[scribus] workaround for bigger-than-screen Preferences dialog

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 9 22:46:21 CEST 2009

I recently bought a netbook (Dell 2100 N), which I would advise anyone 
considering a netbook to consider. First of all, an option is to have it 
come with Ubuntu pre-installed. The main value to me is that I 
immediately know that at least _some_ version of Linux will manage the 
hardware issues. Without getting into any distro-bashing, I'll just go 
on to say that as soon as I could, I replaced Ubuntu with Fedora 11, 
mainly because I'm more comfortable with it, and have lots of experience 
compiling Scribus on Fedora. [One of the lame things about this 
factory-installed Ubuntu is that you lose >5GB of your 16GB SSD to a 
vfat "rescue partition", which, if you booted into by mistake or on 
purpose, would completely blow away any data you might have saved in 
Ubuntu and restore you to a pristine factory-installed state. (ie, 
Dell-Linux for Dummies)]

Ok, getting back to this list, once I had Fedora, then I knew all about 
SVN and cmake and compiling Scribus. Everything went well until I opened 
File > Preferences, and noted that the Preferences dialog ends up being 
taller than the 576 pixels this netbook can manage. The problem this 
causes is that you might be able to make various changes in your 
Preferences, but how do you save them? Eventually I figured out that I 
could make changes, then press Alt+O as an equivalent for the Ok button. 
I would add at this point that, in contrast to some other apps with this 
problem, you cannot Tab to the offscreen Ok button -- it seems to get 
stuck at the first offscreen button, regardless of whether you're doing 
Tab or Shift+Tab.

The Solution:
Eventually, with some playing around that many of us Linux users are 
prone to, I can report that, at least with Fedora 11 and KDE, if you 
click on the little icon in the upperleft part of the title bar, you can 
then select Advanced > Special Window Settings, where you can check the 
Size checkbox, THEN click the drop down list that says Do Not Affect, 
where you can click on an item Force. NOW you can change the settings, 
which for my computer specified a height of 683 pixels, to something 
that is somewhere onscreen. Note that once you do this, after you click 
Apply, Click Ok in the Advanced Settings dialog, you must Quit and 
restart Scribus to check out your changes.

This is not the total solution. What you will find in the dialog is that 
some tabs contain more lines of text than will fit in the newly shrunken 
dialog. In addition, no slider appears to allow access to the missing 
information. So in the General tab, you must reduce the size of the 
font, more specifically Font Size (Menus) so that everything fits in the 
dialog (I can manage 6-7 points). Click Apply and you see your result 
onscreen. I would add that changing the font size does not affect the 
dialog size, in case you wondered.

Having gone through all this, my suspicion is that an alternative 
approach is somewhere in the bowels of Qt -- at least it seems sensible 
that Qt should be paying attention to my display settings. If I figure 
this out I will post an update.


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