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I want to make a conference poster with Scribus. The poster contains many figures which I prepared with GNUplot, R, Adobe Illustrator... in PDF format. The figures are all in separate PDF files with one page each. I want to import the PDF figures into the Scribus poster and save the whole thing as one PDF.

I tried doing this: make a new Scribus document, make one image frame for each figure, load the PDF into each repsective the frame, then export the document as one PDF.

As a result, I get a PDF which does contain my original figures, but to my dismay they are not vectorized anymore. Scribus apparently converted them into bitmaps!

I.e. the resulting output is a PDF file all right, but all the vector information is gone, text is not searchable etc. It's like a PDF containing a bitmap.

My questions is:

  • Can Scribus import single-page PDFs into image frames such that the vector information is retained?
  • Or is this not possible in the first place? If it is possible, how can I achieve this?

Versions used:

Scribus 1.4.1.

GhostScript 9.05

Windows 7 32 bit

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

My Scribus (1.4.0) has an option, marked experimental, saying "embed PDF & EPS files (experimental)"

Any luck with that?

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Another option is to export the R plot as PDF, edit it with Illustrator and save it as .svg. Scribus 1.4.2 incorporates .svg files as vector objects, but the size of the object for some reason changes from the original. Also the text might change a little bit, but now you can edit the plot a little bit inside Scribus. However, this feature seems to work poorly. Maybe it gets better in future versions of Scribus.

If you do not need to edit the plot in Illustrator, there is also the option of using svg from Cairo package. In my system (similar to yours, except newer) R exports svg the same way than pdf. These files open "corretly" (i.e. look similar to the svg file) in Scribus (except for a warning) and are vector objects. The downside is that text is not understood as text, but as vectors.

I guess the option suggested by @lornix is currently the best one.

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I realize this was asked over a year ago, but I can answer it for those who find the page through google.

Scribus has the ability to either rasterize (convert to bitmap) the embedded PDF's into images or leave them as is when exporting. The default setting is to rasterize everything because Scribus does not affect the color profile of PDF's that it embeds, so if you are trying to have something printed by a commercial printer and send them a PDF in CMYK (default for scribus) but have embedded PDF's that are RGB, the document that gets printed will differ from what you thought it would look like.

If you are controlling the production process from start to finish and you create everything in the correct colorspace, then you can check the "Embed PDF and EPS files (Experimental)" box and it will leave your vectors as it.

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lornix akready answered this in less words on Jul 14 '12 –  gojira Dec 23 '13 at 15:40

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