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Scribus => Layout Issues => Topic started by: sorenfairtragen on May 09, 2016, 04:53:51 pm

Title: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: sorenfairtragen on May 09, 2016, 04:53:51 pm
I crated some white Dots in gimp with no frame and no Background and saved them as tif.

After crating an Image-Frame and Loading the tif it appears to me that Scribus made an grey-Frame around ist which I do not want.

I use Scribus: 1.4.3.

Please help :o)
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: Nermander on May 10, 2016, 08:49:42 am
First question: did you try exporting to PDF and see if it looks right there?

Did you check the properties (F2) of the text frame to see that it is really set to no border or background?
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: a.l.e on May 10, 2016, 11:21:38 am

not sure why you're creating white dots in gimp to use them in scribus?

why aren't you creating them in scribus as white circles (with the shape tools)?
you would then have vector drawings that renders correctly at any size...
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 10, 2016, 11:29:21 am
Following on from Nermander's post, also try menu "View -> Show Frames". It may be that the frame you're seeing is just the one that Scribus displays so you can see where the frames are. These are not exported or printed.

You can also try putting Scribus into Preview Mode (press the "eye" icon at the bottom right of the main window). This should show you how the document will look when exported. Press the "eye" again to go back to "normal" mode.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: sorenfairtragen on May 10, 2016, 11:52:23 am
Thanks a lot for your Ideas!

- pdf does not work because I need transparency in the picture, thats why i chose tiff/png

- I tried you suggestions concerning F2 - properties

- View -> Show Frames ist turnes off

- clicking the "eye" did not help

Maybe it has sth to to with antializing, but I could not make it better in gimp.

Hope the attachment may help us.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: sorenfairtragen on May 10, 2016, 12:36:38 pm

You may have a look in the German Forum:

Thanx again!
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 10, 2016, 03:14:42 pm
Ah, from what I can see it's not a "frame" that you're seeing but an artifact of how Scribus is displaying the image.

As a different type of "fix" - which I think is applicable to images more generally than the one you are working with - try setting the preview mode for the image to "Full Resolution".

For a single image, right-click the image frame then select menu "Preview Settings -> Full Resolution".

For all images, go to menu "File -> Document Setup..." then select the "Tools" section and then the "Image Frame" icon. Then set "On Screen Preview" to "Full Resolution" and OK the dialog.

That should make the "grey outline" and fuzziness go away.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: Nermander on May 10, 2016, 03:35:02 pm
- pdf does not work because I need transparency in the picture, thats why i chose tiff/png
I meant export the Scribus document to PDF to see if it is just something in the preview or if it really ends up in the end result.

And it seems as if that was the case: A display issue that did not show up in the end result.

Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: sorenfairtragen on May 10, 2016, 07:46:17 pm
@Nermander: Now I got U

@GarryP: I changed the setting - Good idea!

Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 11, 2016, 11:22:46 am
I believe this is an obvious case which shows that the Scribus default for displaying images is incorrect.

I think it would be fair to say that the "average" user would assume that Scribus would show their images as they would see them in any image viewer software. In other words, they would assume that the image shown would not be "modified" in any way.

Scribus, out-of-the-box, does not display all images in the way that the average user would expect. Instead, it defaults to displaying images at what it calls "normal resolution" which doesn't always display the image at its best quality. (And what does "normal" mean? To me, "normal" means "as is", or "real" rather than what Scribus seems to think it is.)

This means that a user who doesn't know that Scribus has different preview resolutions - and that's probably most users as the "feature" is hidden away - could, quite easily, assume that Scribus is broken or can't handle images properly.

Example Case: User has a nice high-quality 300dpi image. They put it in an image frame. The image is all blurred and looks awful. They try zooming and various other things but it still looks awful. They conclude that the software is useless for this kind of thing. They move to different software. Scribus looks bad and they tell their friends to steer clear of it.

Fonts would - by default - never be shown blurred or modified in some way by default, so why are some images shown this way? It doesn't make sense to me.

It makes me wonder how many software reviewers have come across this "feature", without knowing it was a "feature" and just dismissed Scribus as a product that doesn't work properly and given it a bad review accordingly. People don't have time to delve deep into the documentation so find out that the software does something differently to what they would expect, especially when it's something as simple as just displaying an image.

To cut a long story short - too late? - in my opinion, Scribus should - out-of-the-box and by default - show images at the best resolution that it can and then it's up the the user to change things if they want to. Displaying things as they are should not be an option, it should be the default.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: Nermander on May 11, 2016, 12:42:36 pm
The lower pre-view resolution was implemented to speed up Scribus. Rendering full images takes resources.

This is what used to happen before: User had a pile of nice high-quality 300dpi image. They put them in a document. Scribus became awfully slow, it took several seconds just to scroll half a page. They concluded that the software was useless for this kind of thing. They moved to different software.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 11, 2016, 02:56:32 pm
I totally understand that side of the argument but I can't agree with the rationale behind it.

Surely it is better for Scribus to show things looking their best from the start for all users rather than "hamstringing" all users just in case some people want to do things that their computers can't handle well. Automatically making all documents potentially look worse than they could just because some people try and do too much with limited equipment isn't really a good reason to me.

I realise that a lot of people don't have very fast machines - I was using an underpowered Mac for years. If Scribus is slowing down then people have lots of options for making it faster, they only have to look for them or ask someone. I just don't think it's right to assume that people will understand that the software has deliberately made their documents look worse because some other people can't be bothered to look for answers.

Deliberately lowering the resolution of some images without any explanation to the user - i.e. without their knowledge - isn't the right way to go on in my books.

I would say that a fair compromise would be to default to "full resolution" (which can be changed at any time, as it is now) while giving the user the chance to set/change it on the "New Document" dialog. This way, the option is up-front where everyone can see it - and therefore knows about it - and a good explanation can be given as to what should be used for what type of document (e.g. "full" for small documents, "normal" for documents with many large images) and how to change it later.

Another - more complicated to code - option would be to draw a little icon in a corner of the image frame that tells the user when the image isn't being drawn to full resolution. They can click the icon to change the preview settings.

There are probably a lot of other different ways to do this but I think something on the "New Document" dialog would be easy to introduce and make the user aware of what's going on.

Note: Preview Mode doesn't change the images to "full resolution", which I would have thought it should. It's for seeing the document as it will be exported so I would expect it to show the images at "export resolution". I don't know if that's a bug or whether I've misinterpreted it but I'd say that a preview was a way of seeing something as it will really be.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: utnik on May 11, 2016, 06:55:55 pm
hi garry

i like coffee breaks – but i dislike software defined breaks.
IMHO to have some real flow in the workflow is more essential than high resolution images while working on a layout.

for a newbie it may be hard to find the preview resolution settings – i see your point there. but i'm not sure if the same newbie wold find out why scribus is so slow…

btw. it's not uncommon practice to set some intermediate r
esolution as default. (as i remember, the options in inDesign have been 'fast', 'typical' and 'high'…

Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: Nermander on May 12, 2016, 10:36:36 am
99% of all images will be shown in screen in a lower resolution than they will be printed, because screens have a lower resolution than printers.

The problem here might be that the algorithm Scribus uses to lower the resolution is not the best.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 12, 2016, 11:13:23 am
Hi utnik.

I get where you're coming from but I still think Scribus is being a bit "tricky" about this.

A music editor application wouldn't, by default and without telling the user, remove the sound from the left speaker so there was less to hear. A word processor wouldn't, by default, remove the vowels from a document so there was less to read. So why would DTP software, by default, "de-res" images so there was less to display? Sure, give the user the tools to do so if they want to but don't do it without telling them up-front what's happening.

From an experienced user's view, what Scribus is doing is a useful thing. It's making it easier for the user to browse the document by taking away some of the overhead of throwing large rasters around. But from the beginner's point of view it's just made the images look worse without any warning or saying how the situation can change.

And it's probably not just beginners. How many experienced Scribus users actually know that this sort of thing is going on? I'd be willing to bet that it's not a majority. If you get used to software doing something but don't know why you end up just accepting it as "just what it does" and end up forgetting that something is different/wrong after a while. That's basic human behaviour.

I'd guess that if someone polled the Scribus community with the question: "Did you know that Scribus was, without your knowledge, modifying your images before it displayed them?" the number of yes-votes would be quite small. (I could well be wrong but I don't think I would be.)

I would say that a compromise would be:
* Rename the "Preview Setting" menus/preferences as "Display Resolution" (or something more relevant). These things have nothing to do with either of the preview functions so the apparent connection is misleading. Renaming to something about resolution also prompts the user about what it's for.
* Add an extra section to the "New Document" dialog to allow the user to choose what the default "display resolution" should be. I'm not really bothered what the default is for this, as long as the difference is properly explained to the user and they're told how to change it later.
* Add a new checkbox to this new section - and where relevant in preferences - for a new "Force full resolution display of images in preview" function. This way, when people use print preview or the preview mode they will see exactly how the document will look when exported rather than just a "tidied up" version of the document without guides etc.

As long as Scribus is up-front about what's going on then that's fine with me. The problem I have is that it's doing things behind the scenes without the user knowing what's going on. If the user assumes that what's on-screen is what's going to the exported - and why shouldn't they? they don't know any different because they've had no warning - then problems could occur when they take things to be printed.

I realise that there isn't really a "right" answer to this. Scribus is doing things right for some very good reasons, but it is also doing the same things wrong for some other equally valid reasons. There isn't a "one answer fixes the problem" way of doing things.

I can see this discussion going back and forth until the end of time because there's no end to it. Each "side" is right for different reasons so there can be no "true" resolution. All I ask is that some compromise be implemented where the user is told about what's happening up-front so they can make the choice for themselves rather than Scribus making it for them without telling them about what it's done. Let the user decide.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: a.l.e on May 12, 2016, 11:40:48 am
i don't want to get into your analogies (still missing a car analogy... :-) but

- i don't think that preview should switch to full resolution... create a pdf for that.
- not sure if the user really expects the monitor to be reliable by default (as others also wrote)

and for the proposals:

- renaming to "display resolution" or similar: it's better than the current one... i still don't like "resolution", though (once we have something perfect, we can add it to the issue tracker!)
- don't add anything to the "new document" dialog. please. we have to remove things from there, not add any. (you're proposal is typical for that: a user is very unlikely to choose a different preview settings for a document when creating it... it's just the same as the units: no need to have them in the new document dialog).

really, i have the feeling that we have to make scribus simpler, not more complex.
the interface should become more expressive, so that people can easily find how to achieve their goals.
i don't believe that we can help them by replicating the same settings over and over at different places. on the contrary, we should make it very clear that there is a single place where you can find each thing. (not 100% possible, of course... but i hope you get what my message is)

the "new dialog" is the common place where everybody has to go thorough. it should contain the minimal common part.
the next step is different for for every user and we should help each of them to setup the document in the fastest and most comfortable way: you should have a fast access to the full settings and fine tune your document.

and what nermander says about the algorithm is worth to be looked at. really! does anybody want to create a ticket in the bug tracker with images that are optimized in a bad way?
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 12, 2016, 12:26:10 pm
Thanks for adding to the discussion a.l.e.

I can't think of a good car analogy. "Would a car manufacturer apply a speed limit of 30MPH just in case you wanted to drive too fast?" No, that doesn't really work.

Anyway, I'll reply to your points as best as I can from my point of view.

If the preview mode shouldn't show things as they would be exported, then what's the preview mode actually for? Is it more of a "tidy" mode? If so, it should be renamed to remove confusion.

I don't think many users would expect their monitor to show images at print resolutions but with HD/Retina screens we're getting close. And what about when we have 4K monitors and laptop screens? They'll probably be here soon so it might be worth thinking about this now while there's time to do something about it and do a bit of future-proofing.

I'd much prefer to rename the menus/options to something that mentions "display" but I'm not bothered about "resolution". As long as it tells the user what it's actually about then that's fine. Semantic user interfaces etc.

I'm not sure about making the "New Document" dialog simpler instead of adding to it. Personally I often change the UOM when I'm creating a document as I measure the original using MM then switch back to PT for editing. I don't have a ruler that measures in PTs! If I couldn't specify the UOM when I'm making the new document it would make things very difficult. Not everyone uses A4/Letter.

I'm all for making Scribus simpler to use. I'm also behind any work on removing the current preferences/document-set-up confusion (it's very difficult to know if you're changing a global setting or a document one). If more of the "preferences" could be brought out into the main interface then I think that would be good. For instance, in this case, would a new icon near the preview mode eye for switching document-wide image resolutions do the job better? There's plenty of space for it.

I'm thinking that the Properties Palette might be a good place to have a new "Document (or Page, or both) Properties" tab which gives the user direct access to a lot of functions that are currently in preferences, such as: page orientation; grid spacing; margin sizes; baseline settings; etc.

There are too many things that are "hidden away" in the preferences that could be brought "into the light", so to speak.

My earlier suggestions were ways of fitting things into how Scribus already works in the simplest way but if we can dream of a brighter, more efficient, tomorrow then that's all the better.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: a.l.e on May 12, 2016, 02:31:25 pm
the "new document" in my experience:

- personally, i try to get out of there as soon as possible and then start setting up my document (there is much more to do than what is possible to add into there...)
- when i introduce people to scribus, the "file > new" is the first they see from scribus. they're basically lost.
- over and over, we get questions from beginners who oversee the simplest things that are in the new document dialog

that's why i would prefer to remove from there all the things that are easily achieved later on.

concerning the properties palette: my dream is to have it split in two, one context sensitive for the content and one for the frames.
the context sensitive one, would then (very likely) show the page / document settings (button) as you suggest.
we will -- probably -- be going in that direction with 1.5.4...

the settings and preferences dialogs are of course a hard to thing to solve in a good way. but i fully agree with you that the way scribus currently splits them is not friendly.
i would tend to go in the direction of having only documents settings, that can then be promoted as general settings, as soon as a document is open.
and one would define the preferences when no document is open.
but i don't have a good solution for it yet.

(our opinion diverges on grids :-) ... i think that scribus should not have the grid as it current it's implemented: it's a vector graphics thing that in my experience leads to bad results when applied to DTP. but i would like to have an optional local grid when editing the shapes nodes!)

and, of course, we all different opinion and try to find out what is good for scribus: it's a long way :-)
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: Nermander on May 12, 2016, 03:28:37 pm
So why would DTP software, by default, "de-res" images so there was less to display?
Because, as I wrote, the screen has a lower resolution than the printer.

Even when Scribus is showing the "full resolution" preview it is not showing the full resolution.

So there are at least two steps of reduction involved in the display of images on screen.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: GarryP on May 12, 2016, 05:04:12 pm

I'm all for simpler dialogs - as long as they let you do what you need to do - but I'd say that the set-up of the document would be one of the first things you'd want to do so taking stuff away from that dialog would just mean more work to do later. Maybe there's a way of adding an "Advanced" extension to the dialog so users who just want the basic set-up only see the basic stuff and other people can open the advanced settings. Best of both worlds?

A context-sensitive PP sounds good. The work on the IndigoDock looks like it will help there.

For the settings/preferences, would it not be a good idea to split them into "general" settings and "document" settings? Stuff that's relevant to Scribus as a whole - external tools etc. - could go in one "general" dialog, and the rest could go in another, for "document" settings. If there's a document open then these "document" settings will apply to the current document, and if there's no document open then they are the "default" settings. It's just a thought and I've probably overlooked something major. (I realise that we already have Preferences and Document Setup but they show the same things which is why they're confusing. Making the split will make it better.)

The grid is very useful for drawing vector shapes but it has some quirks that mean it's not quite right yet. I'd never recommend anyone using it for page layout. (I just mentioned the grid as an example of what could go into one of the PP tabs, it's not an issue here.)


I realise that the screen is usually at a lower resolution than a printer when you are viewing a document at 100% but what about when you are zoomed in? Zoom in on a "de-rezed" image and it just looks blurry and awful; the user is not seeing the full image. What I mean by "Full resolution" in this case means, I suppose, "draw every pixel" instead of "draw what you think should be a good approximation". That's all you can ask for given the limitations of the output device; I didn't expect it to do anything more than that.

Having said that though, if there's a funky way that Scribus can automatically de-rez an image - on the fly depending on document zoom + image DPI + screeen - to exactly match the display resolution pixel-for-pixel then that would be fine. No-one would be any the wiser in that case. It's when you can clearly see that the image has been de-rezed that it becomes an issue, and that was my point.
Title: Re: Frame in a tif I do not want
Post by: a.l.e on May 13, 2016, 11:49:51 am
concerning the new document dialog: i fear that discussing what should be in or out based on personal preferences won't bring us much further...

if one day i have some spare time, i would like to write down a small set of use cases and see what's the best UI for them...

creating a document and setting it up according to a task is what people do as soon as they meet the scribus... and they should have a good experience!