[scribus] Soft shadows in Scribus

Benjamin Dumke scribus at benjamin-dumke.de
Sun Jan 18 19:20:01 CET 2009

Hi everyone,

one feature that I often miss in Scribus is the possibility to add what
I call a "soft shadow" (usually called drop shadow, but I want to avoid
confusion with the text effect of that name) to an object, i.e. the
shape of the object in one color, with blurry edges and with some offset
from the original object.

Obviously, this can manually be done by exporting a bitmap, editing it
with the GIMP and importing the result back into the Scribus document.
However, this has to be repeated every time the original object is
edited (well, unless you only change the color).

That's why I have implemented the ability to do this automatically in
Scribus. But my change is far away from anything that can be put into
Scribus as-is (see below for the reasons), which is why I am not putting
it in the bug tracker (there is a feature request open for this). For
those people, however, who build Scribus 1.3.5svn themselves and would
like to try this out, I have put the diff on my webspace.

Before you download and try it, you should understand the following points:

* The major drawback is: You don't see the soft shadow when working in
Scribus. You only see it when you export the document to PDF (version
1.4 or higher; we're using transparency). Nowhere else! Whether you
export to any other format or are working on the object within Scribus
-- you are not going to see the shadow. If that's unacceptable to you,
you don't even have to download it.

* The user interface is ugly, I didn't take care of spacing or anything
else. You have five extra parameters on the "X, Y, Z" tab of the
properties pallette: A checkbox for whether you want a shadow or not,
"dx" and "dy" for the offset of the shadow from the original object, the
color of the shadow, and the blur radius that gets applied to the shadow.

* It doesn't work on master pages. Period. But I guess if you have to
have something like that on a masterpage, it is acceptable to do that

* If you use copy & paste, copy page, duplicate page or the like to
create a copy of the object, the soft shadow properties will not be
copied. This shouldn't be too hard too fix, but I haven't done that yet.
If you really need to copy a page with so many shadowed objects that you
can't manually copy the settings, you can import a page from a .sla
document; this will keep the settings.

* Since I'm not a Scribus developer, I often have to guess my way around
the code. So I have probably abused the Scibus API quite a bit and maybe
forgotten some important things.

Okay, if you've understood this all, know what you're doing (oh, and we
haven't heard the usual "Don't use 1.3.5svn productivly" of the day,
have we?), you can try it out. The diff against revision 13052 (the
current) is at


The MD5 sum is 3564a5f47c1ecdea3aa0d8905be53c23.



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