Sunday, June 15, 2014

Using Guides (Rulers) In Scribus

Misaligning your images or text by several millimeters might not look like much, but a watchful eye could catch your mistake - and suddenly put your work in an unprofessional light. Professional editors often spend hours before production making sure everything is all lined up and ready. In the old days, this meant using your eyes (and a ruler) to make sure the plates were properly aligned. This method did not always work well, and caused the slightly skewed words and pictures you sometimes see in older publications.

We live in the digital age now, and Scribus has some tools to keep your borders exact and the columns lined up. The Guides feature can produce  vertical and horizontal lines that object edges can be "snapped" to and held in place. Let's look at an example below:

Scribus Guides

Guides can be created simply by clicking on either the left or top ruler and dragging outwards. A small box will show the location of the guide on the appropiate axis, allowing you to place the line at a more exact location. Alternatively, you can input specific values using the Guide Manager (Page Manage Guides). Simply press "Add" and enter the number in the box.

Scribus Guide Manager

If you've created some objects and realised that they can't snap to the guides, don't panic. Click on
(Page Snap to Guides) and you'll be all set. If the guides and hiding behind your objects, there's a setting to fix that. Go to (File Preferences → Guides), and set them to appear in the foreground as shown in the image.

Other Tricks
  • The Guide Manager has a "Column/Row" tab which allows you to create evenly spaced columns in your page (using guides). Be sure to check the "Margins" box, or else your text will go off the page.

Scribus Columns

  • Scribus has a grid (View Show Grid) that basically functions like a transparent sheet of graph paper. Snapping can be enabled by selecting (Page → Snap to Grid), and the size of the squares can be adjusted in (File Preferences → Guides).

Scribus Grid
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