Scribus > PDF Generation

Can Scribus create a SEARCHABLE PDF? Are there workarounds?

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hi spilly

your .pdf file looks very strange. some of the characters are combinations of overlapping vector shapes – and there aren't any embedded fonts at all (neither fully embedded nor as subsets…)
scribus generated .pdf files are usually searchable (as long as you didn't outline the text.)

i don't know what went wrong here.


I'm VERY pleased to read your reply
as I really can't accept my results to date

I've simply downloaded the stable 1.4.8 version, accepted defaults, and created the test PDF you've seen

I added a few styles in F3 style manager, but no more than that

My first excursion into Scribus was to patch an advertiser's copy for which I only had a PNG of the advert
The copy was WHITE text on BLACK background and the original phone no was wrong
but parts of the ad were a distorted, stretched image of an unknown font, so oo-er  :o

I hammed a similar advert up more or less to scale in MS Word, swapping fonts until they matched the figures I needed to change.
After that it was easy - put an opaque rectangle over the bad text; and place good text in WHITE font on transparent background over the top -  :D :D
That gave me clues about how the DTP system works - the key is the Style Manager methinks

I've been looking for a way to export my Scribus styles, but haven't found one yet.
(Makes you thankful for MS Excel & Word's Help files doesn't it?... AND the forums & MVP guys too of course)

All I've done is create a text frame on a blank page and type the rubbish text you see, formatted into 4 paragraphs
NB The First para is a No Style string of characters, followed by Newline;
the other paras use a defined style, of which I have three altogether.

The fonts were all collected from Win 10's fonts folder,

To create the PDF I just did File>Export>Save As... PDF, with everything in that dialog at default settings

I attach as a single set of 5 small files in use
The .SLA story

* a Snip of the Story editor
* Snips of the both tabs in the Default para editorthe PDF result I create from that
I am very grateful for your interest and hope to hear more soon



I would recommend you download the dev version 1.5.5 and try it again to see if it resolves your issue.

I tried your .sla file you posted in 1.5.5, while I dont have the bahnschrift font, when I exported to PDF it created the PDF correctly.... and "searchable".

@digirew  BINGO! That's answered both my questions  :) :) :)


STABLE RELEASE 1.4.8 has serious some shortcomings

* Release 1.4.8 creates a PDF file that is usable by print houses
but has shortcomings in how text is represented in the PDF
* Text appears to be held as images, possibly of each individual character, in a PDF wrapper
Adobe Reader does NOT render it properly
yet browsers CAN render it properly at various zoom levels!Development Version (v1.5.5, Aug 2019)

* PDFs created by v1.5.5 contain textbox content as text strings
with formatting held separately
(I'm guessing: I don't know PDF internals).
* Because the PDF contains text strings it is "searchable"
in the Find dialog of any PDF Reader used
* The Acid Test (for me) is that Adobe Reader renders it perfectlyI was asked, as an IT "expert" (Joke!!!) to advise on DTP software selection,
but I'm a DTP newbie AND a public domain software newbie too,
so not best qualified.
The main DTP user would likely panic at unexpected software crashes
so I took the "cautious" path and chose the Stable Release 1.4.8

It looks like that was not the best route for us.

I'm very grateful to those who have replied to this thread
and particularly to Digirew for his test of my stuff in v1.5.5

Thread SOLVED and One happy customer  :D  says THANK YOU

hi spilly

it's not about post rules, but common sense. if you ask several question at once in a written form, the replies will be hard to read...

i could not read all the details in your further posts and replies, but here some input that could help:

- the development version contain much code that helps with modern fonts. arial is a huge font and won't probably be included as is in a pdf and bahnschrift -- afaik --is a font that if it's not its ttf version will challenge the scribus capabilities.

the text in the pdf you are sharing is all outlined, which is probably to be expected in 1.4.
with 1.5 you will probably obtain some subsetting, and the text will probably be at least partially searchable.

just be careful that you cannot open with scribus 1.4 document that have been saved with 1.5: work on copies of your documents until you're 100% that you want to make the switch to the development version.


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