[Scribus] line spacing, sections, and styles

Peter Dinnan pral
Tue May 16 01:05:47 CEST 2006

On Monday 15 May 2006 14:14, Michael Koren wrote:
> I'm trying to figure out the best way to set the spacing between different
> bocks of text, such as between headings / subheadings / body text and
> between the end of one section and the next heading/subheading...
>      ...not really familiar with the way different line spacing modes,
> paragraph space before/after, baseline snap, etc. are used together in DTP.
> Thanks,
> Michael
> --

Hi Michael,

A baseline is non printable 'horizontal' lines that are used to line up blocks 
of text when 'two or more' columns are used on a page (and/or two or more 
pages are used in a document).

1) In order to be effective the baseline needs to be set up based on a 

2) That reference is usually the body text size (eg 12 points - pt), line 
spacing (leading - pronounced leding) and the document Top margin guide 

So... to set up the baseline; Take note of your font size, leading and Top 
margin guide; 

1) Go to File/Document Setup then click on Guides (as this point I'd better 
mention I'm using v1.3.3.1).

2) On the right hand side you'll see Baseline Settings - 

 A) Set the offset to the Top margin guide size (if you're using Scribus 
default, it'll be 3.00p (picas)

B) The box above that - Baseline Grid - is the leading. The leading for a font  
is usually 20% greater than the font point size  ...so, a 12pt font will have 
a leading of 14.4pt (12 x 1.2). In this box it's referred to as a % so set it 
to 1.20 (this is the default - 20% greater than the font size). 

Oh, if your leading is not 20% greater than the font size (Properties 
Pallette/Text) then set it - otherwise it could screw up everthing I'm 
attempting to explain here.

Click OK and then go to View/Show Baseline Grid - you'll see the baseline grid 
starts on the the top margin (you'll have to uncheck 'Show Margins' if on to 
see top line). To snap text to the baseline - Properties Pallette/Text; Click 
and hold down the icon on the left side of Line Spacing box - there's a fly 
out, check 'align to baseline grid'. 

Use the baseline as a guide for your graphics, keylines etc as well  ;-) 

OK, that sets up the baseline grid for your document now let's get onto 
headings/subs (sub headings).

1) I always use different layers for body text, headings and depending on the 
subs (font point size), a different layer for those as well. Also, I use 
different layers for graphics, keylines, pdf import and so on...  it's a good 
habit and I suggest doing so   :-)

2) Here's the important stuff - and in answer to part of your post;

A) In order to keep everything aligned with the baseline the leading should 
(must) be based on the 'document baseline leading setup'. If you're using a 
heading/sub that's much bigger (point size) than your body text (and you will 
be) then make sure your leading is based on multiples (x2, x3, x4 etc) of the 
leading setup... for example if your document baseline leading is 14.4pt then 
for headings (depending on size) set it to 28.8 (x2), 43.2 (x3), 57.6 (x4) 
and so on.   I hope I've explained this clearly?

B) Set up Heading/sub styles in 'Paragraph Styles'  (Edit/Paragraph Styles) - 
Give your style a useful name eg H1 (heading 1) followed by the font name + 
font size (example only, make up your own).

1) Make sure your leading is based on one of the multiples as mentioned above.

2) Click/hold down icon left side of leading box to check 'align to baseline 
grid'  ...only if you want to (Is there a bug here?  because if it's checked 
the leading reverts to the document leading setup and requires using the 
'enter/return' key in the story editor/Frame to correctly space/snap the 

3) In light of the above - stay with the default (don't bother clicking on the 
icon) and when back in the document pull the text frame down to the baseline. 
hint - use a magnification of 200% or so.

4) To manually change the leading (it's quite trendy in my country to close it 
right up), highlight the text you want to shift, go into Text on the 
Properties Pallette and use the Offset box (top right side).

Well, a longwinded post this  :-)   

I hope your questions have been answered.



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