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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
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Pagination in Scribus is quite different from word processors. It's a bit more difficult, but at the same time more flexible.

This in an introduction to automatic pagination in Scribus 1.3x and 1.2x.

Scribus 1.3x

Inserting Page Numbers

Inserting page numbers in Scribus 1.3x is almost identical with 1.2x, except that the default shortcut has changed to Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P. If you're afraid to break your fingers, you can assign a new shortcut in the preferences dialog.

As of Scribus 1.3.4, you no longer need multiple page number characters to represent longer numbers. Simply insert one and the page number will be placed in the text frame. Of course, if the number of pages you have is large, you will have to accommodate for the extra digits on page 10 or 100 when creating the frame.

Changing the numbering scheme

Scribus 1.3x shows a lot of improvements with respect to page numbering schemes, and it's no longer necessary to edit *.sla files in a text editor.

To change the numbering scheme, you open the Document setup dialog. In Sections you can now create numbering sections for your document (see Screenshot). Let's assume you have an introduction on the first three pages that you want to be numbered with capital letters, and your text starts at page 5 with 1. Page 4 will not have a number at all. The first section is already there. You can enter a name for it in the "Name" column. In the "From" column enter "1" and in "To" enter "3". Choose "A, B, C" as a style, and the "Start" value is "1". To add new sections, simply add a new row by clicking "Add". For page 4 the values are: From = 4, To = 4, Style (doesn't matter here), Start (doesn't matter here). It's important that you uncheck "Shown" in the second column. For the main text, the values are: From = 5, To = (insert the number of pages you need), Style = 1, 2, 3, and Start = 1. That's all, your document will be paginated as desired.


Automatic creation of page numbers for each page

You can work exactly as described for 1.2x, except that page templates are now (more correctly) called master pages (Edit > Master Pages).

Scribus 1.2x

Inserting Page Numbers

Inserting a page number in Scribus 1.2x is very easy. Simply create a new text frame, double click to turn into the edit mode, and enter Ctrl+# on your keyboard. That's all. You need one #-symbol for each digit of the page number, i. e # for 1-9, ## for 10-99, ### for 100-999 etc.

Certain keyboard layouts might give you trouble in entering Ctrl+# in the text editor, and produce only plain ## characters there that won't show as page numbers. If this happens to you, go to Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts and scroll down to the function Insert Page Number. Select it, click the User Defined Key option, then click the Set Key button. Then press an F-key that you are not using for other functions to set that key as the page numbering character. The F7 key is recommended in the Scribus tutorial.

Changing the numbering scheme

The page numbering scheme in Scribus is determined when you create a new document. In the New > Document dialog you can enter a number that will be used for the counting from the first page. The default is "1", so if you want to start the numbering with "3", you can change it here. Be aware that this numbering scheme can't be changed in a regular way once the document is created. But there's an irregular, "geeky" way to change the numbering afterwards. Assume you need a doc without a number on the first two pages, and you want to start with "1" on the third page. Close your document and open the *.sla file in a text editor. Search for the string FIRSTNUM=. If you decided to start with "1", then you will see the value is "1". Change this to -1, save the file and open it in Scribus again. Now insert a text frame on page three and enter Ctrl+#: It starts with "1". Scribus counts internally 4 (for whatever reason), 0, 1, as text frames with page numbers on page one and two will show you. In case you change the value to -2, Scribus will count 4,4,0,1 etc.

Automatic creation of page numbers for each page

If you want to let Scribus add page numbers automatically for each page, you can use page templates (Edit > Templates). Create a page template for left and right, and add a text frame with the symbol for the page number (Ctrl+#). Then apply these page templates to all pages in your document.

(c) 2006 Christoph Schäfer
The content of this page is licensed under the Free Documentation License.