Archiving documents

 Here we're going to discuss another aspect of working with your documents. Your document and its layout consists of material from a variety of sources, not just the images and the text, but also the particular fonts you may have chosen. Just as it's important to organize and plan these aspects of your document before you begin your work, you must also consider how these are best archived and transferred. What are the issues?

Why archive?

To fully understand the purposes, consider these points and situations:

  • Images are not included in the Scribus file (except for some simple graphics). Scribus only stores the path to the image file, and this is a relative path, related to the location of the Scribus file on your computer. On another computer, this may be a different relative path, and especially on Scribus running on different operating systems, the file structure may be quite different. If you move either the Scribus file or the image file, Scribus will not find the image.
  • It is most unlikely that two different computers will have all the same fonts available. Thus, someone bringing up your file on a different computer may get a font substitution, and the layout be severely disrupted.

Furthermore, color profiles should be the same from one computer to another, and may or may not be available.

In the archiving process, Scribus can bring all these elements together, so that a concise path structure is created, with all the necessary elements.

Where and how is this useful?

So saving a Scribus file is only a small part of this process, and this is quite different from exporting, which transforms the document into some other noneditable format (at least not editable as we are able to edit the content and layout within Scribus).

Archiving will be useful for:

  • Keeping a particular state of the work at some point in time;
  • Archiving the document for some future use;
  • Sending the document to someone who may edit it, but on some other computer;
  • Using the document yourself on another computer ...

In short, any time you do not have an identical environment, file structure, and resources, archiving is highly useful if not essential, and at the very least, saves considerable time in trying to duplicate the environment and the necessary resources.


Conceptually, this is simple, but does require some concentration to perform the correct steps.

  1. Create a folder for the archive;
  2. In Scribus, select File > Collect for Output;
  3. In the dialog select this folder (the dialog only accepts directories);
  4. In this same dialog, select to include fonts, and color profiles if needed;
  5. Click OK, and Scribus saves your selected items all together in this folder. Note that a copy of your images will be in this folder and all the paths will be adjusted appropriately.
  6. If you wish, you can then compress this folder with zip or some other utility so that it can be sent as a single file to your colleague, or yourself on another computer.
  7. Once saved on the other computer, unzip the file, which recreates the same folder structure. When Scribus opens the file, it will of course be looking in that folder for the images, but also will search that folder for any needed fonts and color profiles.