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Author Topic: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic  (Read 309 times)

fulldec

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Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« on: June 02, 2017, 11:32:51 pm »
I've been a Scribus user for some years now, but it still makes me feel like a Beginner. I produce a 30 page newsletter. When all the inputs are in, I like to rearrange the pages to get the flow of articles that I like.

I thought the Arrange Pages tool would be just the trick to be able to see the big picture and drag and drop to rearrange the order. Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues. First, the icons for the individual pages are generic, what I would like is little thumbnails (something representative of the page). The only identifying info is the page number, which, of course, changes after I move a page.

Secondly, the page icons are in one, single, long column even though they occupy a big square window of empty space where they could be spread out.

Arranging pages with this tool is a very limited function as I understand it.

As it is, I print out a draft, lay the pages on the floor, rearrange them to my satisfaction, stack them up in order, manually write the pages numbers on each page, then use Move Page to get them in the order I want.

Is there something I am missing or am I just using Arrange Pages for the wrong purpose? Seems like a computer could help me with this task.

Thanks in advance for the advice and patience,

Don

GarryP

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Re: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 11:40:46 am »
Welcome to the forum Don.

The Arrange Pages function is pretty limited (as of 1.4.6, I have no knowledge of changes to later versions).

You're correct that thumbnail images would make it easier to use. Even a little excerpt of text from each page would make it a bit easier to use.

The page icons are shown in the same way as the pages are displayed in the main window. Single page spreads are shown in a single column, double-sided is shown in two columns, etc. This makes sense but it's not really helpful if you can't see what is on the pages.

Having said all that, clicking on a page will display that page in the main window so zooming out in the main window will give you an overview when you're moving stuff around. It's not quite the same but it does the job.

Maybe the Arrange Pages function should allow you to drag the actual pages around.

fulldec

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Re: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 01:50:34 am »
Thanks, Garry for the welcome and the response.

The Arrange Pages function will allow me to drag and drop pages and I do see that clicking on a page in the AP window will show that page in the main screen. Unfortunately, I can only manage to zoom out 50%  in main screen, so I only see 2 pages over in that window and then I still cannot see the pages in area I want to move it to.

Anyone know how to display a bunch of thumbnail size page images in the main screen?

Is there a way to know what functions are being developed in upcoming versions? I don't have good luck with exploring development versions.

GarryP

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Re: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 10:17:10 am »
You're welcome Don.

The view menu only has limited zoom options but Scribus allows any zoom you want.

Look at the icons at the bottom of the main window. The magnifying glasses give you zoom by 0.5x and 2x current zoom value - CTRL+mouse-wheel allows that same thing - and you can use the text box to their left to give a precise zoom value.

Is that good enough for what you need?

fulldec

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Re: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 06:30:36 pm »
Garry,

Thanks for the pointer about zooming. I'm embarrassed that I did not find that on my own. It helps to some extent, but I really think the Arrange Pages function could be much improved, perhaps the good folks who do that work will make it so one day.

Don
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 07:01:48 pm by fulldec »

GarryP

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Re: Arrange Pages layout page icons are generic
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2017, 10:54:06 am »
You shouldn't feel too bad about not noticing those other zoom functions, they're pretty much "hidden in plain sight" among other unrelated stuff. Unless you have a need to use them then why notice them in the first place?

Arrange Pages could be improved a lot. There are quite a few bug reports and feature requests listed in Mantis but I would guess that not many Scribus users know that the function exists, even if they need to use such a thing, so it's probably not a high priority issue for the developers.

Generating a thumbnail view - in and of itself - shouldn't be too difficult as drawing a thumbnail to a bitmap probably isn't very much different to drawing a zoomed-out page to the main window. There could be complications but I think the underlying functionality already exists.

One thing that springs to mind is that if Scribus has a way of creating a page thumbnail then it could lead to Scribus being able to create thumbnails for its file icons. There are complications there because of differences between how OSes manage this, but it's a possibility.

For a long time I've had the idea that the Outline function - where you can navigate by selecting objects from a list - could be made more useful. Maybe there's a way of combining the Outline function with the Arrange Pages function and making the combined Outline-Arrange function more usable and visible.

I have no idea how this would work - and I don't really have the inclination to discuss it more fully - but I really think that Scribus needs better document navigation and organisation tools. Maybe you could navigate pages by clicking on page thumbnails and then double-click a thumbnail to get a list of objects on that page which could be then clicked to go directly to them. Like a mini file explorer where the page is like a folder. I can't see that happening any time soon so I don't think there's much use in discussing it more, I'm just putting it out there in case others like the idea.