Ideas for new features (Wishlist)

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Hey guys,

I have a little wishlist for some useful features in scribus.

1. A snap-in function when I draw a straight line by press SHIFT (45° step)
2. Zoom in and out by press ALT-Key and scroll mouse wheel
3. Duplicate methode for objects by press ALT-Key and drag mouse
4. In "Arange Page" window a button for new page and also a duplicate function by press ALT and drag mouse
5. In same window a moveable splitter between "master page" and "document page"
6. An option for change the color behind the document (e.g. dark gray, middle gray, light gray). For testing layouts on different backgrounds. Maybe loading textures like a wall  :)
7. Activate hand tool only by press space-key down and switch back to previous tool by release space
8. An other icon for overmatter text e.g. an red bold exclamation mark
9. Reduce button steps in the node window by editing bezier splines (note: maybe direct grab of control points or a key modifier for different grab modi)
10. If an image smaller than frame by double click on image frame, the frame size change to image size. the same for text frames.
11. A shortcut set for InDesign user or other programs like InDesign

that's all

best regards


Hi Martin.

Some good ideas there. Just a few points...

Features 1 and 2 are already there, on Macs at least, by using CMD while dragging or using the Scroll Wheel. I don't know what the modifier key on other OSes is.

For Feature 4, you can drag master pages down to create new pages. However I don't think it will duplicate normal pages.

Feature 6, for single colours, can be achieved using "Preferences... / Display / Pages / Fill Color". (You might need to close/reopen the document to see the changes though.) Otherwise, and for textures, you could try using a shape or image frame on a layer below all others.

With Feature 8, I'm not sure what's wrong with the existing "red box with a cross in it". It works fine and once you know what it is it's obvious. Have I missed the point of what you want?

Feature 10 (for images) is available through the context menu as either "Adjust Image to Frame" or "Adjust Frame to Image" depending on what you want. Double-click on the frame is already used to access the "move image in the frame" function.

For Feature 11, as you know what the shortcut keys should be, why not create your own Shortcut Set and then share it (Export...) with the forum so that people who want it can also use it? The developers can then maybe include it in the installation packages at some point in the future.

All that said, I'd be interested in hearing what other people think about your ideas.


Hi Garry

Ok, first I made a keyset for InDesign users. It's the current keyset from InDesign CS6 and works fine with German keyboards. I hope it's complete.

Feature 1 and 2: Ok it's integrated (my mistake).

Feature 4: It's existing the feature (Page -> Copy), but it's easier (for me) when I could duplicate a page direct in the arrange page window per drag and drop or add a new page.

Feature 6: I don't mean the color of page itself. I mean the color behind the page, current it's light grey.

Feature 8: Ok, it's esthetic surgery.

Feature 10: I know that the feature is current integrated, but its easier to make a double click on frame border. (It's a luxus feature)

Feature 11: solve! See attachement.

best regards

[attachment deleted by admin]


Thanks for uploading the keyset Martin. I'm sure other users will find it useful.

[If anyone in the dev team is reading this it might be an idea to create a folder or page somewhere where people could get to these user-generated keysets. It's just a thought, unless there's already one out there somewhere of course.]

Sorry I got the wrong idea about Feature 6. Now I think I understand it I can see some good posibilities. For example: if you're designing a poster you could take a photo of the wall where it's going to be, then put the photo behind the poster and zoom the document out to see what it would look like "in place" before it goes to print. And I'm sure there are lots of other possibilities too, that one just popped into my head.

And the other stuff you've mentioned sound like good potential additions to Scribus too.

If you register with Mantis you can create requests for any features you think would be useful. They at least deserve to be considered and some of them don't sound like they'd take much programming.



1. conditional styles for text
2. add character styles in find and replace tool
3. drop shadows
4. flatten transparency tool
5. support for multichannel in psd files with spot colors
6. support for cmyk mode (export projects from scribus as bitmap) today is support only for rgb
7. optical kern
8. kern for pairs
9. improve tool bezier (good it works in inkscape)
10. support for number list and bullets in imported text files.
11. mail merge and support for images not only for text.
12. import tables from odt files.
13. import video and sound files into scribus and embed in output pdf, and any control buttons (play, stop, next track, song etc.)
14. any tools for automatic trapping
15. support for option convert text to curves in imported pdf files.
16. support for cmyk in bitmaps in dropper tool
17. add any tools for imposition.
18. add simple tool for create frame around project with cmyk control bars, and cutting lines inside Scribus. (in inkscape there is similar tool)
19 crop bitmap finally in pdf


As my first post after registration I would like to ask for one simple improvement: I would like to be able to switch on non-printing symbols, especially the return/paragraph mark. I am coming to Scribus from years on Word and I feel lost without these marks. i use Scribus 1.4.4 on Windows 7.

Thanks for an interesting and useful forum.  Bob


hi bob

what abut 'view' → 'show control characters'?



I have not found one (if it is there), but some type of VARIABLE or table for Newsletters and such that will print whatever they are defined as.  For instance, the Volume # and Issue # of a newsletter.  I'd say similar to header/footer things in word processors (page #, etc) that are dynamic, but instead of being dynamic, they'd be fixed (user-defined somewhere).

Even more pro would be a "link" to a word / title / number.  So the first one would "define" the variable, and the other locations would be "links" to the first defined variable.

Does this make sense?


Hey Scribes, (possible) new recruit here.

That is, very long-time Quark user (since 1989), subsequent avid Creative Suite user, consultant and integrator mostly for smallish newspapers, severely Mac-centric (but not a religious zealot about it) – and so fed up with Adobe's current business practices that I'm seriously evaluating alternatives to the Adobe environment to recommend to customers.

I've been working with Scribus 1.4.4 most of the day, intently focusing on features and tools I know my customers need and/or are used to. I don't mind that Scribus does this or that task differently, that its vocabulary for menu items and functions differs, or that it's obviously not Mac-centric. I'm just verifying that I can get the job (newspaper and ad layout) done.

Other than the fact that printing to my HP Photosmart 7520 home printer generated nothing but an undefined PostScript error (easily worked around by exporting a PDF and printing that), I don't think I've found any absolute show-stoppers, brick walls, or other disqualifiers. (The Photosmart isn't really a postscript printer, after all, and I'm assuming Scribus will print to more robust output devices.)

And while I realize a day of working with the program is hardly long enough to get to the bottom of it, I've explored every menu and preference, read the online manual (and a couple other PDF variants), searched for specific "how do you do THIS" information when I was stuck on a task, and think I have a pretty good understanding (for the limited purpose of small newspaper production) of the program's capability.

All of which is a roundabout introduction to my new feature requests (with the embedded hope that the program already does these things, and I just haven't found how). And, oh yeah, I've read the upcoming feature list for 1.5, the table of features being worked on and their current status - and I'm impressed at some of the high-end graphic functions under development.

It's just that I don't find the top items on my wishlist anywhere in the future plans, and I thought I'd mention them here. In kinda priority order as needed to better suit Scribus for my clients' purposes.

Style chaining: in programs whose names we all know, this is called "Next style," by which a Paragraph Style calls another Paragraph Style after a Return. Very powerful, and a basic for efficiency in newspaper templates. I think those other programs have had the feature for...20 years or so? Its lack is close to a show-stopper, the kind of thing I'd have to apologize for by saying, "hey...but it's free!"

More interactive tools for "text-fitting." Vertical text alignment options would qualify (assuming "justified" was among them). And what if Scribus offered dynamic text fitting, still only available as 3rd-party plug-ins for certain other programs? The user would set minimum and maximum values for kerning/tracking, line spacing, word spacing, maybe even horizontal text scaling, then when asked to fit text to a selected text frame (or chain), the program would experiment with progressive values within the specified parameters until the text magically fit. This would cumulatively save hours a week in every newsroom I know.

Paragraph Rules, above and below, with offset control. Again, highly useful for fast page production, conducive to more interesting and consistently achievable design, and way better than having to draw every single line every time. Besides being weight-selectable, the rules should be indentable from either or both sides, and selectable for width of text frame, under text only, and under white space only. This last feature is something those other programs don't do, and I'd love to have it.

Paragraph styles that span columns in a multi-column text frame. You know, for headlines that can reside in the same frame with columnar text.

Ability to set default...   
   - column gaps; it's tedious entering the value every time I specify a column count 
   - text wrap amount - ie, distance text is pushed away from image frame (with different behavior applied to default text & image frames)     
   - image frame border   

Multi-Import. A long shot, I'm sure. When invoking Import Text, Image, or Vector Art, the ability to select multiple items in the dialog box, then place them one at a time in desired frames via mouse click.

Ability to selectively call Character Styles within paragraph styles: i.e., before/after/to/though specified delimiters, or to specified characters, words, phrases. Some call it "Nested styles". Might be called "Embedded."

GREP Search & Replace, along with embeddable GREP logic in the above feature request. Monstrously useful.

More line types - like double, thick-thin, thin-thick, thick-thin-thick, thin-thick-thin, etc   

Frame Styles, which would apply fill color and percentage, line/border parameters, text distance from inside of frame (if a text frame), text wrap options, transparency, even a default paragraph style - all with a single click

If some of these are already there and I've missed them, I'm gratefully educable. If not, just throwin'em out there for consideration. Seems like at least the first one would be simple to implement, along with the line styles and default settings.

Regardless, my compliments to all the chefs who've labored voluntarily to produce what is really a remarkably full-featured layout environment!



May I back up this proposal by Proteus:
Quote• More line types - like double, thick-thin, thin-thick, thick-thin-thick, thin-thick-thin, etc 
I did an exhibition last year (20 - something sheets a metre square with lots of pictures and text), and wanted my frame borders to look like those from a show someone else did a while ago (thick-thin; see attachments). Apparently software that does that has to be paid for.

The frame with a thick-thin border all round could be done by nesting transparent frames. However, resizing and centering them is difficult. It should be possible to automate that. I can program but I don't know the macro environment here and am a fairly slow learner - perhaps someone could point me to some code I could use as a starting point.

This is the only point where I felt a bit frustrated or limited when using Scribus.

[attachment deleted by admin]


crlMIDI, have you tried playing around with line styles? (Edit -> Styles / Line Style)

They can take a while to get used to - and they don't do everything you want - but they can come in real handy sometimes.

The attached images show a quick line style I made up and how it looks when you create a rectangle, apply the line style, then add an image frame - same size as the rectangle - over the top of the rectangle.

If the image frame size changes you can use the Align/Distribute (Resize) to alter the rectangle size to match.

It's two frames/shapes instead of one but it's not that much hassle.

For a single line, like your second example, you can make the background colour of your text frame white to cover the top of the underline - as in my other attached image. (It's not perfect but it might work well enough for what you want.)

[attachment deleted by admin]


Thanks, Garry.

Of course I played around a lot with line styles and made do with the symmetrical ones because frames do need borders in almost any artistic or decorative presentation.

Hiding part of an object behind another one is a kludge we have all used with office software when making a diagram or a few  slides for a beamer presentation. However, it's different when you have tens or hundreds of frames that need moving around and adjusting, by yourself or someone else who doesn't understand the tricks you have used. If you group the frames, you lose access to image and line properties; if you don't, someone will surely mess them up accidentally. It's particularly difficult to work with  frames that are the same dimensions and exactly superimposed.

In my opinion the lines and borders, derived from technical drawing practice (all those dotted line styles...) has got out of synch with the presentational level of the rest of the application (sophisticated placement and typesetting, publication-ready functions and so on). For some people this is likely to be a show-stopper, though one often observes in the the free/open source sphere that developers don't have the same priorities as end users.

I mentioned automation partly because frame borders also need their widths and spacings to be scaled to match the size of the frame (see Serif PagePlus, the most usual low-price choice of commercial software, where you can also select which sides of a frame have borders). A common practice when something is lacking in this kind of situation is for end users to write or adapt macros for themselves. Scribus does have scripting/programming facilities but it seems a bit difficult to get started when compared to the popular and hugely-supported M$ Office VBA environment (however horrible VBA may be to use).


Quote from: tim_occ on July 26, 2013, 06:49:13 PM
Hi Garry

Ok, first I made a keyset for InDesign users. It's the current keyset from InDesign CS6 and works fine with German keyboards. I hope it's complete.

best regards

Hey Martin,
What license are you sharing your german keyboard CS6 Scribus Keyset with ?
I'd like to put it on github . In fact if you can make a Pull Request with the keyset and license that would be awesome!