Scribus Scripts

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Scripting in Scribus refers to the usage of a short program, written in Python in order to automate various tasks. This might be used to carry out a sequence of operations on one or more objects in your document, including creating those objects if necessary. Scripts can also be used to create a document from scratch, and thus would be an alternative to using a template to recreate some set layout, including creating and using the styles needed for the document.

You might start by reviewing the scripts which are included with your Scribus distribution. As of the 1.5.x versions of Scribus, you have the following included scripts, found and used by selecting from the menu, Scripter > Scribus Scripts.

  • Align_image_in_frame
  • Autoquote
  • Autoquote2
  • CalendarWizard
  • Caption
  • color2csv
  • ColorChart
  • csv2color
  • DirectImageImport
  • FontSample
  • Importcsv2table
  • InfoBox
  • LigaturSatz

The titles of the scripts are terse, and may only give a vague sense of what they do. To learn more, select from the menu Scripter > About Script... Unfortunately, Scribus will not automatically find the location of these scripts. In Linux, the standard location for Scribus installed on the system you are using should be /usr/share/scribus/scripts. Let's look at the information which is included with the script Align_image_in_frame:

This script will align an image inside a frame to one of 9 possible positions: Top left, top center, top right; middle left, middle center, middle right; or bottom left, bottom center, bottom right. USAGE Select one or more image frames. Run the script, which asks for your alignment choice (all selected frames will need to have the same alignment). Choose the position in the dialog radio button grid, click Align. Image(s) are aligned, and script quits. Note There is minimal error checking, in particular no checking for frame type.

From this, we can see that the script positions an image inside a frame, and will do this for one or more image frames, which must be selected before the script is run. The USAGE section tells a bit more specifically how to run the script. If you're still not sure what this is saying, running the script (by selecting Scripter > Scribus Scripts > Align_image_in_frame). As a precaution, try it out on some test document, or you might save your document beforehand, although you should also be able to Undo what this script is accomplishing.

Here is an abbreviated description of what the remaining scripts do:

  • Autoquote -- this script, and the next one convert typewriter apostrophes and quotation marks to typographic quotes for a number of languages.
  • Autoquote2 -- this script has some additional features.
  • CalendarWizard -- automatically creates a multipage calendar for various languages and layouts.
  • Caption -- places a caption over, under, or at the side of a selected frame.
  • color2csv -- saves the colors of a document in a file listing color names and C, M, Y, K values in a comma-separated-values format.
  • ColorChart -- creates a color chart document in Scribus using the colors from the current document.
  • csv2color -- does the opposite from color2csv, creating the colors in Scribus using a CSV file.
  • DirectImageImport -- a simplified image import, creating an image frame for you.
  • FontSample -- creates a document showing a list of fonts used by Scribus with examples of appearance.
  • Importcsv2table -- not to be confused with csv2color, this script creates a table in Scribus from a CSV file, the data being whatever the file contains.
  • InfoBox -- allows for the insertion of a correctly-sized frame into a column of text.
  • LigaturSatz -- documented in the script itself in a rather piecemeal fashion, this is a long and complex script dealing with hyphenation for German text.

Writing your own Scripts

If you have some experience with Python, you might simply begin writing your own scripts. At the same time, the power of these scripts comes from using the particular Python commands which are part of Scribus. These can be viewed in the online manual included with Scribus. More instructive, and more convenient would be to scan the Scribus wiki for various scripts which might be of some interest. If you're lucky, you may find some that fill your needs, but even then you may wish to customize them to your particular situation.

Most or all scripts begin with these lines or something similar: <syntaxhighlight lang="python">

  1. !/usr/bin/env python
  2. -*- coding: utf-8 -*-


© 2017 Gregory Pittman