Importing Vector Pdfs in Bulk

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Dalski K

I'm looking for an alternative to Adobe InDesign (As the Adobe Creative Suite is not available anymore and switched to cloud) . From my search results Scribus seemed suitable but it appears not as much as I hoped.

I will be using the programme to import vector pdfs; they will contain multiple pages and there will be multiple different imports. My questions are:

  • It seems that importing pdfs into Scribus is not it's best feature. Can anyone point me to a script to import the pdfs into Scribus? The imported pdfs cannot be images; they must be vectorized, crisp, searchable text.
    If not can someone recommend me software to do this? Preferably free!
  • Can anyone recommend me the software to import multiple pages of vectorized pdfs?


Welcome to the forum Dalski K.

As you have already seen, Scribus 1.4.6 treats imported PDFs as images. As far as I know they're not editable in any way.

Apparently, however, 1.5.x does allow you to import PDFs as vectors - - but, as I don't use 1.5.x, I have no idea how good the import is and I don't think the imported text is searchable/editable as text.

Affinity Designer is pretty good at importing PDFs and the text is imported as text. It's not free but it's very cheap for what you get and the cost could be justified by the amount of time you save. (And it costs nothing to get the trial version and give it a go.)

The only issues - from your standpoint - with AD are that you cannot export the document as a multi-page PDF (you need to export single pages and stitch them together with something else) and - as far as I've seen - there's no search function.

Maybe someone else can come up with another (better) suggestion.


Hello Dalski K,

I do not believe that you can search text within a placed .pdf file in InDesign either...  according to this seems to be the case, though I have never had the need to try this before.  As for vector art, all vector art is converted to some form of raster before being printed. Whether postscript, pcl, pdl or such, it is what dpi resolution the vector to raster output is converted to that keeps it clean and sharp.  Which operating system are you using and what are your end goals that you are trying to achieve?  Not sure if I will be able to help, but I am more than willing to if I can.


Dalski K

Hi GarryP and mnawij, thank you both for your kind welcomes and great input, greatly appreciated.

I'm using Windows 10, I was previously using Adobe InDesign CS 5.5. I was shocked to hear your comments about importing multi-page pdfs being a struggle in InDesign as I used that feature a lot in the past and I had no problems with it, from what I remember the text was searchable. However researching now online it seems much more hassle than I remember and I haven't found anything yet to confirm that the imported text is searchable.

QuarkXpress could be an option but I've used Quark before but haven't found it to be good.

Thanks again guys. Looking into if I can get CS6 somewhere.


Have you thought about A-PDF ? I've never used it myself but it looks interesting. There's a trial version and it looks like you can get it free if you blog about it (click the "Get a free license >>" link). Might be a better option than CS6.


No you are correct, there is a default script within indesign that allows for multipage .pdf import, but the imported pdf's do not have searchable text.  Maybe create a post asking for help in creating a script to import multipage pdf files into scribus???  Maybe someone already has...  I think I can post the indesign script, if anyone thinks that it would help with the logic...



please, do not post the script, except if it is under a free license. (gpl, bsd, mit, ...)

try instead to describe what the script should do for you and somebody might implement it.
basic functionalities should not be that hard...


Logic of Script could look like:

a) read pdf page size; not sure which to choose from, trim box, art box, media box, bleed box, or crop box (maybe a dialog to choose one)
b) determine how many pages are within the pdf
c) create scribus document with same number of pages, each with a frame to receive a pdf page
d) import each pdf page into corresponding scribus page frames, either match center points or top left corner for position