Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Create Point Form Notes With Scribus

Scribus is an open-source program similar to Adobe's InDesign. It has an excellent feature set, but I'll admit that it's not the easiest program to learn. There are also some shortcomings that don't appeal to new users, such as the inability to add point form notes.

Also called "bullet points", those dots or symbols are a handy way to create lists of information. However, the process to create these notes is not a simple one, unlike the simple press of a button we are used to in Microsoft Word. The official website tells users to use Paragraph Styles, while a Python script is also available to complete this task. Both of those methods are confusing and really designed for advanced users.

Of course, I'm going to teach you a easier way do so in Scribus. Here's a sample document of gibberish I just made (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Notice that I've created guides (just pull them down from the rulers) and have snapped them to my text box (Enable snapping by going to the menu bar, they clicking on Page - Snap to Guides). To create the point form notes, first duplicate the text box (Figure 2).

Look for the "bullet point" symbol in the Windows Character Map. Do so by typing "character map" into the Start Search box, or if you're using XP go to Start → Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Character Map. Find your font and then click on the bullet point in the list of symbols. Then, hit Select and Copy (Figure 3).

Figures 2 and 3

Now, here comes the strange part. Clear all your lines of text except the first line (Figure 4). Then, paste the first bullet point in front of the first line of text. Press Enter and put points over the places where the text used to be (Figure 5). Finally, clear the words on the first line.

Figures 4 and 5

Drag your new text box to the front of the old one and adjust the handles on the bounding box to make it thinner. That is how you adjust the distance between the bullets and the text.

You're done! I opened it in Print Preview mode to make it clearer. (Figure 6)

Figure 6

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