Author Topic: Clickable TOC / document outline in PDF  (Read 333 times)


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Clickable TOC / document outline in PDF
« on: December 27, 2017, 08:24:36 am »
Many PDF files, e.g. those produced with LaTeX, have handy navigation through the document via hierarchical TOC in the PDF viewer side pane (not in page area itself). As far as I understand, this feature is distinct from PDF bookmarks. Is it possible to produce & export this kind of navigation information with scribus (trunk)? I don't mind doing it (mostly) by hand or with scripting. Thanks for pointers!


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Re: Clickable TOC / document outline in PDF
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 11:59:57 am »
As far as I know, what you want is not possible with Scribus (with, or without, scripts).

You can use PDF bookmarks that will show in a navigation pane in a PDF reader - if the PDF reader has that functionality - but there is no functionality within Scribus for producing any kind of hierarchical structure. The list of bookmarks is a simple flat list that is ordered by Scribus with no way for the user to change that order or specify a structure.

This Scribus-ordering - rather than user-ordering - can be seen in the way that you can't define where something will come in a TOC. The TOC entries are listed in the order that Scribus "sees" the frames rather than their position on the page or some other means. (See ) Also, Scribus has no hierarchical TOC capability; a Scribus TOC is always a flat list.

If the TOC capabilities of Scribus were enhanced to allow for a hierarchy then I don't think it would be a huge amount of extra work to also - optionally - automatically create a PDF bookmark for each text frame with a TOC attribute. This could be done on-the-fly at the stage when the PDF was produced so as to not have stray bookmarks left around when the user modifies attributes. (I haven't thought about this much until now and I have no idea how a hierarchical structure could be user-specified.)

Enhancements to the TOC functionality of Scribus would benefit a lot of people. The current sparseness of functionality is something that may be putting people off from using the software. (People have asked questions about this sort of thing in the past and mentioned that if the functionality isn't there then they will have to use something else.) Of course, not all documents need a TOC - never mind a hierarchical TOC - but the inability of Scribus to produce anything other than a simple flat list that can't be user-ordered is a shortcoming of the software that needs to be addressed if it is to be considered for professional use.

You could try having a look through Mantis to see if there are already any relevant open issues. Somebody might already have suggested pretty much the same thing. If not, you could add a request yourself and help to guide Scribus towards new functionality.


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Re: Clickable TOC / document outline in PDF
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 04:49:25 pm »
creating the "pdf toc" is not a big issue.

but if you want clickable links in the pdf, i think that we first need a way to create links *without* having to add link frames on top of the text.

i don't think that we already have a (good) proposal for implementing the links (we need to define how they are displayed and how they are edited...)
it's not hard to do... but somebody has to do it...