Styles not saving

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Hey Scribs!

I'm having an issue (Scribus 1.4.6) where text styles (paragraph or character) are not being saved when the document closes. I thought it might just be the two documents I'm currently composing but I just tried a new document and having the same issue.

I created a new style with a specific font and size. Then I created a text area, put in some text, applied the style. Everything worked as it should. I saved the document and closed Scribus. Upon opening everything looks good until I select the text area and look at its style and "No Style" is listed. That means when I go to enter more text at the end, or select all the text and start typing, the default text style is used.

I have one document with about 20 different styles that gets updated for monthly reports and I have to re-apply the styles everytime, to over 14 pages, which is over 100 text boxes! :S

Anyone run into this or know a fix or what I'm doing wrong? I searched but came up empty... Thanks for ANYTHING you can offer!

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There are quite a few issues in there so I'll try and pick them apart.

1. There's no such thing as "No Style" when it comes to text. All text formatting in Scribus is derived from at least one style. By default, there are two: "Default Paragraph Style" (DPS) which is based on the "Default Character Style" (DCS). When Scribus says "No Style", just ignore it. It's wrong. Usually it's just its way of saying "I don't know".

2. Style formatting is only relevant to and can only be applied to the text and not the frame the text is in. When you apply a style at the level of the frame you are telling Scribus to apply that style to all of the paragraphs in that frame, not the frame itself.

3. Since you can set paragraph styles and character styles to any number of paragraphs and characters in a frame, Scribus can't show that in its little drop-down box. There's too much information and therefore Scribus defaults to "No Style", meaning: "I can't tell you". Try to forget about getting information from the Style Settings part of the Properties Palette (PP). Only use that to apply styles, don't rely on getting any useful feedback from it. Think of these drop-downs as "Apply Style" only and think of "No Style" as "Select a Style to Apply...".

4. Any new text frame will be given the DPS (based on the DCS) by default. Any text you enter will be formatted according to the DPS unless you say otherwise. Over-riding the character style (as you have done) does not change the underlying paragraph style. When you start a new paragraph Scribus uses the style of the previous paragraph as a starting point. If the previous paragraph was formatted by the DPS then the new paragraph will be.

5. Paragraph Styles should be used to format paragraphs while Character Styles should be used to base Paragraph styles on and to format small selections of text within paragraphs. You always have at least one paragraph in a text frame. An empty text frame is just a frame with an empty paragraph.

6. Paragraph Style settings are "stored" at the end of the paragraph. If you use "View -> Show Control Characters" you will see a funny red backwards P with a double line (called a "pilcrow"). You can imagine this character as the "container" for the formatting settings of the paragraph before it. Therefore, if you delete this character - for instance by backspacing from the start of the next paragraph - the formatting of the previous paragraph will be lost and the text will become part of the next paragraph.

7. Selecting all of the text and then over-typing should default formatting to the last paragraph style that was used. If you didn't change the paragraph style from the default then it will revert back to the default. Any character styles that were used in the deleted text are ignored.

I hope that's cleared things up a bit. If not, just say what you want explaining more.


Post of the year. You just explained a number of things to me that have been an ongoing annoyance or mystery. Thanks!


You're welcome CGood. I'm glad I've been able to help.

It's worth mentioning that if you are editing text directly - i.e. not using the Story Editor - then the Style Settings drop-downs should show you the paragraph and character styles that are relevant to the text at the insertion point. This is the only time when they sometimes show you the correct information.

However, and this is why I said should and sometimes, they don't always show you the correct styles. If the DPS is in force at the insertion point then they will probably show as "No Style" (which, as I said in my previous post, is wrong). Also, if a character style is in force (over-riding the paragraph style) at the point in the text where you first double-clicked to start editing, the character style will probably not be shown correctly. In this case you would have to click elsewhere and then click back to see the correct style shown. (This is obviously a bug.)

In addition to that, if you have a section of text that has a character style applied and then select that same section of text by dragging from the left then the style name should be shown correctly but, on the other hand, if you select the same text by dragging from the right the style will probably be shown as "No Style". (I have no idea why this should be so.)

For most purposes all of this isn't really a big problem; you can usually see that the text looks different so you can normally tell which style has been applied (especially if you have created the styles yourself). It just shows that some of what I would call the core functionality of Scribus isn't implemented very well. It does the job but it's not been implemented in a way that gives the casual user much confidence in using it.

These sort of problems need extensive and intensive testing to flush out and fix but, unfortunately, that's not something that most people - especially volunteers - have much inclination towards. Who has the time/patience to go through hours of creating different scenarios to check whether this works that way and that works this way under all of the possible combinations that the software allows? And then when a fix has been applied you need to re-compile and go through all of the tests again. It's just not going to happen with people who aren't getting anything back for their trouble.

Don't get me wrong, the people involved with the Scribus project have done a magnificent job getting it to where it is. How many other open source DTP applications are there? Without Scribus we'd have to use - shudder - Page Plus Starter Edition, or mess around with LibreOffice (or even, and yes I'm saying it, paying for stuff!). It's just that I wish more time and effort could be expended in getting the core functionality locked down and rock solid rather than adding new flashy/unnecessary features - such as fish-eye lenses, for example.

Anyway, I hope you stick with Scribus because it really has a lot to offer; you just have to take the time to get used to how it works and recognise its eccentricities.


I am sticking with it. Brute forcing my slow mind to get used to it. I just keep making brief sample texts with the next thing I am trying to learn and looking through newsletters and fora to get as much real user data as I can. I am using 1.5.1 which seems to be a major jump from the family. I have 1.4 on one machine and 1.5.1 on every machine I use. 1.5.1 stands far better, warts and all.

I find myself in the odd position of thinking Scribus is fantastic, and cursing it at the same time. I suspect that anything that works with typography, display, and printers is necessarily very complex, and that the devs have a lot to do, to move things forward, and so I am grateful that anyone is willing to work at it..