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

xemoth at gmx.com xemoth at gmx.com
Wed May 31 00:48:58 UTC 2017

> Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 7:54 PM
> From: "ZASKE Martin" <zm at revue-gugu.org>
> To: scribus at lists.scribus.net
> Subject: [scribus] How to move the very first character of a line leftwards
> 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.

Probably not an elegant solution, but if the first paragraph has only a few lines, insert a thin space or similar before the other lines. 


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