Author Topic: Trying to change document page size from A4 to 8.5"x11"  (Read 12171 times)


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Trying to change document page size from A4 to 8.5"x11"
« on: May 01, 2012, 04:57:11 am »
Hi all,

I'm pretty new to Scribus but I have been using the software to create a large document for school over the past couple of months. It's a great program and I've had fun learning it.

However, I've just discovered my first mistake, and I think it's a big one. I chose A4 as the document size when I created it, and I never switched this to 8.5"x11". Now the document is finished, it's 36 pages long, and it's two days before printing. The formatting was painstaking at times, and when I try using Page-Manage Page Properties and then changing to 8.5"x11", things get out of whack. Yet something must be done, because a test print results in my page numbers and top margin banners getting cut out.

Could someone recommend a fix, please? Let me know if I need to include screenshots, in case I did not explain things clearly.

Many thanks!



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Re: Trying to change document page size from A4 to 8.5"x11"
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 07:12:45 am »
Here is what I would do:

1) With the document and the Scrapbook open, select all items on each page and paste into the Scrapbook, giving each Scrapbook item a name with an incremental number according to the page, like Page-1, Page-2, etc.

2) Close the document and create a new document of the same number of pages, but be sure to specify 8.5 x 11 as the page size. When defining the document set the margins to the margins of your A4 document, plus or minus the difference in page size. The idea is to create an area inside the margins that is the same size as your objects on each page of the original document.

3) Using the Scrapbook, drag each page onto the corresponding page in the new document, placing within the margins of the new document. As you drag the page contents out of the Scrapbook they will all still be selected, so it should be easy to position them as a group.

I think that will work. The only problem I can see is that if there is text linked through frames on multiple pages you may have to re-flow and/or re-link the frames. The margins of your new document won't be normal standard margins, but A4 and letter are not that far apart, so I doubt anyone will notice. Unless, of course, this is a thesis that will be subject to scrutiny by a committee of professors eager to find something wrong with the style required in your field.
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Meho R.

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Re: Trying to change document page size from A4 to 8.5"x11"
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 07:35:16 am »
If you used master pages for page numbers and headers/footers, changing that part should be easy enough. Text shouldn't pose too much of a problem either. But other elements of design might. Changing document size where the change isn't proportional is always hard, no matter which application is used, especially when enlarging it (for proportionally smaller document, one can create a PDF and use some of imposition tools to resize it; enlarging isn't recommended). In your case, I don't know of an automatic process to correct that, since you must enlarge the doc vertically, but shrink it horizontally. So, you'll most likely have to do things the hard way.

Some general tips:
1. As always, the first step is the most important: create a backup of your current document.
2. Repeating static objects like headers and footers (and page numbers) go to master pages. Depending on your project, you might need only three of them (first, left and right pages) which fit for all of the document pages, or maybe one set of two or three per chapter/section... etc.
3. Change document size in File > Document Setup > Document. Apply the new size to all pages. It is probably safer to go with new document, as John suggested, but I didn't encounter any problems with resizing the page yet.
4. Create guides around the page and enable snapping (Page > Snap to Guides), for easier repositioning of objects.
5. For those objects which are reused on different pages, but with different properties and/or position (so that they cannot be used on a master page), use Scrapbook (Windows > Scrapbook).

Good luck.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 07:37:16 am by Meho R. »


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Re: Trying to change document page size from A4 to 8.5"x11"
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 12:37:31 pm »
Thank you very much, John_Jason_Jordan and Meho R, for your in-depth replies! I will give it a try and report back.