Black background colour

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Hello.  I am new here and hope someone could help.

I have created a 100 page book.  It was quite easy even though I am an old timer at 70 years!! so please be gentle with any comments.

I looked for some info in the search box but could not find.  I imagine my issue is something to do with the Scribus terminology.

When I export the book to PDF the black background in my book is shown as white in the PDF.  Please can someone help me and advise what I need to change to export to PDF with black background.  (works fine in Microsoft publisher) Also I need to show the cut and bleed marks.  They are there when the white PDF is opened, but I imagine I need to again change something if black background is used for all pages.  What is the terminology for changing background to black for PDF export and also the cut and bleed marks to be shown on a black background.

Thanks for taking time to read this.

I hope you can understand.  Help would be really appreciated.

Regards Steve


hi steve

how did you generate your black background?
it never happened to me that a rectangle disappeared while exporting to .pdf – unless the export of the object was disabled in the 'general' tab of 'properties'.

...and scribus places the crop and bleed marks outside of the bleed area. the background can't cover them – even if you made it larger than necessary, scribus will crop it to the bleed box.

if you can't solve your problem, you can show me an .sla file. (a small test file or just one or two pages of your biggie – i don't need 100 pages...)



For some reason I cannot reply with information??


If you use the »Reply« button below the post, you can add attachments, etc.

If you use the »Quick Reply«, you can only write some text. It's a bit confusing...



Sorry for late reply.  Thanks for reading it.
I attach a few examples.  The first is how it looks onscreen.  The second is how it looks output to PDF.  I used the fill option to change the white to black on my project. 
Perhaps that is not correct.  How do I change white background to black for PDF export.

Please can I also ask.  How can I put a 4mm border around the image. What is the terminology in scribus for doing that.

Thanks once again.

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You need to add a new layer for the background and give it a black fill.

Make the rectangle as large as you need. Example: Your page size is 210 x 100 mm, and you have 3 mm bleed on all sides. Then the rectangle must have the size of 216 x 106 mm and positioned at -3 (x) and -3 (y). Make sure that the layer will be printed (check box in the layer)

Image with border: Activate snapping. Select the image layer. Draw a rectangle onto the image. Set the outline color and size. Then modify the size of the rectangle without locking the aspect ratio and add 8 mm in the x and 8 mm in the y direction.

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Thanks for your reply

Sorry but as previously mentioned I am new to Scribus and an "old timer".

How do I draw the rectangle? with the shapes button?  I tried that and the image disappeared.  By the ways I need to put an outline around 100 images so have i got to do this 100 times??  And the same as the adding a layer to create the black background.  Do I have to do that 100 times.?  Surely as in other DTP software you should be able to do that for all pages with one click

Sorry for my ignorance with Scribus.  And there was me thinking I had done a great job making a 100 page book only to fall down at the export phase.

Kind regards


Yes, with the shapes button, by selecting the rectangle. If you activate the snapping, the drawing tool will snap to guides, objects and grid.

The image disappeared because you have a white fill for the rectangle. Just change the »Color« to »None« in the »Properties«, and set the line to black (or any other color which you have to define first in the -> Menu -> Colors and fills -> CMYK.

For the background, you can draw a rectangle and fill it with black, then convert it into a master page which you have to apply to all pages. Or you can copy the first background on its own layer and paste it at the same layer on all pages. It is simple and fast.

Image frames: If the images have different sizes, there is no way around drawing a rectangle around each image. You can speed it up by copying a rectangle and modifying the size for each image.

I don't know of any other software where you can add frames for all images with one single click. Remember: Book design and printing is not a »point 'n click« task. Book design and making is a sophisticated task which requires a lot of training, expertise and experience. Forget the »YouTube University« where everything is finished in 3 minutes. It is not a coincidence that book designers, typesetters, book printers and book binders are old professions which require (at least in Europe) a 3-year training for the first level, and a 10-year training, expertise and experience before you can apply for a master exam and title — separate for each of the mentioned professions.

Just because there is a software, and you know how to operate it, it does not mean that you know what you really should do before you even start your computer.

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Thanks for your help.  So nice to get such great support.

I can now change the fill to black for all pages Great!!

But I have tried and tried to give the images an outline colour.  I used the shape tool and drew the outline.  I changed the colour to none but then in the line properties box it will not allow me to give it an outline colour.  I am struggling to do this.  I tried snapping but it did not seem to do anything.  It's a big learning curve.

Any further help with your already generous comments would be appreciated.




I maybe confused the issue by saying you could add a border to the images with one click.  I meant to add a page fill colour with one click which you already taught me.



Maybe I am just missing something. 

Your second picture shows Layers... Is this what I am not doing.  I cannot find how to get to the layers??

Perhaps it is in the layers properties where the size and outline colour is produced?

Sorry for so many questions.



F6 opens the layer window and properties.