[Scribus] How to place text in a box

John Beardmore John
Tue Mar 25 00:18:17 CET 2008

Chris Bergstresser wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 7:56 AM, John Beardmore <John at t4sltd.co.uk> wrote:
>>  >    You know, I'm going to say any typographic convention in common
>>  > usage in Victorian times counts as a "basic typesetting function".
>>  It may have been common, (quantify ?), but that doesn't mean that it's a
>>  'primitive', or 'basic to', modern type setting practice or algorithms.
>    Sadly, the British Library's archive isn't publicly accessible,
> which would be the best resource for this sort of thing.  But I'm
> browsing through the online Brooklyn Daily Eagle for December 1, 1902,
> and in 20 pages I've found maybe a dozen examples of what I'm talking
> about -- text set apart in boxes (decorative and otherwise) that needs
> to flow with the text both before and after it.  And that's not
> counting the dozens of tables, which suffer from the same problem.
>    Note that I'm *not* referring to the title inset in the upper
> border; that's also something I'd like but without the ability to have
> boxes that flow it's kind of moot.
>>  More to the point, if I pulled a hundred books off my shelves, I dount
>>  more than 1% would use text in a box in quite the way you describe.
>    I'll certainly agree it's not as common in typesetting books
> (although more common in modern books than before).

Maybe, but the question I guess is 'how much decoration do you want ?'.

>>  ... the feature you are requesting could be implemented in
>>  vast number of styles, or alternatively have highly configurable style.
>>  That either means that a less general purpose, but more specific to your
>>  needs, tool is produced...
>>  ...or that the type of feature you want is added in a highly
>>  configurable way, in which case it needs a lot of user interface, and
>>  becomes a voluminous task, even if not algorithmically challenging.
>    I don't disagree, if you wanted to do it *right* you'd have to
> allow things like decorative spacers, individually configurable sides
> (show borders on all but the right side), specify if borders should
> appear between paragraphs as well, set the inset margin for each
> border separately, specify if you want text to appear over the borders
> and the style of that text if you do, etc, etc, etc ...  Word has a
> serviceable interface for about half of this, and Illustrator has a
> serviceable interface for roughly the other half.

Unlucky !

Is OO any help ?  It certainly seems to support anchoring a frame to a 
page and flowing text around it.

I find OO an uphill struggle for large complex documents though.  I'm 
co-authoring "Solar Water Heating and Dairy Farming ? Potential in the 
Peak District National Park, Review of technology & issues" and am 
getting very pissed with OO Writer.  If only we'd know about Scribus 
when we started this one !  The next work in progress on liquid biofuels 
has already begun in Scribus.

>    But really, just allowing you to draw a line border around a given
> paragraph style, and specify the line weight, is most of what you
> need.  I also kind of need the inset font on the top border, and
> that'd be a nice feature as well, but I'll concede it's an
> idiosyncratic need.

Yes -  and I suspect that the level of decoration you want is perhaps a 
bit of a niche too.

>>  I guess you could submit a feature request, but as you think it "doesn't
>>  seem like a specially difficult", and the source is open, why not have a
>>  go ?
>    Because I program Java, Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, JavaScript, and a
> slew of statistical languages.  Also Pascal and Visual Basic, if those
> count.  But I *don't* program C++.  I literally wouldn't know where to
> start.

OK -  I'll concede that the learning curve may be a bit steep if your 
time is short.  The guys who are writing Scribus sure are doing us a 
huge favour !

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Carbon Trust Consultant: Energy Audit, Carbon Footprint, Design Advice
Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme, (EEAS), Registered Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

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