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Scribus => Beginner Talk => Topic started by: James Glover on August 17, 2017, 04:56:16 am

Title: Tilting or Skewing Text
Post by: James Glover on August 17, 2017, 04:56:16 am
Is it possible to tilt text? Not rotate it, but perspective skew (lean) selected text forward or backward so that the top of the text is wider or smaller than the bottom.

Title: Re: Tilting or Skewing Text
Post by: a.l.e on August 17, 2017, 09:41:52 am
afaik, scribus does not offer any option to modify the way characters are rendered by the font.

so, no, you cannot skew the text. at least not without converting it first to outlines.
Title: Re: Tilting or Skewing Text
Post by: GarryP on August 17, 2017, 11:58:38 am
It's worth pointing a few things out. (I've described things way more basically than reality but it's good enough for this explanation.)

1. A font contains a selection of glyphs, each glyph representing the vectors that are used to display a single character.

2. When you add text to a text frame, Scribus draws each character by looking up the relevant glyph in the font and drawing the character using the vector description provided by that glyph.

3. While the text is in a text frame, Scribus can only draw the glyphs for that text by referencing the vectors in the font.

4. You can apply some changes, such as colour and size of the glyphs, but these are just "after effects" that are applied to the glyphs as a whole. The drawn character always reflects the vector description given in the font. (Note that Scribus has no Bold or Italic options.)

5. In order to change the visible construction of text you need to convert the text to outlines, menu "Item -> Convert To -> Outlines". This function extracts the vector description of each glyph from the font and creates a vector shape that has the same construction.

6. Converting text to outlines means that the link to the font is lost and so the text cannot be edited in the "normal" way. You can think of it as the visible text is now a shape that looks like text rather than being "actual" text.

7. Once you have converted text to outlines you can apply any of the Scribus vector tools to it. This includes skewing and other transformations.

8. Skewing and Perspective are two different transformations.

9. A Skew - which can be applied via menu "Item -> Transform" - (sometimes called Shear Mapping) is where you move one side of a shape along a line that is parallel to the opposite side. The side of the shape that is moved, and its opposite, remain the same length but the other two sides get longer or shorter depending on the transformation applied.

10. A Perspective transformation - via menu "Item -> Path Tools -> Mesh Distortion" - is where the entire shape is deformed by moving one or more points of the shape's boundary box. (A perspective transform would really be a subset of a mesh distortion since only certain transformations are possible under what the rules of perspective allow.)

11. I think what you were asking for to "tilt text" was a 3D transformation which Scribus cannot perform. You can spoof it - up to a point, and not very accurately - by using the mesh distortion but Scribus has no concept of the third dimension beyond layering and the ordering of objects on those layers.

I hope what I've said above has been some help to people coming at this from scratch and has answered your question a bit more completely.
Title: Re: Tilting or Skewing Text
Post by: a.l.e on August 17, 2017, 12:05:23 pm
yep, well done garry!
Title: Re: Tilting or Skewing Text
Post by: James Glover on August 22, 2017, 09:23:46 am
Thanks Garry!