Author Topic: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames  (Read 11496 times)

winxi

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center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« on: November 21, 2013, 11:19:06 am »
Hi,

I'm a new user of Scribus, and I'm planning to replace InDesign. So far I'm quite impressed by this software and its capabilities, it really looks very promising.
However, I've a question regarding text frames: I'm used to be able to vertically center text in rectangular text frames and also to automatically shrink frames to the height of the text. Am I missing tese functions in Scribus or are they simply not there. If the latter is true, is this a planned feature for a future release?

Best regards
winxi

GarryP

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 02:35:47 pm »
winxi, unfortunately you can't tell Scribus - "out of the box" (as of 1.4.3) - to automatically centre text vertically in a text frame. The functionality simply isn't there but you can do it manually using the Text/Columns & Text Distances part of the Properties palette. And see this post too: http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,191.0.html

Also you can't get Scribus - again "out of the box" - to shrink a text frame to the height of the text within it. But you can look at this post for a bit more info: http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,717.0.html

However, for text frames that don't have a background or outline - essentially just a box to put text in - you don't really need to do this. The frame can be infinitely long and it wouldn't really matter to the text in the frame. It's just unused space that is there for any future expansion of the text. I know it looks messy on-screen but switching to preview mode removes the frame outlines.

So, to sum up, Scribus can't do what you want automatically - or without using scripts - but there are manual techniques available. I hope this doesn't stop you using Scribus.

winxi

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 12:52:14 pm »
Thank you very much for this detailed reply and the links to the Wiki! The scripts have turned out to be very useful!
I've had some time now to test scribus in more detail and my overall feeling is that most of the things work really well. However, there are still some serious limitations in 1.4.3 (regarding tables, for example) and I also came across some strange bugs (for example, I get weird results when using right tab stops). So, I will use Scribus for some of my smaller projects and for some of my other projects I will stick to InDesign.

GarryP

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 03:34:53 pm »
You're welcome.

I've read that the tables functionality of Scribus is being re-written for 1.5 so you might not have as much of a problem with them in the future. (Someone tell me if I'm wrong.)

And I believe various text editing functions are being looked at so the problems with tab stops may also be a thing of the past soon.

Fingers crossed anyway.

BobR

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 09:50:40 pm »
Oversized text blocks don't seem to be a problem because they can be overlapped. They don't force text spacing.

winxi

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 10:14:42 pm »
Oversized text blocks don't seem to be a problem because they can be overlapped. They don't force text spacing.

This is correct. However, aligning text within a textframe to the center or to the bottom is especially useful when the text frame has a visible border or when aligning the whole text frame relative to another object.

GarryP

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Re: center text vertically and automatically shrink text frames
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 02:30:59 pm »
winxi, I agree that Scribus could do with a few more alignment functions.

Personally I think that it would be nice to be able to align things to stuff that is inside other frames. E.g. align to the baseline of a line of text (useful for fancy graphical first characters), and aligning the top of some text with the top of an image in a frame, that sort of thing.

However, this sort of thing can be done fairly easy manually and the developers will have much more important things to do so they're unlikely to look at this sort of thing as a priority, and I don't blame them.

As for your example, one work-around to align text to a frame is to convert the text to outlines - menu "Item -> Convert To -> Outlines" - and then align the graphic to the frame, but your text then becomes un-editable as text. Whether this is a problem depends on what you're doing.