Page Layout - The Basics

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I've just published an article on the Scribus wiki explaining the basics of page layout design.

It's by no means comprehensive, it's a bit rough round the edges, and there are plenty of things missing but it's a start for the most basic stuff.

Comments - positive, negative, but hopefully constructive - are welcome. Or you could just go and edit it yourself. It's a wiki after all!

I hope some people find it useful:

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I've had this in the back of mind for a while so I thought I might as well publish the rough draft and see what happens.

Hopefully it will generate a bit of discussion and we'll come out with something fairly decent and useful at the end of it all.


Nice to see that you got it started, I remember we had the discussion on such a page before.

I think a good continuation could be to look a bit at typography, maybe not font choices but font weights and sizes for different parts.


Ah, so that's where the idea originally came from. Thanks for reminding me. (My memory is getting worse.) I remember now that the chat started when someone posted about making a Linux installation guide - in Dutch? - but I can't remember enough about it to find the right posting. Do you know where it is? (Out of curiosity I'd like to read it again and see what I've omitted.)

I think your idea about an article looking at the use of fonts is a very interesting one. I agree that the wider area of typography is probably going too far but something simple that looks at the basic choice of sizes, weights and general styles - serif vs. sans serif, for example - would be useful to a lot of people.

I think it would also probably be good if it included some information about line spacing. (If I remember rightly, you - or someone else - mentioned a nice rule-of-thumb relating to this. "Grey pages" springs to mind but a quick forum search didn't show anything.)

I'll certainly try and keep this in mind for the future. (I might not be able to remember this chat but the general idea will probably stay rolling around in my empty skull for a while!) However, if you already have some ideas then please don't wait for me to do something about it.


This is the topic I was thinking about,1494.0.html

And the things of typography I was thinking about were mostly how you can use the appearance of the text to "separate" or "keep together" instead of using whitespace or drawn lines.

For exqample like it was discussed in that topic, how to make image captions show as image captions and not part of the text.


hi garry,

there is one thing, that i would wish being slightly more prominent: aligning to the baseline.

in my eyes it's one of the things that makes a difference for the people coming from office (even if it seems that microsoft office now supports them, too)

currently it's mentioned in a warning at the beginning, which i fear will be overseen by most reader that would need the hint.

personally, i would mention it, when introducing the columns... maybe with a screenshot showing what it looks like.

on the other side, one of the big plus of your tutorial is that it's short, so adding everybody's wishes might be dangerous :-)


Nermander: Thanks for finding that post. I'll need to read it again. I also take your points about using typography to "structure" a document. I'll have a think about a good way to structure an article about it. (The hardest part is to come up with a decent narrative rather than just saying A, B, C, D, etc. and assuming the reader can stitch it all together somehow.)

a.l.e: You make a good point about the baseline. I don't think it would take a lot to slightly re-structure the article to include a bit more info about that. Not too much, as you say, but enough to make it clear how useful it is. I've a feeling that a separate article about the baseline might be useful - and I've already got some ideas. It's such an important thing that it needs explaining properly. (The page I linked to doesn't really explain what's going on very well and I'm sure some beginners will be confused or simply not get it.)

Both: Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. They're always appreciated.


The small note about the baseline - near the top of the article - has now been replaced with a more verbose callout in the "Basic Three-Column Layout" section (where you can also see the effect better).


the box on the baseline grid looks good!

with a link to a good article on how to define the baseline grid in scribus that part will be perfect!