Once you have assembled all the bits to create your first layout, it is time to begin working in Scribus. For previous users of page layout applications, launching Scribus for the first time will seem comfortable and familiar.
Scribus has three different icon tool bars.
Left to Right: File New, File Save, Close File, Print and Export PDF.
File New will bring up the new document dialog with the default preferences, shown further below. File Save, Close File and Print all work as expected and the last Export PDF launches the PDF Export window.
Scribus toolbars are floatable and dockable in that they can move from the main window and float over the canvas or they can be "docked" below the menus or either side of the canvas.
File > New brings up a dialog which has a number of options, the default is set in the preferences dialog under Edit - Preferences. Lets open the default and have a begin with importing text. Text in a Scribus layout is an object, so it can moved and manipulated very precisely.
Selecting Automatic Text Frames will create one text frame per page with the borders of the text frame determined by the page margins. You can also make the text within the text frame multi-colum, commonly used in newspaper and magazine layouts.
Now to create a text frame, click the Insert Text Box button on the top. Move the cursor to the upper left hand corner of the page canvas and left click drag to enlarge the frame. You can now either double click the frame or select the Text Cursor to begin editing. Scribus has its own built-in Story Editor, which is essentially a small built in text editor. The other way and the I recommend is to import your text directly. But before set the font, size and alignments first - then import the text - this saves editing time.
You can further modify text frames by the Right Click, which brings up a context menu or using the measurements palette via Tools > Show Measurements. Both panels share many of the same editing features. The modify option adds some PDF and color options, which are not available on the measurements palette.Edit Mode vs. Select Mode
Switching between modes at the beginning can be confusing to new users - learning drawing programs can cause similar frustration. You select something, but you cannot do anything with it directly. It is doubly confusing, because while you are in select mode, you can move a text or image frame. How you can tell and how can you switch?
There are a couple of basic ways which you can use and select tools and objects. To enable edit mode - simply double click the object, any object when double clicked will be in edit mode. The cursor will change from the cross, which is for moving selecting objects to the hand/text cursor. To exit, click the page canvas without touching other objects. This puts you back in select mode. Select mode is what you want when you want to move, delete, copy or resize. Edit mode is when you want to edit the contents of the frame.
Moving the cursor near the border or corner of an object frame the cursor will change to a double arrow. This will resize an object frame in one direction. When resizing with the mouse, holding Shift, will constrain or retain the same shape. Holding the Control key will retain the object's proportion as well.
When you select a image or text frame, the red squares are grab handles. For text frames, the corner squares can be used to resize the frame. The top and bottom squares in the middle are for resizing vertically by dragging.
Text Frames - Scribus has many different features for text handling, including support for right to left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic. Moreover, Scribus has a built in hyphenation engine based on the same one used in Open Office -it works well and many languages are supported. There is also the ability to adjust tracking or spacing between letter pairs. You can squeeze text or spreeaaad it apart. Text boxes can be rotated, flipped and you can add them to paths, like following the arc of a circle.
Click the text icon and drag a new frame on the page. Then Right Click > Properties from the contect menu. From there you can adjust the defaults. Including borders, the fill color and column gap, spacing of text from the text frame edge and others.
In the palette above, note the Styles drop down button. Using Styles is strongly recommended for efficient text layout and styling. With properly used styles, you can change the entire look of a document with a few clicks.