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Workflow Example: Typesetting a commented game

Typesetting a commented game in easy to read way quickly is not trivial. Using this workflow it typically takes total of 2 hours to typeset 8 pages (A5) of commented game. If done reasonably carefully, results are in par with the best game commentaries in books. Commented game in bulletin5_web.pdf (PDF, 5MB) is done using this workflow.

This workflow uses scribus (1.3.7) and gowrite (2.3.31) to produce a print quality PDF. GOWrite produces EPS files in workflow, and scribus links to these EPS files.

Older versions of these programs do not support this workflow well. Use of different tools probably changes workflow in some ways.

Main goals

Original material

Usually original material is commented game in SGF format. SGF has actual game as mainline, comment text, letters in the board and multiple variations. Comment text may refer to move and board positions by move numbers, letter in board or coordinates.

Needed modifications

Context of comment texts and variations should be clarified. SGF comments assume reader has exactly relevant board position visible, but this is not true in printed material

Text in SGF usually refers implicitly to board position it has been added to. However in printed game commentary this position is not similar to position in SGF viewer. Following lists typical modifications needed to comment text and letters in board.

Often same letter may be present in multiple comments in one diagram. Usually avoiding this requires changes in labels. Also some of labels are often covered with moves in game diagrams. This requires changes in comment text.


Following is the workflow as done in EGC 2010 congress bulletin. Workflow mostly avoids multiple iterations.

Initial work

Add diagrams

Finalize comment text

Some tips

GOWrite (2.3.31 and later) allows adding empty margins to diagram. Adjust these margins so that text flows nicely around (variation) diagram. This way it is usually not necessary to make adjustments diagram by diagram in scribus.

In scribus PDF export select (experimental) “Export PDF and EPS as such” [CHECK]. This creates small vector graphic diagrams into PDF. 



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