text frames with master pages

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i'm laying out a new book and would like to have odd-page-number and even-page-number master pages. this is not a problem. but when i want to apply these master pages i lose the original text frames, which i need because their position is different, depending on whether they are in an odd- or even-numbered page.

my question: is there any way i can have the text frames also be copied along with the master pages? i don't want to have to insert and position new text frames through the entire layout of the book (around 300 pages).

thanks for any help!


Welcome to the forum jasokah.

You cannot - as of 1.4.6 - use text frames on master pages in the way that you want.

It is best to think of master pages as "page backgrounds" rather than "page templates". The items on a master page can't change between pages (except for things like page numbers etc).

There are two usual ways of doing what you want:

1. Using automatic text frames.

When creating a document, you can set-up your margins as needed and tell Scribus to create automatic text frames that will be created to take up the whole space inside the margins of each page as pages are created.

One problem with this is that it only really works for brand new documents. Another downside is that every new page will have an automatic text frame whether you want one or not and deleting them can cause problems. Other issues have also been reported. Personally I would not advise using automatic text frames.

2. Using the Scrapbook.

You can set-up the text frame(s) on each page - left and right - then select the frame(s) from each page and copy them to the Scrapbook. Then you can drag the frame(s) - the layout - from the Scrapbook as you need them and link the text from frame to frame.

This is more work than using automatic text frames but you are in much more control over what happens. You can also build up a stock of different page types, e.g. text page left, text page right, chapter heading page left, chapter heading page right, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no quick work-flow for what you want to do but using the Scrapbook will save time in the long run.

P.S. Before you import your text, split it into chapters and import each chapter separately. You will encounter many fewer problems doing that than if you import the whole thing in one go.

P.P.S. IMPORTANT (will I think so anyway). Use styles to format your text. It takes a bit of time to learn but you'll thank yourself for it in the end.


hi garry

thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed answer. this was exactly what i wanted to know!

now it's time to get to work...



You're welcome, and good luck with your book.

There are a few other active forum users creating books at the moment (e.g. http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,2283.0.html ) so the more questions that are asked the more people will benefit.


hi jason

i look at the automatic text frames with different eyes than garryp.

  • i almost always use them when i work on mainly text based documents.
  • masses of text in one single chain of linked frames will slow down scribus. but as long as you import the text in smaller sections (i. e. chapters) and unlink the chain after each of this 'portions', you should be fine.
  • unwanted frames can be deleted without breaking the chain (the previous frame links automatically with the next one...) – or, if you have a page filling image, just put it on top of the text frame and let the text flow around it...
automatic text frames are far from being perfect. here i agree with garryp!
i would like to have master page related automatic text frames (with the option to have different automatic text chains in the same file and the option to edit them in an existing