Change the automatic text frame properties

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Is there any form to change the properties of the automatic text frame that I had set at startup? I don't see how to do this at any menu, only change manually every new text frame added by every new page. If there is not option, must implement it.


I haven't used automatic text frames in ages, but I think that changing the properties of a text frame in the document setup, tools section, would affect them.


No, It isn't. There is not text frame setup after you have accepted the creation of the document.
With 1.5.1, seems that this has not changed. There is no form to change the properties of autogenerated text frames.
I cannot be changing 500 pages of a manually one by one...


The answer to this really depends on what you want to change.

If you want to change how the frames themselves look then you can change one then use the Magic Wand tool to copy the frame formatting - which includes things like Columns etc. - to the others.

On the other hand, if you just want to change the colour/line formatting of every text frame then you can use:
* Edit -> Advanced Select All
* choose "On Current Layer"
* check "With the Following Attributes"
* choose "Item Type" of "Text Frame"
* Press OK.
You can then change the colour/line formatting of every text frame on every page on the current layer at the same time. You can't change things like number of columns this way though.

However, if it's the text formatting that needs changing then just change the formatting of the Default Character Style and Default Paragraph Style (menu Edit -> Styles) or, better still, create your own styles and apply them the the text. In Scribus, the formatting of the text applies to the text and not the frame so the formatting will be applied to all of the text that uses those styles no matter which frame it's in.

Having said all that though, if you're creating a 500-page document where most of the pages look pretty much the same as the others - apart from, for example, some images here and there - then I'd suggest that LibreOffice Writer might be a more suitable tool than Scribus.


I see you are right that after the creation of the document there is no way to change the default number of columns and the column gap for automatic text frames.

I the New document dialog those two options can be set, but they can not be found anywhere in the Document setup, thus those properties of the automatic text frame seems to not be possible to change.


I think I'm not expressing myself... I need it, I don't need another workaround...
The question is, that I publish books on our publisher enterprise, and we bet for gnu software.
I edit books with 200 and over... If we need to change the size of the publication, we need to change the size of the text frames automaticly. And I am talking about sizes, not columns as everybody have been suppossing I don't know why... But if I need to do it too, there is the same problem.
If I follow these "solutions" and need to add pages, there is again! I need to maintain exactly the same format for all.

This is a question, but if there is not solution, is a TODO for next versions.

I have explained myself?
If not, do someone speak spanish, please?


What you are asking for is not possible. Automatic text frames are CREATED based on the margins, but once they have been created the size is a property of each individual frame. Changing the margins will only affect newly created text frames.

Once the text frames have been created there is no difference between an automatic text frame and a manually created text frame. You will have to change the size and position for each frame explicitly.

Scribus is not really designed for that kind of dynamic page size change you are asking for. It might however be possible to use the scripter to iterate through all text frames and resize them.

But your question also revealed what I think is a bug: The settings for automatic text frames are not possible to change once the document has been created.


sosoluis, I think the reason why you didn't get the answer you wanted was just down to a simple language/translation issue. When you said "change the properties" in your original post it was a bit too vague for people to know exactly which "properties" you meant. This is why you got answers that didn't cover your exact requirements. It's not a problem but it does mean that it can take longer to get an answer that meets your needs.

Just to - hopefully - add a little to what Nermander said, Scribus is designed to be software that is used to create output for printing. This means that the physical paper size - and therefore the space inside the margins - is normally known well in advance and very rarely changes.

If the paper size - or margin sizes - changes part-way through the layout process then all the pages will need to be reviewed to adjust everything - text, images, page numbers, etc. etc. - according to the new paper size and/or margins. This is probably why a function to automatically resize automatic text frames has not been introduced. In other words - for most purposes - if you change the size of the paper you need to change most of the things on the page so why bother creating a function to just change the automatic text frames when everything else will need to also be adjusted? It could fool you into thinking everything was okay when it probably would not be.

If a page layout is so simple that automatically changing the size of the text area when the page/margin size changes would fix all of the problems then, as I said in a previous post, using LibreOffice Writer (or something similar) might be a better solution. In these kind of cases a word processor sounds like a more suitable tool than Scribus as word processors work at a page level - for text - rather than the frame level that Scribus works at. If you could supply some examples of some of your pages then it might help us to see what kind of problem you're up against.

Having said that though, I can think of some instances where "anchoring" one or more sides of a frame - or other object - to a guide (or other object) might be useful. It might allow for some kind of dynamic layouts which could be an interesting development. I believe that 1.5.x has something like this "object anchoring/joining" already but I don't think it uses guides (margins in Scribus can be thought of as guides) and I'm fairly sure it won't cover automatic text frames.

Something for the future perhaps, but unfortunately for you - as already mentioned by Nermander - it doesn't exist in Scribus yet.


Talking clearly: Scribus is a free alternative to InDesign. It's a layout designer (in spanish "maqueta"), not only pre-print app as you say. I don't need a text processor, we do professional publications, magazines, books, role-playing-games... full of images. Text processors do not allow neither our needs.
I repeat, we bed for GNU professional software, in alternative to Adobe suits... This is the reason to use Scribus.

Well, if 1.5.1 have a form to automatize the process, I'll try it, but as publisher I don't understand that text frame option dissapear once created the document... must be accesible like rest of options (page size, margins, etc.). How can trasnmit to developers this idea?


hi sosoluis

Quote from: sosoluis on April 26, 2016, 04:32:21 PM...How can trasnmit to developers this idea?

you could
put it on as a feature request.
i think, it will be on a low priority level – and it introduces some new problems, like all automatic changes in text layout...
for a text only document, it's not a big deal to copy the whole content into a new document with the correct frame sizes, and a more complex layout needs adjustments everywhere – you won't win much by this function. (you need to flip through the altered document and tweak some line and page breaks anyway...)


To get what you want would require an tremendous amount of work.

First of all, each item in Scribus would need a setting to tell what other item it's position should be related to. Today the position is always relative the upper left corner of the page (the reference point of the item may however be any corner or the center).

Second, each item would need a settings telling if the size should be fixed or if the other edge should also be related to another item.

Third, Scribus would need logic how to handle of these settings for example lead to that the right edge of a frame ends up to the left of the left edge and similar issues that may occur if things are dynamically adjusted.

But since Scribus is Open Source it is very easy for you to get these features. You can implement them yourself or pay a skilled programmer to implement them. That is one of the fine things with Open Source software, if you think something is missing you can fix it yourself. Just download the source and hack away.


sosoluis, I prefer to think of things like InDesign and QuarkXpress as being very expensive alternatives to Scribus (rather than Scribus being the alternative), but that's just me.

Scribus is a Desktop Publishing application that was originally intended for the production of print-quality materials for publishing on paper via the PDF format. From the website: "Reliable PDF creation is the key to a successful print run at a commercial printing house, and it has been a pillar of Scribus development since the early days of its development." That's why Scribus has lots of features for printing: CMYK; colour management; printer marks; bleeds; spot colours; etc. etc. The fact that you can use the PDF for other purposes is a bonus really.

I'm giving alternatives to Scribus because I don't understand what you are trying to achieve.

If you've got lots of other things on the page - images etc. - then if you change the size of the page then you'll need to adjust these along with the automatically created text frames so just adjusting the automatically created text frames will probably not add too much extra work considering how much other work you need to do.

For example, page headers and footers and page numbers will all need to be moved manually if you change the page size. Any image - or other frame/object - that is aligned with a margin - or the text - will also need to be moved manually. Text flow around images/objects will also need to be checked when the page is resized so that's more work that needs to be done manually and can't be automated. Breaks may also need to be moved. Basically, re-sizing the pages causes so much extra work that automatically resizing the automatic text frames doesn't really lessen that work very much and you're better off doing everything manually to make sure it's been done right rather than hoping that the software did it right. (Other posters to this topic have also mentioned this.)

On the other hand, if you've not got many images then a text-based editor might be more useful as they work with pages rather than frames and most of the realignment is done automatically. (BTW: LibreOffice is open source in the same way that Scribus is.)

You didn't give an idea of the complexity of your pages so I thought it might be useful to mention other software in case it helped. For example, you said that you created books but quite a lot of books have no images at all, they're just a lot of pages containing only text.

If you could give us an idea of what an "average" page looks like then it might help someone to come up with a good solution.


As an illustration of my previous post, consider the two pages in the attached image. (Ignore the terrible layout, it's the changes that matter.)

The page on the left is the original, the one on the right is where the page size has been increased by one inch both ways and the main text frame has been resized "automatically" to fit the margins.

As you can see, there are lots of major problems that need to be addressed manually after a page resize. Just resizing the text frame automatically is mostly pointless as there's so much other stuff to do and check that you might as well do it manually so you know it's done right.

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