Scribus Exploration I: Document Setup and Master Pages
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 5:28pm
The first step in recreating my InDesign layout for The Shipwright and Other Stories in Scribus is to establish that I can create a document with the appropriate margin settings and set up the master pages I need. Master pages are templates that I can apply to individual pages in the document and which change throughout the document when the master changes. This saves a lot of time for shared design elements throughout a book.
Shipwright has only two master pages: the first page of a chapter, and the subsequent pages of a chapter. Since none of the front matter pages repeat themselves, I never made those master pages. However, now that I think about that, it is probably a good idea to do so. It would save time in laying out the next book.
Creating a Scribus document with the appropriate settings using picas is easy enough.
The first thing I notice about the master page panel is that verso and recto master pages are separate documents, rather than a single unified document. This effectively doubles the number of master pages I must maintain.
However, the creation of the master pages themselves was largely uneventful. I have all the tools I need to arrange and set text blocks with my chosen font, Roos Roman.
Bonus Points for Scribus
No Scribus feature yet stands out as being superior to its equivalent InDesign feature.
Master pages are either verso or recto, rather than a single verso/recto combo. This has the potential to introduce human error into the layout. I could accidentally apply a verso master to a recto or vice versa. This is, however, unlikely.
No text variables except for page number. I use the "file name" text variable in InDesign so that I can reuse the same interior master page across all my different chapters/stories. In the case of Shipwright, this isn't a big deal. I'll have six right interior master pages instead of one (one for each story), however, for a text like Schrödinger's City, it would be untenable. Now, if I can make local modifications to master pages on specific documents, this won't be a showstopper, but if not... So far this qualifies as a minor grievance, but we'll see what happens when I get to laying out specific blocks of text.
In picas, manually editing to a decimal-place pica is rejected by the editor. I can nudge elements into round pica sizes/positions, so this isn't a showstopper, but this seems like such an easily corrected bug.