Layout

We are now going to layout the pages (inner pages) of the book.

Preparation

Hyphenation

By default, Scribus doesn't hyphenate. If you want to hyphenate the text (necessary when using full justification and narrow columns) go to File > Document Setup > Hyphenator and click Hyphenate Text Automatically During Typing.

If you want to hyphenate text that is already entered into a text frame, select the Text Frame and chose Extras > Hyphenate Text.

Read more about hyphenation in Scribus.

Length limitations

Scribus has a problem handling (text) books of over 100 pages. The solution is to divide the book into several pieces which are saved as PDF documents and later joined together.

We have successfully edited magazines of 40 pages with text and images in one document.

The process

We don't trust the import function for Open Document Format (see tool description for Scribus). The solution is to use copy-and-paste to get the text into Scribus.

We are going to use the following workflow for getting the text from LibreOffice into Scribus (of course, if your book is shorter, only steps 2-5 are needed):

1. Copy template

Copy the Scribus template ("elvistoday_vol2_pages.sla") to a new sequentially numbered copy: elvistoday_vol2_pages_01.sla, elvistoday_vol2_pages_02.sla etc.

2. Setup copy in Scribus

Open the copy in Scribus and adjust the page number (Document Setup > Sections). Set up the first page as a right or left page (Document Settings > Document: First page is: Left Page).

3. Create empty pages with frames

Create 99 new pages for a total of 100 pages (Page > Insert).

Insert linked frames on all pages (Insert > Frames; Page placement: All pages; Size: Same as the Page Margins; Options > Link Inserted Frames).

4. Transfer text

Copy the next 30 blog entries from the LibreOffice document and paste them into Scribus.

5. Format text

Select all text (it should already be selected since the paste action) and apply the Text body paragraph style to the whole text (select this in the Properties window)

Replace any “--” with an em-dash (which can be found by searching for "em-dash" in the Ubuntu Character map application (“Common” script for the DejaVu font).

Apply paragraph and character styles by visually scanning the manuscript in LibreOffice and apply the corresponding styles in Scribus: Heading 2, date, Text body - first paragraph. quote, list, title.

6. End document

Locate a suitable place to end this Scribus document. Find a place near the end of the document where there are few lines before a page break (less than 7 lines = 2 blank lines + 1 title + 1 date + 1 blank line + 2 paragraph lines).

Example where 7 lines wont fit into end of page.

Delete all text after this page and then all the empty pages. Mark used blog entries in the manuscript (for example with the highlighting color tool).

Repeat from step 1.

If it's not possible to find a good ending, add some more pages and copy more blog posts until you find a good place to end. Repeat from step 1.

Final finish

Widows and orphans

A widow is a "paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page/column, thus separated from the rest of the text" (Wikipedia).

An orphan is either the first line of a paragraph, all alone at the bottom of a page, or a single word (or short phrase) alone on a line at the end of a paragraph.

We are going to remove widows and the first kind of orphans by (we don't care about the second kind).

Widow: Look for orphans (of the second kind) in the previous paragraphs. When you find one, try to move it up onto the previos line by selecting the entire paragraph and adjust the letter spacing (Properties window, Text > Advanced Settings)

Letter spacing is located in the Properties window.

Values between 0 and -2% (3% maximum) are good.

Orphans: Place the curser at the start of the line and select Insert > Spaces & Breaks > Frame Break.

Handling intro pages

We have a couple of pages with title, print date, dedication etc in the beginning. They shouldn't have page numbers. We solve this by placing them in a separate document (we are handling multiple documents anyway) where we remove the automatic page number from the Master Pages.

Another solution is to use sections. They are separate numbering schemes for different parts of the document (File > Document Setup > Sections).