why do my images disappear - and why are .sla files so small? (related, maybe?)

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Okay, this is crazy, because there are at least two Joys here with the exact same problem. I'm using Windows 10. I'm using Scribus to publish journals, from 120-250 pages in length. I'm using Master Pages to duplicate pages, some as many as 50 pages of the same Master Page.

I can have Scribus open, have 90% of the images showing up, then scroll back up to make sure everything is in place and find that some of the images have disappeared. I haven't been able to figure out any rhyme or reason as to which images disappear, or when. I've been publishing using this program for five years. Most of my journals are 95% full page images. (images within the borders, or in some cases the image is the size of the full page)

Usually it happens when I close the program and then open it back up to continue working. But it can also happen during a session while I'm sitting right here, after I take a break, whenever. I remember at one point writing down everything I was doing in a log to try to find the logic and gave up.

When this happens, I have to edit the master pages, and get the image again. It pops back into place like the other Joy said.
I'm using the same files, in the same directory where they were when placed. I haven't changed the file location or the individual pages or the document itself.

What I'm wondering is if this might have something to do with taking some of the images from Scrapbook files. Those file locations and/or names were changed. I've made Scrapbook "pages" after getting everything in the proper location on a page, then saving it to the Scrapbook. I place the Scrapbook "page" in place on a document page, then save it as a Master Page. But when I go back to the document later, the image isn't there. But that also happens with pages that aren't Master Pages. However, the original image file location is in the same place as it was all along. The pages also aren't showing up with an image in Extras>Manage Images. 

I'm trying to find some answer by making changes, doing test pages and seeing what is showing up in Extras>Manage Images.

I also realize that in the original book, done in 2015, the files were saved onto a flash drive. So, I moved them onto the hard drive before starting this edition of the same book. But in doing this book, I'm going to the hard drive to get the image. So it doesn't seem like that would be considered moving the file, since it hasn't changed location since opening this 2020 edition document. Yes? No?

I need a forensic scientist! The other Joy probably does too.


I am replying with some ideas because (a) I chipped in earlier and (b) I am in favour of troubleshooting by "forensic science" rather than guesswork.

I now use Ubuntu but the same principles apply in Windows.

a.l.e in an earlier post advanced a theory:

Quote- they don't have enough memory at disposal

To test this theory I would close down all applications which are heavy users of memory (images take up a lot of memory). Your browser extensions and tabs take up memory.
Keep in background a tool to monitor memory usage while running Scribus.

In Ubuntu I use Stacer for monitoring performance but in Windows you might use Performance Monitor and/or Resource Monitor.

I remember many such tools at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/

This was posted earlier:

QuoteI now think that this problem has to do with leaving the file saved but open in Scribus, instead of saving and then closing Scribus any time I might step away from my computer.  If I make sure the file is saved with the photos, then close Scribus, and then reopen the file later, the images don't seem to disappear.  But if I save the file and close my computer, or let it "go to sleep," without closing Scribus, then sometimes the images do disappear and I have to reload them.

To me it seems risky to leave open a large file open without having timestamps of document state (which might be dumped every 5 minutes). In other tools I keep a sequence of three backups which I can return to in event of a crash.

Earlier thread discussed autosave file.


And I found save options in File > Document Setup > Saving & Undo


What I would try is:

1. Create a document with pictures, then store it and leave scribus.
2. Copy thus (sla-) file to another name, f.ex. test.sla => test_2.sla
3. Start scribus again and work with the copied file.
If the error occurs, save and leave scribus, then....
Open the first file and the second one, each in a separate text editor. There I'd look for the line with the picture's file path. Is this path different? And when, how look the two path lines?

Maybe this gives some idea what could have happened.



I'm an absolute Scribus beginner. I've been using the program now for 2 months. I have a similar issue with images not appearing. The rather strange thing is that the cross in the "image frame" is also not appearing. Perhaps I accidentally changed some settings without realising it. How come the cross in the "image frame" is not showing and could that relate to my issue of images not appearing? Thanks in advance for any reply.


Note that if you do experience this and you haven't moved the images, if you double click on the red frame and re-link, all of your image sizing/etc. will be retained.   The relinking feature is quite nicely done and saves you from having to start from scratch with any given image.
Also note that if you use a NAS other other networked storage device to hold your photos, and you're on a Mac, if the Mac loses touch with the device, Scribus will most likely show the red frames for those photos