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i agree that press could be more precise, but i fear that most people will not understand it correctly...

the first meaning that comes to my mind is newspapers, then compacting... at some time i would think about the a print press... but just because i'm in scribus :-)

i would love it, if you could solve this issue, since it's something that has produces lot of questions over the years but and the more i read new proposals the more i think this option should be split in multiple ones that are easy to understand...

but if anybody comes with a better wording i will fully support the change!

p.s.: sadly, it seems that "Printer" is not the same as "CMYK Separation"... it depends on the profile that has been used... as jean wrote.

p.p.s.: maybe we should ask jean what the option exactly does... or go through the code, find it out and document it!


I'm not sure how many people coming to Scribus will know what a printing press is. Most printing these days is done with a home/office printer and, as Nermander says, a lot of "print shops" are just places that have a big laser printer. Also, as a.l.e mentioned, "press" for some people will mean "newspaper", i.e. "the conference room was full of press men".

I realise that a lot of printing is still done around the world on actual presses - especially where electricity isn't readily available - but if we're talking about doing something with the output from Scribus then it will have to go through some kind of digital equipment. And for most people it will be inkjet/laser printed.

I'm guessing that very few Scribus users will have their output put through a real professional print machine (whatever I mean by that given the number of different types) but I assume the ones that do will know more about what they're doing than the average user.

As has been said above, it's all a matter of wording and nothing will be perfect because of the sheer number of variations in processes but if whatever is used makes sense to the majority of users while giving the pros a way of doing things their way then that will help.

I added the "(CMYK Separation)" bit to the text to make it look scary to beginners - they'll stay away from it - but also to let the pros know what they can use if they want to but if that's wrong then I'm happy for other wording.

None of my stuff gets printed on anything other than a common or garden home/office printer so this is not my area of expertise but I'm trying to come from the angle of the "average Scribus user" (whoever they might be).

Just to add a bit more spice to the recipe: Maybe there's a better way of doing this. Perhaps there's a way of putting Scribus in "Professional Mode" that opens up all of the pro stuff (like CMYK separation, etc.) while "Normal Mode" only lets the user do stuff with RGB. The average user isn't troubled by options they don't know what they're doing with while the pros have all of the toys to play with. It's a thought, but I can't see it happening.

P.S. I like the idea of asking what the various options actually do though I'm not sure the explanation would fit into a drop-down box or a tool tip!


I have an alternative suggestion which starts with a question.

Q. Would you ever want to get a colour separation without using properly set-up colour management?

Here's my thought process behind the question:

As far as my basic knowledge of printing goes, colour management is used to make sure that the colour you're seeing on the screen will be analogous to that seen on the printed page.

If that is correct then you would not want to get a colour separation without using colour management as you wouldn't otherwise know what you would get at the end of the printing process.

If that is correct then colour management must be switched on before you try and produce a colour separated PDF.

If that is correct then wouldn't it be sensible to omit the "Printer/Print Shop" option from the "Output Intended For" drop-down unless colour management was switched on?

That way, people not using colour management would not see the confusing option while people using colour management would be able to use it.

I thought I'd add that to the discussion to see what people thought.

On top of that, and taking the idea a bit further...

Q. Would you ever use CMYK colours without using colour management?

Again, from my basic knowledge of printing, you would only need CMYK colours if you were going to get the output printed using a CMYK printer. (Otherwise RGB will do the job just nicely.)

If that is correct then, if CMYK is only properly usable when colour management is switched on, the use of CMYK colours is only sensible when colour management is switched on.

If that is correct then being able to specify and use CMYK colours should only be possible if colour management is switched on.

If that is correct then users should only be able to use RGB colours unless colour management was switched on.

I realise that this might be taking things a bit far but it doesn't sound to far-out to me. What's the point of using CMYK if you're not going to print to a CMYK printer? Maybe CMYK should be hidden completely unless colour management is switched on.

I also realise that most people don't know how to properly set-up colour management so the above might sound like a restriction but I think it will make things a lot simpler for the average user and stop people blaming Scribus for dodgy output (not that I've heard of that happening so far).

Essentially you restrict users to RGB unless they activate colour management. If they activate colour management then it's up to them to set it up properly. There should not be any default values when they activate it. The user should have to specifically make choices which are theirs alone and they have no-one else to blame if they get it wrong. If you don't know what you're doing then don't use it.

What do people think?


Here's my 5 cents  :D

My understanding is that most applications write to RGB except those specifically used for printing, but this is even changing with the new digital presses.  I can print RGB files just fine on my Canon C800, you just have to understand how to set up the color profiling for the press before you do...  Most "small" print shops that I work with do not hassle color management and the larger ones only use one, maybe two specific profiles.  Also the the wide format ink jets have no problems printing RGB files.  Color management has its place, but only for high end crucial projects.  I would prefer to see pdf output named with the files resolution vs. an actual name, maybe both... and this does not even take into consideration of lpi (lines per inch) in printing.  Every R.I.P (raster image processor) can reproduce higher level dpi based on the maximum lpi the software interprets... see  for an interesting explanation, but usually it is double the lpi which the RIP interprets, is the DPI needed for the photos.  I do business with a printshop that has a RIP at 400lpi, so technically all photos in the artwork should be 800 dpi for maximum quality... but I digress. Here are my possible suggestions for pdf naming:

72/96 dpi/ppi - Screen/Monitor
150/225 dpi - Desktop Printing
400/600 dpi - Profession Printing




A very interesting article mnawij, thanks for sharing it.

While reading it I had to search for other information and came across these other articles that people might be interested in:

1. Difference between offset printing and digital printing

2. Tips for preparing for printing
(It's for Publisher but a lot of the tips apply just as well to Scribus such as: discussing needs with the print shop; choosing the right colour model; etc.)

3. How to choose the best paper weight
(It's by the same company as link 1 but it's interesting anyway.)

I think it would be great if some people like yourself who really know what they're talking about could come up with a guide for Scribus users who want to get their stuff printed professionally. If people are told what they need to know and do before they start it would probably make things a lot easer for all of the people involved (creators and printers).

It wouldn't need to be very long, just a series of steps that people should take before they start to create their document with some general guides as to what to watch out for. Or maybe just a curated Wiki page containing links to articles such as the one you supplied. A sort of one-stop-shop for people wanting to get stuff professionally printed.

It's just a thought.