PDF text select order

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when I export a pdf document and select texts, it start from the deeper text frame to the closest text frame.
In some cases, I'd like to reverse this order (first elements are the closest) or make exceptions for some frames.

I didn't found anything about it ; do you know if it's possible to do it ?

Thanks !

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Welcome to the forum Papou008.

As far as I know there's no way to tell Scribus which order to put the text frames in, and thus alter the order in which text is selected.

Scribus uses its own logic which isn't open to the user to change. (I think it's some combination of the order in which the frames were added to the page and maybe something to do with position/level on the page but I can't be certain.)

I also think there may be differences between PDF readers in how they render PDF pages so those differences could destroy any order that the user gave anyway.

I'm fairly sure that Adobe have thought about this in the PDF specification - for tabbing between items on forms etc. - and that it's somehow possible to do what you want if you use Acrobat as your reader but not, as far as I know, with Scribus (yet).


Somehow I'm tired of answering questions on creating forms with Scribus.

On the one side, for what I am concerned, Scribus is not a tool for creating PDF forms: it's a DTP program that produces PDFs that can be professionally printed.
So helping people creating more forms is in my eyes not really helping the project, just diverting scarce resources.

On the other side, I have the feeling that the people who are asking the questions are payed for creating the document and are not skilled enough in Scribus to get the job done.

I have to provide them with a step by step solution. For free.
And nothing comes back from them.
They ask their question in an anonymous way and then disappear.

But I cannot leave this question around with a wrong answer either...


Anyway, there are five possible ways the order of the fields could be defined (let's exclude a random order):

- the order of creation of the field itself (that would be stupid but not impossible);
- the alphabetical order of field's name (not really clever but not unlikely);
- the level of the item on the page (not really handy but...)
- through a specific setting (might be cumbersome but should work).
- by the field's position on the page (top to bottom, left to right; well, not a bad idea...)

I'll let Papou do her research and find out which one of those orders are used by Scribus for the tabbing order in the PDF.

If she provides anything to me or to the Scribus project I can give her the exact answer.
(Yes I had to try it out myself, since I've never created a PDF form in my life)

Have a nice afternoon everybody and sorry for the rant.


Ah, I reread the original question... it's probably not about forms...
The rant is still valid, but does not apply to this question :-(

Papou, if you have issue selecting text in a Pdf, could you please upload a simple .sla + a .pdf, describe the current behavior (according to the file) and tell which behavior it should have.