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

Rolf-Werner Eilert rwe-sse at osnanet.de
Wed May 31 09:23:07 UTC 2017

Am 30.05.2017 20:16, schrieb ZASKE Martin:
> On 30.05.2017 14:22, Gregory Pittman wrote:
>> On 05/30/2017 05:54 AM, ZASKE Martin wrote:
>>> 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.
>> A way that seems to work after a fashion is to create a Paragraph style,
>> and set the line indentation for the body of the paragraph a few points,
>> maybe 1.0 to 3.0 as needed, then create a negative indentation of the
>> first line by the amount needed to line up the drop cap with the rest of
>> the paragraph. You will see that the negative indentation of the first
>> line cannot be any larger than the positive indentation of the body.
>> The only other thing I would add is that I see drop caps overused quite
>> a bit, or created with parameters that interfere with reading the text
>> and aside from that are unattractive. So as with many embellishments,
>> they should be used sparingly.
>> Greg
> Thank you Greg
> For discipline and efficiency I am working entirely with styles. Our
> book only has got three chapters and one introduction, so we have got
> four initial caps only: "E", "Ʊ", "A" and "B". Each of those letters
> needs a unique "kerning" to align properly with the left border of the
> text frame. Our alphabet has got 33 letters, so I am hesitant to use a
> style approach (and many styles) for something I would like to tweak
> visually.

Yes, and this is just what I would do :)

Drag the left-hand side of the textframe to the left page border (X = 0).

Make a copy of your "Standard" or "Body" or whatever style of the 
paragraph you use for text. If you make a distinction between body and 
first paragraph, copy the one for the first paragraph, too. Same for 
titles etc. which have to stay "in the line".

Rename them to whatever you like. It is important you get a new style 
for "first paragraph in chapter".

For these few paragraph styles, set indentation to the value the 
left-hand border of the textframe usually has.

Change styles of all other paragraphs on this page to the newly created 

Set indentation of your new "first paragraph in chapter" to the same 
value, but for the first line this value as negative. That way, the 
first line will reach out to the page border, and that should be enough 
space for your capital letter.

Insert the capital letter and mark it. Use the text style to make it as 
large as you want, and then adjust its kerning manually.

At the next chapter, everything is already there. Drag the textframe to 
the left border or set it to X = 0. Set all paragraphs to the special 
styles. Then make the capital for the first paragraph.

I think this can be done 4 times without great effort...


More information about the scribus mailing list