Scribus Generator

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Revision as of 21:13, 22 July 2015 by MZaske (talk | contribs) (Added a paragraph re a modified version for special CSV files)
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This article is part of the Scripts series.

What about Scribus Generator?

Scribus comes with a broad set of page layout features and functionality. One feature missing is to replace text with data dynamically. This kind of feature you may already know as the typical mail merge functionality in your preferred office application.
Scribus Generator fills this lack of functionality. Scribus Generator in general is an extension to replace text with data to automatic generated files (e.g. SLA, PDF).

What about the Scribus file?

Create and Design your Scribus File as any other. At the positions where you need to replace text with data, just add %VAR_name% where name is the column name in the Data File. You can place the variable on any position within a text frame. Apply all format and style to the variable as it would be the concerning original text.

You can also use variables for images by simply using "%VAR_image%" as the image name. It won´t be displayed, but it will be printed. In the CSV file make sure to use the full path.

If you want to use pre-press settings that you would normally specify in the export dialog, you have to do this in "File > Document Setup > PDF Export".

What about the Data File?

The Scribus Generator expects a CSV file (Comma Separated Values), which is very simple to create. Open a spread sheet editor, enter the data and save/export as CSV. UTF-8 encoding is recommended. The columns have the same name as variables (%VAR_name%) referenced in the Sribus file you have designed.

What about the Settings?

There is a Dialog where you can configure the Input and Output Settings for Scribus Generator.

Scribus File: Choose the Scribus File containing the variables to replace.
Data File: Choose the Data File containing the comma separated values.
Output Directory: Choose the path to the existing directory where to save the result.
Output File Name: You can use the same variables as defined in the Scribus File/Data File. You can also mix the variables with other characters.
If you leave the field empty an index will be used. The index/resulting files will be sorted according to the occurence of the rows within the Data File. Don't enter non variable name because script will create only one PDF with last record from CSV.
Output Format: Choose the output format, e.g. PDF.
Keep Scribus File: Choose whether to keep the generated Scribus Files. Otherwise they will be deleted after generation an only the files in the specified output format will be kept.


For further information and download of the current version, please visit:
Scribus Generator

A modified version for CSV-files with non-comma delimiters...

... can be downloaded here until the author integrates this or finds a better way of realizing this. Please check notes by Martin Zaske at the top of the modified script.

A minor second tweak concerns the output file names. If you leave the field empty an index will be used. But the file names 1.PDF, 2.PDF, etc. are often sorted funnily in an explorer where 11.PDF comes between 1.PDF and 2.PDF. So the output file name has been tweaked to carry leading zeros (the user has to edit the script if he wants other than 3 digits).