FAQ: Adding Content

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When you put an image in an image frame, Scribus will load that file into RAM (chip memory). Thus, if you have many large images in your document, loading may take very long and consume lots of memory, which can slow down your system. A possible solution to the loading issue is to reduce the image preview resolution for your document: Go to File > Document Setup > Tools, and click on the image frame icon (second from top). In the "Images" dialog, set "On Screen Preview" to "Low Resolution Preview", and click "OK". Note that you can also change the resolution for individual image frames from their context menu. In the context menu you can even switch off the preview of the image.

A large document with many high-resolution images may exhaust your RAM. Once you completely fill that up, along with any swap space, Scribus may freeze or crash. Here are some pointers:

  • Use an image editor to crop images to the section that you actually want to use in the image frame, then use that smaller file.
  • Decrease the resolution/size of the image file itself. For most printing targets 300 dpi is a good idea, whereas higher resolutions rarely make sense.
  • If you create a PDF for the web, much lower resolutions are recommended, e.g, 72-90 dpi, since monitors don't have a higher resolution and the files will be significantly smaller.
  • Use a computer with enough memory for your work. As a rule of thumb, there's only one thing better than a lot of RAM: even more RAM.
  • If you are making a large document with a large number of high-res images, you can manage by breaking up your work into 20-30 page sections, making PDFs of the sections, then joining them together with a program such as pdftk.


  • You can import Openoffice.org .odt files. Scribus will recognize most text formatting options and style sheets, and you can decide how Scribus will handle style sheet during import.
  • You can directly import Microsoft Word (.doc) documents, but you will lose all formatting. You better use Openoffice.org and save the document in the .odt format.
  • Microsoft RTF documents can't be read from Scribus: you should use Openoffice.org to convert them to .odt or save them in the .doc format from Microsoft Word.
  • For the use of customtext filters see: Using the Text Filter.


Can Scribus 1.3.3.x import an existing pdf form and add fillable fields to it?

No, Scribus can import PDF, but they are imported as images currently. The only way to edit a PDF form is with Adobe Acrobat full version. Scribus can create PDF forms without a problem and it is very versatile.

Can Scribus 1.3.3.x import the .ps file from which an existing pdf was created (with Ghostscript)?

Scribus can import a wide variety of EPS and PS files with most content imported as native Scribus objects.

Importing files from other programs


You can import the content of .odt files into text frames. Text formatting and style sheet will be kept, but not tables, footnotes or images.

Microsoft Word

You can import text from .doc files into text frames, but you will lose all formatting and style sheet. If you want to keep them, you should convert your files to the OpenDocument file format (*odt).

Adobe InDesign

An import filter for InDesign IDML files has been added to the experimental 1.5svn version, but it can't be backported to 1.3.8+.

Quark Xpress

An import filter for XPress Tag files (*.xtg) has been added to the experimental 1.5svn version, but it can't be backported to 1.3.8+.

Microsoft Publisher


I have an ACCESS database to organize courses of our school. Twice a year we export the data to csv and mail them to our printing office to print an infomation folder.Now I want to simplify this process, make the design myself with scribus and send only the finished PDF file. Is it possible to set placeholders in scribus and the informations where filled in by CSV or any other database?

You can try: Laying_out_articles and Auto-formating_paragraphs_during_text_file_imports