Scribus Video Tutorials

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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
Installation Usage PDF issues Imposition Other


These are links to several tutorials for Scribus. Skill Levels range from beginner to more advanced uses of Scribus. They are distributed in Theora format. Please see Wikipedia:Media help (Ogg) about how to play theora videos on your system. While it's not mentioned, RealPlayer is available for Linux, and works well. While xine will play them, moving backward and skipping forward are not options.

Video Tutorials

Getting Started with Scribus

Getting Started with Scribus is a series of video tutorials in the English Language describing Scribus by way of creating a library newsletter from scratch. They cover how to use text and image areas, as well as stylesheets, and the powerful story editor. Other topics include the using the preflight verifier, and a demo of how to create PDF documents.

Main Site

Mirror Site

Frequently Asked Questions

These are a new series of tutorials for various common tasks in Scribus. Please note these were created using Scribus or later.

Three ways to apply paragraph styles

All's Well That Ends Well

  1. Edit Contents of Frame and the Properties palette
  2. Story Editor
  3. Get Text... Filters

Synopsis of what you will see (action is fast):

Action begins with a page showing three adjacent frames in a three-column layout with some arbitrary text (the long-cherished lorem ipsum) in the left-most and middle. Three styles are applied to the text, using three different methods.

  • The left frame is selected with a double-click over the first line (note the cursor in the first line), thus activating Edit Contents of Frame mode (highlighted icon in toolbar), then the Properties window is brought up.
  • In Properties, the Text tab is selected, then down in Style the style Header is selected. In rapid fashion, the cursor is moved to the body text, and the style Body selected, then to the subheader and the style Subheader selected. Finally, the last paragraph's style changed to Body. Note that these styles are not present in Scribus by default, and have been created prior to the session you see in this video. The page is scrolled to show the entire left frame text.
  • At 0:30 we move on to Part 2 -- the middle frame is selected, and Story Editor is brought up. Left-clicking in the Style column brings up a list of the styles to choose from, and going down the paragraphs one by one the appropriate style is selected. In Story Editor the appearance of the text remains constant, and you only see the result after the frame is exited. It is possible to size and place the Story Editor window, use the Update Frame without exiting button (second from the right, keyboard: Ctrl+U) to see the appearance without leaving Story Editor.
  • At 1:03, Part 3 begins with an empty text frame. Right-clicking on the frame brings up the Context menu and Get Text is selected. What follows is mainly a demonstration of some pre-preparation of a text file. Our text file of interest, lorem.txt, is shown with vim, a plain text editor, so that you can see how the text paragraphs are each preceded by codes, "\h", "\b", and "\sh", for header, body, and subheader respectively. After vim is closed, these codes are then used by Scribus as a filter to select our styles. In the File Dialog, Text Filters is selected, bringing up another window in which our text codes are used to select the appropriate style. As you can see, these have already been determined, and the mouse clicks show how the settings correspond with each other. Click OK, and we see that by our third method we obtain the same result.

Creating bullet lists

(while waiting for the proper implementation)


A bulleted list is created, then styles applied. In the finale, some flowers make a guest appearance, substituting for the overworked and perhaps aging bullet.

  • Beginning with a text frame, a bullet character is inserted. To speed the subsequent editing, this bullet character is copied (Ctrl+C). Tabs separate the bullet from the following text, then Ctrl+V inserts the next bullet. The inserted text gives away our intentions.
  • After our text is entered, we go to Edit Styles to create the spacing and layout for our bulleted list, and as promised two level Styles are created. Subsequently, the styles are applied.
  • Now we zoom in on the page for the surprising Act Two (2:25). A small image frame is created and a flower image imported. It is sized to the frame, then the frame size reduced to 4mm x 4mm.
  • Our flower frame now shows her versatility by being copied and inserted (Ctrl+V) for the bullet, just like a character. Bravo!

Additional space between an image frame and the text

How one can have some additional space between an image frame and the text flowing around it.


A text frame is created, on top of which an image frame is placed. Adjustments are made for flowing text around the frame with white space around the image.

  • After the image frame is added, in Properties the Shape tab is selected, where we can check the boxes for Text Flows Around Frame, and for Use Contour Line.
  • Next, Edit Shape button is selected, bringing up the Edit Shape window. Check Edit Contour Line.
  • Adjust the size, in this case incrementing by an absolute measurement.

Drop caps, baseline, text frame columns

Creating and customizing a drop cap. Also introduces baseline and text frame columns.

  • We start with our friend lorem ipsum in a simple frame. A style Body is applied to the text in the frame.
  • Next a new style, Body drop cap, is created. Drop Cap is checked in the requestor, size adjusted. The style is saved.
  • Back to the document, the first letter is highlighted and the style applied, color and font changed.
  • Now we are going to divide the frame into two columns in the Shape Tab, adjusting the gap between columns. Looks pretty good, but something isn't right.
  • That something is the baseline -- the two columns don't line up with each other, as shown with View > Show Baseline Grid.
  • Back to Edit Styles, where we check Align to Baseline Grid for each style, then save.
  • Finally, we show the Baseline Grid again to see our results.

Object frame border

Creating and customizing a border for an object frame.


  1. Making a border using built-in line features
  2. Creating a custom border
  • Start with a text frame. Go to Colors tab of Properties, click Line button (this is not the Line tab of Properties). Default color is None, change to Black.
  • Now click Line tab of Properties, change line style to dashed.
  • Go to Shape tab, adjust Distance of Text. Finished.
  • Part 2 -- Edit > Line Styles. Click New. Increase width to 8 pt. Add a second line, increase width to 4 pt. Change color of 4 pt line to White. Click OK. Click OK.
  • Select frame. Go to Line tab in Properties, select New Style. Go to Shape tab, Round Corners.

Text frames, polygons, linking text frames and polygons, text overflow

Measure for Measure

Creating text frames, polygons (with a star shape) linking text from a text frame to polygons (converting polygons to text frames). Text overflow.

Synopsis: A text frame, rectangle shape, and star shape are created, the shapes converted to text frames. Text is inserted. Due to the gesticulating cursor's worries about text overflow, the frames are linked. In the final scene, a large and not especially attractive rectangular text frame finally captures the last few measures of text.

Creating a three fold document using Manage Guides dialog

Synopsis: A new document is created, two pages long, with a landscape orientation. Page > Manage Guides brings up a window to select a three-fold layout of guides. Finally, an example document is loaded which uses this layout. Creation of that document is not demonstrated.

Page numbers, sections

Adding page numbers to a document and customizing sections using Document Setup>Sections

Converting text to outlines and to image frames

Converting text to outlines and then to image frames and creating a cool effect using content>paste absolute.

Basic text effects

Basic text effects using Properties palette's Text page

Effects demonstrated:

  • Shadow
  • Outline
  • Mirror-like effect with copy, vertical flip, then apply gradient.

Text on path

Attaching text to a path and customizing the path and fine tuning the text after it has been attached.

Synopsis: Starting with a phrase and a line (needs to be a Bezier curve or converted to that form), the editing process is shown for attaching the text, adjusting its placement along the line, distance from the line, editing the line itself, and the spacing of characters.

Creating a table of contents

Synopsis: Both of these videos will walk you through the process of making a Table of Contents. The first one shows much more detail of the various steps, including creating a TOC style, the second is more explanatory along the way. By watching both you can see the essential preparation, which is rather involved.

Creating your own video tutorials

There are several tools available to use to create screencasts. Presentations on this page were created with the tools called recordmydesktop and Wink.

recordmydesktop on Linux

Most of the screencasts on this page were created using the recordmydesktop and its gtk-recordmydesktop frontend. The first thing to do is to install the screencast recorder. For my Opensuse setup it was available at guru's repository. Recording a screencast can be done with the following steps:

  1. launch gtk-recordmydesktop
  2. launch Scribus and resize the Scribus window to the desired size
  3. in the gtk-recordmydesktop window click on the button "Select Window" and after this click on the Scribus window. Even it says "select window" this only defines the recordable area. So every window you bring in the area defined by the Scribus window will be recorded.
  4. Set the sound and video quality (most FAQ oggs on this page were created with 55% quality and sound was disabled). If you know you have a great voice and know how to pronounce "Scribus" it will be great if you can enable sound and explain what is going on while working in Scribus.
  5. When you are ready to start just click on the "Record" button and start doing wonders in Scribus for others to enjoy. gtk-recordmydesktop will be minimized to the task bar (at least within KDE).
  6. Once done with the magic click on the gtk-recordmydesktop icon in the taskbar. recordmydesktop will then create the ogg video and save it to your current working directory with a name out.ogg (out.ogg.1, out.ogg.2...).
  7. Rename the video and share it.

Wink on Linux and Windows

Wink is a freeware (free as in beer) tool to create screencasts on Windows and Linux (x86 only). I've been using the Linux version 1.5 on my Kubuntu Dapper Drake system, the Windows version 2.0 has some more features including sound support. My workflow to create a Scribus screencast is a plain out-of-the-box procedure and can basically be done with only few steps:

  1. launch Scribus and resize its window to the desired size
  2. launch Wink and choose File/New
  3. in the first dialog of the "New Project Wizard", select "Window" in the combo box and click on the "Choose" button, and click on the Scribus window, then click on "OK"
  4. in the second dialog of the "New Project Wizard", click on "Minimize to Tray" button
  5. right click on the Wink applet in the tray, select "Start Timed Capture" from the context menu
  6. do whatever you desire to record in Scribus
  7. right click on the Wink applet, select "Stop Timed Capture"
  8. yet another right click on the applet, "Finish Capture"
  9. back in the Wink window, select Project/Render and export your screencast to a SWF movie
  10. done!

Other videos


Scribus video tutorials on

Here are some videos on using Scribus the first half are made with Camtasia on windows the latter half are made with RecordMyDesktop on Linux.
There are over 40 videos in all that are viewable on all platforms as they are .flv movies. Scribus Tutes

The list of videos is as follows:

  1. Introduction to Scribus
  2. Inserting Text
  3. Inserting an Image
  4. Text Around an Image PT1
  5. Text Around an Image PT2
  6. Layers in Scribus
  7. Levels in Scribus
  8. Styles
  9. Drop Cap Style
  10. Scribus PDF Forms
  11. Scribus Attaching Text To a path
  12. Scribus Using Scalable Vector Graphics
  13. Scribus multiple columns and svg images
  14. Scribus Coloured Text Boxes
  15. Scribus Converting Shapes
  16. Scribus Tables
  17. Scribus Templates
  18. Text Over Images
  19. Text Around Image pt3
  20. Text around image pt4
  21. Links in a Scribus Document
  22. Generating a Table of Contents
  23. Text effects (like drop shadows)
  24. Using the calendar wizard
  25. Working with OpenOffice documents
  26. Tips on importing writer documents
  27. Linking text boxes
  28. manipulating shapes
  29. Drop Caps Revisited
  30. Scribus Gradient Text Effect
  31. Text To Outlines
  32. Scribus-ScrapBook
  33. Outlines and Scrapbook a Practical Example
  34. Scribus Templates
  35. Scribus-Blender-Overview
  36. Scribus-Blender-Intro
  37. Scribus-Blender-Interface
  38. Scribus-Managing-3D-Objects
  39. Scribus-Blender-Mesh-Modelling
  40. Scribus-Blender-Button-Window
  41. Background to transparency

The video tutorials have been put on to an autorun CD but this will only work on a windows machine. they can be down loaded from the following addresses. Listen to the instruction file on haw to open the 7zip files. You will also need 7zip to open the zip files. If the movies won't play trying installing VLC Media Player they should play in VLC

  1. instructions
  2. pt1
  3. pt2
  4. pt3
  5. pt4
  6. pt5
  7. pt6
  8. pt7