Ok, in case you don’t know, there’s an awesome site known as stampalbums.com. A gentleman by the name of Bill Steiner sells album pages as PDFs for almost every country in the Scott Catalog.
But, unlike me, Bill only provides PDFs for you to download and print. But what if you wanted to modify these pages in some way?
If you want to do minor edits and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars and software, you can use either Libreoffice or Scribus to edit the PDFs. What you choose to use, really depending on your needs.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of each solution
If you want to edit the text of the Steiner Pages, LibreOffice is your best bet. However there is one drawback: centering of text. Let me demonstrate by showing you this screenshot of a file opened in Libreoffice. This is Bill Steiner’s Ukraine 2013 supplement, page 1:
Ok, there are a few things you should notice about this picture. Tree Leaves and Fruit is outlined in blue, because I clicked inside the text to edit it. Here is where you’ll have some work to do:
- The text “Tree Leaves and Fruit” is not centered inside the box it is in
- The font in the upper left hand corner (Helvetica) is italicized
So, here is where the problem comes in. The font is shown italicized, because you don’t have the font installed that Bill used when he designed the page. At least I don’t.
The other problem is that, since the text is not centered inside the text box, it is no longer centered on the page. Depending on which page you edit, this is sometimes more noticeable than on other pages.. So, if you’re as anal retentive as I am when it comes to this stuff, you need to clean it up by shrinking the text box and re-centering everything.
The difference in this example is small, but for some of the text on these pages it can look pretty bad. But, if you want to edit text and use one of these free tools. Libreoffice is the only way to go.
Which, of course, will let you do other fancy stuff, if you want:
Now, if you’re planning to do something like get rid of the border and don’t feel like editing and re-centering a ton of text, then Scribus may be the way to go.
Here’s the same page opened in Scribus:
The reason why the whole thing is pink, is because I selected it. Scribus keeps the whole page grouped. Press Shift+CTRL+G to ungroup it:
So, notice the box around each individual letter? That’s because Scribus imports each letter individually, rather than one text box.
So, what do you get from this?
Well, you lose the ability to edit the text, but the text stays right where Bill Steiner put it. So, everything is still centered.
The only thing this is horribly useful for is removing the border without having to recenter all the text on the page:
Useful if you’re going to print on someone else’s pages that have a border already.
If there are other free ways to open and edit these files, please let me know and I will add to this page.