Linking and Unlinking Frames

When you're working on long, continuous text, such as a book, it's unwise to break the imported text file into chunks the size of an individual frame. Small changes in formatting or minor edits to the text can result in the frame being redrawn on the page and words being lost. To link text frames, first create two or more frames; then, using the arrow Select Item cursor, click the first frame to select it. Click the Link Text Frames icon button on the main Scribus toolbar, which is represented by two sets of lines with a blue triangle between them (keyboard shortcut N). Then, click the frame you want the text to flow into next, and so on. Press the Esc key or click away from the text frames when you've finished linking to return to the Select Item tool.

Using the Link Text Frames feature can sometimes mean that certain words end up in the wrong frame. If you chose automatic text frames when you set up your document, you may see the same effect. A sentence that has lost a word from the end is known among DTP operators as a widow, whereas a single word that has lost its parent sentence is known as an orphan. To avoid widows and orphans, make sure each text frame is large enough for the text it's meant to contain. Then, click into the frame with the Edit cursor (the I-beam) at the end of the last paragraph intended for that frame, and choose Insert > Spaces & Breaks > Frame Break from the Scribus main menu (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter). If you can't remember where you put the frame breaks, select View > Show Control Characters. Frame breaks are shown as small arrows pointing downward to the right, in the same color as the font, and can be deleted like any other character. Because inserting a break is essentially a text edit, Scribus doesn't offer an undo for it, so you must rely on deleting the control character if you change your mind.

Choosing View > Show Text Chain uses much larger black arrows to show the direction of text flow, which is useful for a complex document (see Figure 7-36). You can break text chains using the appropriate icon button on the main toolbar, which shows two sets of lines with two opposing red triangles (keyboard shortcut U, for unlink).

Figure 7-36. Small arrows show frame breaks, and large black arrows show the direction of text-chain flow.
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