[scribus] Hyphenation/justification settings (was Re: Text layout on Scribus Manual)

Tornóci László torlasz at net.sote.hu
Thu Jul 23 09:45:42 CEST 2009

John Culleton wrote:
> I note that the typeseting on the back cover of the manual utilizes 
> optical alignment (hanging punctuation.) I would like to know what 
> version of Scribus was used for this text, and how one turns on 
> optical alignment in Scribus.  
> One of my buddies, an InDesign user, criticizes the first paragraph 
> for having oversized word spaces. He suggests that letterspacing 
> has been turned off. I am of the opinion, along with Goudy, that a 
> man who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep. However I 
> do think that the paragraph at a time justification method used in 
> both TeX and InDesign is the way to go.  Is that in the plans 
> somewhere?

I use 1.3.5, the development version for the reason it has much better 
hyphenation-justification (H&J) than the stable branch. 1.3.5 has 
optical margins, it allows you to tweak word tracking and glyph 
extension (found in text properties, advanced settings). For word 
tracking (=interword spacing) you can set a minimal and a normal width 
in percentages, for glyph extension (horizontally shrinking/extending 
glyphs) you can set a minimum and a maximum. There is no way to set a 
maximum for word tracking, and there is no way to change within-word 
spacing (letterspacing) at all (correct me if I'm wrong). H&J is 
strictly line oriented.

I think the problem is, DTP experts can't really agree about what 
methods should be used to get a good typesetting. I think some of the 
opinions are more like a religious belief than something you can 
actually prove. Like your quote from Goudy: I don't think anyone has 
eyes sharp enough to detect 1-3% changes in within-word spacing, and 
these changes could allow a H&J algorithm to achieve a better solution. 
By the way, I agree, noticeable within-word spacing is absolutely UGLY, 
(but large interword spaces are not nice either).

I don't understand why Scribus allows for glyph extension and not for 
changing the within-word spacing. The former is a bigger no-no among 
purists then the latter.

There are some convincing examples in James Felici's book: The Complete 
Manual of Typography showing the same text typeset with different 
settings of: interword and within-word spacing and glyph extension. 
Combining small (not noticeable) amounts of all these gives you a really 
pleasing result.

It would be very nice to be able to use all these settings in Scribus. 
The purists could always disable the features they don't like. And a 
paragraph oriented H&J is also a must. Currently if you reach the max 
hyphenations allowed at the end of lines, you get ridiculously large 
interword spacings in the next line.

So yes, I agree with John, better H&J is necessary. Now that we have TeX 
frames, is there a way to link them the way we do text frames? Guess 
not, but perhaps Scribus could pass linked text frames to TeX after some 

					Yours: Laszlo

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