[scribus] How to move the very first character of a line leftwards

ZASKE Martin zm at revue-gugu.org
Tue May 30 09:54:41 UTC 2017

Dear list:

In summary: What is the best way to horizontally move the leftmost
character of a line of text in a text-frame?

background, for those who want to know more detail:

Making a book, trying to make it nice.

The main text is printed in 16pt. The first letters of each chapter are
styled as Initial Caps in 36pt. (What is the singular of Initial Caps?)

Text is aligned as Justified, even using the Optical Margins feature on
both sides. I am using it for the first time and I like that optical trick.

Now our Initial Caps, being very big, are showing a too wide distance
from the left text-frame border. It is very ugly for example on a
capital E. I believe the gap is caused by the inbuilt values of the
characters for each specific font. I need to hack it, to align better.

I know how to move each letter horizontally, using Advanced Settings and
the Manual Tracking tool: I just place the cursor left of my patient and
then click the arrows until I am happy.

But I have not managed to move the leftmost character of a line, neither
by placing the cursor to the very left, nor by selecting the character.
(Guess what: I can move the second character of a line easily, even on
top of the first character; or even sooo far left, that it will leave
the text-frame altogether! So the text-frame border is not some
"impossible" barrier.)

My workaround this morning was to place a Zero Width Space (U+200B) left
of my Initial Cap and thereby making the Cap the second letter in that
line. And then moving it by Manual Tracking tool all the way to the left
border of my text frame, to align with all the other lines of main copy.

My workaround feels to me like a bad hack. Using invisible spaces will
later confuse some other team member who maybe needs to prepare a second
print run or whatever. Especially since Scribus does not show any
Control Characters for any spaces except for the "normal" default space
U+0020. (I will write a feature request for more visual Control
Characters soon in a separate mail.)

for those still reading and wanting the full, ugly, truth:

Our style is set such that each paragraph starts with a First Line
Indent (6,5mm). But we are finding those indents very ugly on the very
first lines of entire new blocks of text, i.e. after a full blank line,
where a major new subject is starting. (Many books from D, NL, A are
beginning a new full block of text without a first line indent.)

Since we do not have style settings to distinguish
minor-paragraph-first-line and major-paragraph-first-line, my workaround
is to have just one real paragraph marker to make an empty line. And
then to use a new-line rather than a paragraph-marker to start our text.
That way the first line of visible text does not consider itself a First
Line and does not make any indent. (The indent is happening in the blank
line between two paragraphs, where only the (invisible) paragraph-marker
is indented by 6,5mm.

This extra complication does not affect - I believe - my inability to
move the first character of any line horizontally. I cannot move any
first characters even within testing text-frames with Lorem Ipsum and
with Scribus-default-paragraph-style.

How are other users doing Initial Cap left-alignment for their books,



ZASKE Martin
responsable GʊGʊ
BP 50 - Bassila - Bénin
tel GʊGʊ
tel pers

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