[scribus] Embarassing newbie questions...

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Tue Dec 29 19:31:44 CET 2009

On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 16:27:35 +0100
Henrik Larsen <henrikslarsen at hotmail.com> dijo:

>Hi, new to the list, new to Scribus. I have been watching the video
>tutorials and reading pages of text about using this crafty tool, but
>some things just are not adding up, and I seem to be looking in the
>wrong places. So here I am, with questions no doubt asked hundreds of
>times before...
>First, how do I get a simple flowing text? I mean this like text in a
>word processor like OpenOffice Writer or MS Word: I put in a text, and
>it just continues across the pages? Currently, I need to put a
>fullsize textbox into every page (by hand, no less) and connect them
>to get a continued text that takes up multiple pages. With fifty pages
>of text, that is not very practical.
>Second, I've gone through the Table of Content tutorials, but they
>look insanely complex to me. In both OO Writer and MS Word, a ToC is
>made by pushing a button, and it collects the headers you have. It
>seems to me there must be a way to simply have Scribus check where in
>the document a certain 'header' style is used, and insert all of those
>automatically (and I assume there is a way it automatically makes them
>links, too?). Also, how do I do a ToC where different levels of
>headers have their own styles? For example, Header 1 type titles are
>bold, Header 2 titles (subsections of the 1s) are italic.
>I hope someone can answer these things. The people at the OpenOffice
>forums tell me my expanding layout needs are better met by Scribus
>than by Writer, so I hope to find a lot of neat and efficient ways to
>use it. I am just tripping over newbie problems, it seems :(

As others have noted, the way to make text flow automatically is with
automatic frames. 

Regarding the ToC issues, I can't answer if you are using the stable
version (1.3.3.x), as I never used it enough to know if it has a ToC
feature. But in there is a script to create a ToC. From your
description it sounds as though you are using, because my
experience is the same as yours - that is, I found it very confusing
and limiting. I finally went back to the original OOo text document and
created the ToC there, then pasted into Scribus. After finishing the
Scribus document I went into the ToC page and manually changed the page
numbers. It was faster and less frustrating than trying to get the
script to do what I wanted it to do.

Having said all of that, I wish to discuss something that newcomers to
Scribus usually find confusing. There is a fundamental difference
between any text editor and any layout app. Text editors are designed
for continuous text flow. Layout apps are page based. In a layout app
each page is an object that exists independently. 

Suppose you have a word processor document of, say, 50 pages. You
insert a half-page graphic with text wrap on page 5. The word processor
will immediately flow the text out of the way of the graphic and add a
half page to the end of the document to hold the additional text. But
if you have a similar layout app document and you do the same thing,
the number of pages remains the same. When you turn on text wrap for
the graphic the text will flow out of the way but, even if all the text
is in linked frames, no additional pages are created. In a layout app
the page is king and it is up to the user to decide how many there
should be. 

The page-oriented way that layout apps work is a terrific advantage when
creating design intensive document. When you place something on a page
it stays exactly where you put it. Once you get used to this you will
discover that word processors drive you crazy the way stuff is always
popping onto the next page. Word processors are great for writing, but
frustrating when you try to use them for layout.

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