Get Started With Scribus:5

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 Get Started With Scribus 2006
Current authors:   Scribus Wiki Authors
Original author:   Niyam Bhushan, 2004
Licence:   GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
 Chapter 5


  1. What Can You Do With Scribus
  2. Scribus And Its Sisters
  3. Empty, White Spaces
  4. Cover Page
  5. Working With Layers On A Page
  6. Design Multiple Pages
  7. Create Final Page Layouts
  8. Design With Graphics And
  9. Set Fire With SVG Graphics
  10. Publishing Demands Freedom.PDF.
  11. Travel At The Speed Of Scribus
  12. Contributors
  13. GNU Free Documentation Licence

Working With Layers On A Page

[Why We Need Layers] We are going to format the text for the magazine's masthead, the headline, and the subhead. Imagine if this magazine is published in several languages. One way to then produce this magazine would be to recreate the magazine layout for each language. The other way, is to have the text for each language on another layer. Think of layers like transparant sheets that overlap one another. You could hide or view layers, for example: hide the English text layer, and show the Hindi text layer.

Layers bring a lot of convenience into page-design. For our magazine, I will keep the background image and bands in one layer, and have the text contained in another layer. Go to Tools>Layers. In the dialog box, you will see one existing layer, that contains all your objects so far. Uncheck the 'eye' icon to the right of this, and all elements of this layer disappear, leaving you with your empty page. Click inside the name of this layer, and change it to 'Bg Photo'. Click the bottom-left icon, that adds a new layer on top of the existing layer. Change the name of this layer to 'CoverText'. Make sure this layer is highlighted, so Scribus knows whatever elements you create will exist on this layer. Ensure the 'eye' icon is checked so you can view your layer.

[Enter Text in a Text Frame] Ensure the CoverText layer is highlighted in Layers. Click on the the text-frame in tools and drag a text frame across the MastheadBand. For the moment, make the text frame as wide as the page and nearly double the height of the MastheadBand. Click the 'Story Editor' icon in Tools. This is next to the 'Edit Frame Content' icon. In the screenshot here, it is circled in orange. A dialog box displays, where you can enter the text you wish to have published in the text frame. Think of the Story Editor dialog box as a mini note-pad or word-processor for each text frame. This is the second-most important dialog box in Scribus, after the Properties dialog box we saw earlier. Type the text: “FreedomYug” in the Story Editor. Then click on the File menu inside the Story Editor, and choose 'Save and Exit.' This publishes your text into the text frame, and exits the Story Editor from your screen.

[Make Text Look Beautiful] 'FreedomYug' will look attractive if the gaps between the letters are reduced, and if the text fits into the MastHeadBand. The overall gap between letters is called 'Tracking.' To reduce this tracking, right-click on the text frame, and from the pop-up menu, choose 'Show Properties'. In 'X,Y,Z' uncheck 'Text flows around frame'. On the buttons at the top of this dialog box, click on 'Text'.

[Track] From the drop-down menu of Fonts in the Properties dialog box, choose 'Georgia Regular' or else Times Roman or any other font you fancy. Make the size: 84 points. Traditionally, a point is a unit of measure in the printing industry. 72.27 points make an inch. In digital print publishing, this is rounded-off to 72 points make an inch. Text size is usually measured in points. Select 'Red' from the drop-down menu next to the bucket icon, which stands for 'Fill Color' for our text. In the field labelled Kerning, enter -5 pts. Line Spacing at 72 pts. You will find the gaps between the text has squeezed, and the text has changed to the color red.

[Kern] Stop reading the headline text. Look at it. You will find a larger gap between the 'm' and 'Y' of 'FreedomYug'. You will also find seemingly irregular gaps between other letters, such as between 'd' 'o' 'm', and 'Y' 'u', and even between 'u' and 'g'. This is because the shape of the Y curves in, creating an optical illusion of a bigger gap. The 'o' curves in from all sides, again creating the illusion of a bigger gap. Use the 'Edit Frame Content' icon, the one that looks like a hand next to a cursor. Click directly at the text, specifically between 'm' and 'Y'. In the Properties palette, enter '-11 pts' in the 'kerning' field. The gap shortens even more. Similarly, tighten the spaces between all the other letters individually, until the text 'FreedomYug' looks tightly kerned and tracked. Finally, drage the corner red sqaures of the text frame to the MastHeadBand, and click the padlock icon to lock its position.

Use the same technique, put the text 'The new era of computing' under 'FreedomYug' taking care to uncheck 'Text flows around frame'. Here, the text is actually set to loose tracking. I entered '+5pts' in the kerning field. For 'Why Khajuraho Needs Gnu/Linux' you need to press the return key after the word 'Khajuraho' in the Story Editor. Similarly, draw a text frame next to the green box, and enter the yellow-colored text. Use the image on Page 1 of this tutorial as a reference for all text elements. Or check the PDF file or the Scribus file of this sample magazine.