Suggestion: Editable frames on masterpages

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Long, variable-length documents like books require the ability to add pages of a particular layout, such as odd/even pages, chapter pages, etc, making templates a less than ideal approach. While I can apply a masterpage based on odd-even, the content is a static background that cannot be edited. Would it be possible to allow the user to mark frames within a master page as being editable, meaning that their content can be changed, but not the size or location? This would allow the user, for example, to place a text frame at the desired locations on master pages for odd and even pages, then fill them with the desired content. Apply Master Pages already has the ability to apply just to odd or even pages, so that part is already there. Based on another topic, I know there is a variety of workarounds to this problem, but this is an essential feature of a book layout process, so it would be nice to have a smoother approach.

And if I'm being really greedy, it would be great if the master page could be dynamically linked to the page in the sense that if the page changes from odd to even (because of an insertion or deletion ahead of it), the master page is swapped for the corresponding page. This would require that master pages have a sense of being even or odd and are paired so that the swap can be made. Of course, the paired pages would have to have to have corresponding frames to allow the remapping.


the short answer is -- probably -- two no.

first, making items on the master pages being editable won't probably happen any time soon.

it's a very tempting and cool feature, but it has many  edge cases and it makes many thinks much more complicated.

but there is (now) a multiple duplicate on pages that can probably do what you want...
you can duplicate a frame on the following page(s) and automatically link the frames together.
i wanted to try your workflow and i've found a bug... i will try to fix it tomorrow morning: with a bit of luck it is just one line missing.

concerning the mirrored master pages: the real problem is that scribus lets you create single left and right master pages, while it should force you to define pairs of masterpages.
indeed, applying a left master page to a right page does not make sense.
but scribus can't do the replacement because it does not know which left and right MP belong together.
basically, when in double page mode, scribus should show you a double page in the master page editor... probably not such a difficult change... but somebody has to do it... and there are a few issues to solve.


i've submitted a patch for the bug...

... as soon as it is accepted, i can show you howm you can easily extend your bug on the following pages!

can you please provide me with a .sla file with
- some layout which is meaningful for you (and this example),
- the first double page (simply) layouted, and
- all the text content imported and of course not yet fully placed (please take some text in the public domain).


The attached file contains the layout I am working with. For this simple case it's not too bad to save the right and left pages in the scrapbook, but it's not ideal. In addition, things break badly if an odd number of pages is inserted before the end of the file, as the even and odd pages now swap parity.
I show the text frames linked, which would be true for most cases. In my use, the text frames are not linked across pages.

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if you create a pair of pages at a time, you can simply copy the last two pages and manually link the text frames.

if you want to fill the next n (where n is even) pages with the two mirrored pages and get the text to flow into the new pages, there is a new feature in scribus: multiple duplicate on pages (it should be in the latest development release, iirc; if somebody has a better name, you're welcome)

here is a short screencast:

it's a two step action, but a very flexible one...

- create the new pages
- duplicate the selection on the current page, into the newly created pages

now, here's a little issue: until a few hours ago there was a bug: the text got duplicated into each new frame.
it works ok if the frames are still empty (or you can find the end of the original text and delete the rest by removing the overflowing part)...
i've fixed the bug (my) yesterday evening and the fix has been committed this (nz) morning...

so you need a very recent scribus to "comfortably" replicate what i'm showing.
but the basic idea should work in scribus 1.5.5 (iirc)

if you're on linux you can get the "nightly" appimage (
if you're on ubuntu, you might already have the patch in the current scribus-trunk from the PPA or you will get it tomorrow morning (
if you're on windows, there are good chances that there will be a snapshot soon (
if you're on macos you will need to wait.

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p.s.: do i get some yummy bread delivered to my door next sunday morning?


Quote from: a.l.e on November 08, 2019, 11:35:46 AM
p.s.: do i get some yummy bread delivered to my door next sunday morning?

I would bake you a wonderful loa, but there appear to be two problems:
1. I don't know where your door is
2. I think it's somewhere in Europe and I'm in New Mexico, which is not compatible with "fresh".

That said, this looks like a good solution to my problem.
For the short term, with this simple layout I was about to write some TeX macros to perform the layout.