100" RightLine="0" LOCALSCX="1"
LINESP="26.4" ROT="0" TXTSHX="5" TXTSTROKE="Black" WIDTH="400" ImageRes="1" GROUPS="" LOCKR="0"
IFONT="Century Schoolbook L Bold Italic" LOCALSCY="1" NAMEDLST="" TXTSHY="-5" isInline="0"
AUTOTEXT="0" FLIPPEDV="0" PCOLOR="None" RADRECT="3" REVERS="0" PRINTABLE="1" RATIO="1"
FLIPPEDH="0" COLGAP="0" PCOLOR2="None" NEXTITEM="-1" NUMGROUP="0" TransValue="0" PLINEEND="0"
TXTSTW="-0.1" FRTYPE="2" PTYPE="4" ImageClip="" isTableItem="0" TEXTFLOW2="0" SHADE2="100"
TXTBASE="0" PWIDTH="1" HEIGHT="81" DASHOFF="0" PFILE2="" PFILE="" TEXTFLOW3="0" ISIZE="22"
PLTSHOW="0" LINESPMode="0" TXTSTYLE="0" CLIPEDIT="0" BACKITEM="-1" BookNr="0" TransValueS="0"
EMBEDDED="1" PFILE3="" ANNAME="" SHADE="100" TXTULP="-0.1" COCOOR="3 0 3 0 397 0 397 0 397 0
398.657 0 400 3 400 1.65685 400 3 400 3 400 78 400 78 400 78 400 79.6569 397 81 398.657 81 397
81 397 81 3 81 3 81 3 81 1.65685 81 0 78 0 79.6569 0 78 0 78 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 1.65685 3 0 1.65685 0
" BASEOF="0" PICART="1" TXTKERN="0" COLUMNS="1" OwnPage="0" LAYER="0" BOOKMARK="0" gYpos="0"
startArrowIndex="0"
TopLine="0" LOCK="0" EPROF="" BBOXX="0" gXpos="0" DASHS=""
IRENDER="-1958404514" TEXTFLOW="1" BBOXH="0" TXTFILLSH="100" YPOS="67" ANNOTATION="0" LOCALX="0"
GRTYP="0" XPOS="120" NUMCO="32" POCOOR="3 0 3 0 397 0 397 0 397 0 398.657 0 400 3 400
1.65685 400 3 400 3 400 78 400 78 400 78 400 79.6569 397 81 398.657 81 397 81 397 81 3 81 3
81 3 81 1.65685 81 0 78 0 79.6569 0 78 0 78 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 1.65685 3 0 1.65685 0 " EXTRA="10"
LOCALY="0" NUMDASH="0" LeftLine="0" PRFILE="" TEXTRA="10" SCALETYPE="1" TXTOUT="1"
TXTFILL="Black" endArrowIndex="0" BEXTRA="10" PLINEJOIN="0" TXTSTP="-0.1" TXTULW="-0.1"
TXTSCALEV="100"
TXTSTRSH="100" > <ITEXT CAB="1" CCOLOR="Black" CBASE="0" CSTW="-0.1" CSIZE="22" CULP="-0.1" CH="Stroke News: News
from selected �articles related to stroke" CSHADE2="100" CKERN="0" CSCALE="100" CSHADE="100"
COUT="1" CSCALEV="100" CSTP="-0.1" CULW="-0.1" CSTYLE="0" CFONT="Century Schoolbook L Bold
Italic" CSHX="5" CSHY="-5" CSTROKE="Black" /> <PageItemAttributes/> </PAGEOBJECT>

I've highlighted the few variables in a 1.2.1 text frame that aren't in 1.3.x (in particular this was 1.3.1cvs) and numerous variables in 1.3.x that aren't in 1.2.1. In addition, 1.3.x variables aren't quite settled yet, so they may change, and more new ones added.