[scribus] Soft shadows in Scribus

Benjamin Dumke scribus at benjamin-dumke.de
Mon Jun 1 13:08:55 CEST 2009

For those of you who were interested in this: I have posted an update at




Benjamin Dumke schrieb:
> 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
> manually.
> * 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
> http://www.benjamin-dumke.de/scribus/softshadow.diff
> The MD5 sum is 3564a5f47c1ecdea3aa0d8905be53c23.
> Greetings,
> Ben
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