Block justified text

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Hello folks,

I'm a knew by with Scribus, but I have to shamefully confess that I've been a long time InDesign user... It only stoped since I'm retired!
As new interfaces always and ever confused me, I'm trying to find out how to properly justify my texte into full framing, height and width, in Scribus. And I promise I search amongst the questions of this forum... Yet unsuccessful in finding the answer.
Could someone, please, where I find the command to reach my goal?


Welcome here AlexDeK!

I may be missing what you want to do, but text justification is accessed through the Properties dialog. (F2) or Windows>Properties.

That dialog is so valuable that you should just keep it open all the time and maybe set it off to the right.

If you have a test frame open, select it and click on the "Text" tab in the Properties Dialog. You should see the font family name, the fint size, line spacing and then five buttons that look like pages of text (or 1.4.6, or 1.5.1 versions I have - yours should be similar if a different version.)

Those five buttons will affect changes in justification in your text frame.

For this demonstration - have a text frame with a couple of paragraphs of text within itm and before you follow further, please note that there are two levels of focus on a text frame.

The first that shows up if your focus was elsewhere and you click, once, within the text frame, will create a red line as the edge of the frame, and will have little red squares at the corners and centerpoints of the frame - will allow you to manipulate the frame as a whole.

The second kind of focus within the frame allows you to edit directly at the insertion point - the blinking line.

You want the first kind of focus. Click just once and verify that the red corner squares are telling you that you can adjust the whole frame.

Now - click on various of the five buttons I mentioned earlier, and you will get left justified, center, right, both sides, and both sides with the last line forced across the whole width. The last button I have not found a happy use for.

I am not sure what you mean by the "height" in  "...full framing, height... " Can you elaborate and also tell me if my remarks so far are aimed at your question? Are you talking about resizing the height of the text frame to fit closely around the text? If so, those red squares in the frame outline when you are manipulating the entire frame can be used as handles to re-size the frame - in your case use the one at botton center by putting the mouse pointer over it and when the pointer turns into arrows you can click and drag the frame shape as wanted.

Did this make any sense?


hi alex

so far there's no vertical justification (driving out the line spacing to fill the frame) in scribus – and i doubt that it will be included shortly, as it's sort of bad typography...
if you really need vertical justification, you have to play with the line hight manually.



Alex, the answer CGood gave for horizontal justification of text should get you started. Once you get used to using the Properties Palette to set text properties you might then think about looking at Styles which do the same thing but are more powerful as they allow for additional options such as drop caps etc. which aren't available from the PP.

As for vertical justification, what utnik said is correct. Scribus doesn't - currently - have any vertical text justification functionality and, in my view, it doesn't need it and should not have it. This sort of thing would be a nice "quick fix" for people who just want something done as easily as possible but, to paraphrase utnik slightly, it would be bad practice to leave this sort of thing to the software.

There are three main ways you can vertically justify text within a frame (see attached screenshot):
A. Divide up the space between all the lines evenly.
B. Increase the spacing between the paragraphs.
C. Do a combination of A and B.

Option A, to me, looks awful, just awful. Option B is terrible but in its own way. Option C looks better but the line spacing and paragraph spacing need to be changed independently. (My example could look better but it was a quick knock-up.)

Options A and B are, in my opinion, both horrible and useless. You simply don't get a nice result. Option C is more readable but the line spacing and paragraph spacing both need to be modified with respect to each other so they look nice visually. It's the visual look that is the important thing but that's not something that Scribus - or any other DTP application - will be able to get right on its own. It might be able to make a guess via some algorithm but the user would always have to tweak the results of the algorithm  to get the text looking right and thus the user might as well do it manually themselves anyway.

As you've been a long-term InDesign user I realise I'm probably "preaching the the choir" but what I'm saying is for a more general readership.

My point is that it is generally foolhardy to trust that the software will get this sort of thing right every time. At best you could get something that looks okay and might be fine for something that's not important. But, at worst, you could have beginners assuming that what the software has done is the best it could be - the developers must know what they're talking about - and leaving the text looking horrible because they don't know any better.

Line and paragraph spacing - in other words, vertical justification - are always best done by a real person who can look at how the text looks overall and see for themselves whether it looks right or not. Text has to be read by a real person so it should be a real person who lays it out.

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