View Issue Details

IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0010301ScribusStory Editor / Text Framespublic2021-09-14 11:48
ReporterJLuc Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Product Version1.4.0svn 
Summary0010301: All types of non breaking spaces should be displayed as red underscore in story editor
DescriptionIn story editor, CTRL+SPACE = non breaking spaces are displayed as red underscore. Thats perfect.
But all other spaces are displayed as spaces.

Proposition :
ALL different types of non breaking spaces should be displayed as red underscore aswell : "espace fine", "moyenne" and more.
Tagscontrol characters, discussion, spacing, unicode


related to 0013373 new No way to distinguish a common space from a non-breaking space for frames with Russian text 
related to 0009614 closedjghali Non breaking spaces look the same as normal spaces when "Show Control Characters" is checked 
parent of 0005592 new display narrow no-break space (U+202f) in story editor 
related to 0009615 new Find a way to display all kind of spaces (thin, thick, mid, etc) differently when "Show Control Character" is enabled 
related to 0016626 new Zero Width Spaces are not visible 
child of 0004004 acknowledged Metabug: Typographic spacing 
Not all the children of this issue are yet resolved or closed.



2011-10-03 23:07

administrator   ~0026954

According to unicode line breaking rules, thin space and hair space all provide break opportunites and hence cannot be considered as non breaking spaces. See

You can find the non breaking space here:

Some other chars also prevent line breaking :
However zero-width no-break space (0xFEFF) usage it to be avoided as it is used as byte order mark and word joiner (0x2060) is not categorized by unicode as a space.


2011-10-04 06:10

reporter   ~0026958

Well, 202F NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE (NNBSP) and 180E MONGOLIAN VOWEL SEPARATOR (MVS) are narrower versions of NBSP and could be so displayed.

But is the issue here that anything that is not a standard Space be displayed differently than a standard Space.


2011-10-04 08:28


space lab.sla (14,731 bytes)


2011-10-04 08:39

developer   ~0026960

I dunno jghali but testing gives me the feeling that scribus considers all non standard spaces as non breaking spaces.
Please find the joined 'space lab.sla' file and play with it changing the frame width and seeing how line break adjust with different spaces.
One can see that scribus adds a hyphen when breaking on all spaces except normal space. That leads me to believe these are treated as non breaking spaces.
Adjusting the word lenghts in the SLA might improve understanding of what is happening too.

I agree with richardpaulhall about displaying not standard spaces differently than standard spaces.
And in cases there are both breaking and no-break non standard spaces - there could be 2 signs : red underline for no-break non standard spaces as CTRL+Space, and blue underline for breaking non standard spaces.

These conventions could be ported to the "display invisible characters" mode of the normal view aswell. (see


2011-10-04 21:40


space lab 2.sla (29,009 bytes)


2011-10-19 15:11

updater   ~0027053

Goal is to know that there in text some other than standard spaces (not only no-breaking space) are used. It is important when we load text from outside sources (formatted text files) - how to recognize that someone use such special chars or not?
My propose is using few colors for different kinds of spaces while displaying special characters in window.
Dont know what future of SE is. If it will be kept in Scribus than some indication of special spaces will be helpful.
Maybe it could be some kind of <XX> code, like <FS> for figure space, <NS> for en width space and so on.


2011-10-19 16:05

manager   ~0027054

not sure if many colors will be really helpful here. isn't a bit hard to recognize which color means what type of space?

it would be wonderful if we could have different forms which remind to the function of the space... but i'm not sure if it will be easy to find (and draw on canvas) those signs...

or would be a tooltip a possibility?

on the other side, the future of the SE is imo to become a powerful tool for managing the formatting in a "tagged" way. one could show and hide tags...

but, imo, there are too many projects open that i think that we should close some of them before opening the rewriting of the SE...
... but i'd like to see some work on it late next spring...
(and why not writing it as a python script and making it customizable?)


2013-01-11 16:00

developer   ~0029695

Last edited: 2013-01-11 16:04

according to, Unicode got a special character for educationnal purposes whose aim is to display where non breaking spaces are used : U+237D in Unicode/U2300 table.

Its called « Caisse ouverte à épaulement » or "SHOULDERED OPEN BOX". See it here :

So as to align with Unicode educational purposes, « ? » U+237D seems to be a good candidate.

I could not find more explanation on this.


2013-01-11 22:11

developer   ~0029696

Last edited: 2013-01-11 22:12

jghali : states that
"No-break thin space, known in Unicode as “Narrow No-Break Space” (U+202F ? narrow no-break space (HTML: ?)). It was introduced in Unicode 3.0 for Mongolian, to separate a suffix from the word stem without indicating a word boundary.

Also required for French punctuation (before ?, ! or ;)."

So i'm quite glad thin space is no-break in scribus. What else could easily we use before ;, ? and ! ?, in french ??

Unless you add that mongolian space in the menu, for all french writers...


2014-01-26 22:16

developer   ~0031202

Last edited: 2014-01-27 12:20

Agreeing with ale on : it seems difficult to have as many colors and glyphs as there are types of spaces.

More over, other non displayed special characters as soft-hyphen are not spaces, but should also be shown in some way in the story editor.

Here are various options that would fit well together :

- use 2 different signs for breaking / non breaking signs, since being aware of this difference is part of the job editing with the story editor
-* use a green U+237D "SHOULDERED OPEN BOX" for all non breaking blank signs
-* use green ~ or _ for example for all breaking spaces

- use a tooltip (a hint bubble appearing on hovering the sign) so as to display full characteristics of the glyph : name and unicode value.

- use a specific color (red) when the glyph is NOT defined in its font


2016-03-28 15:27

reporter   ~0039471

The reporter has only requested: "should be displayed as red underscore" that is not too complicated I guess. As a user I would like that too.

@cezaryece: For users who want to "analyze" a text in detail, maybe a Scribus text frame is not the best place. In our workflow we mainly bring "ready texts" into Scribus. Stil there is a useful font here that helps people who need to know (see) each detail:


2016-03-28 15:38

developer   ~0039472

interesting font.

Maybe it could be used, in other places, when a missing font glyph is used in the SLA ?


2016-03-28 18:58

updater   ~0039477

Last edited: 2016-12-09 17:32

@MZaske very cool idea

Unicode BMP Fallback Font

Intended for debugging, this font contains a glyph for every character in the Basic Multilingual plane (including Private Use Area) of Unicode, each glyph consisting of a box enclosing the four hex digits identifying the Unicode scalar value.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2011-10-03 21:02 JLuc New Issue
2011-10-03 23:07 jghali Note Added: 0026954
2011-10-04 06:10 richardpaulhall Note Added: 0026958
2011-10-04 08:28 JLuc File Added: space lab.sla
2011-10-04 08:39 JLuc Note Added: 0026960
2011-10-04 21:40 JLuc File Added: space lab 2.sla
2011-10-19 15:11 cezaryece Note Added: 0027053
2011-10-19 16:05 ale Note Added: 0027054
2011-10-19 20:29 mhanski Relationship added child of 0004004
2013-01-11 16:00 JLuc Note Added: 0029695
2013-01-11 16:03 JLuc Note Edited: 0029695
2013-01-11 16:04 JLuc Note Edited: 0029695
2013-01-11 22:11 JLuc Note Added: 0029696
2013-01-11 22:11 JLuc Note Edited: 0029696
2013-01-11 22:12 JLuc Note Edited: 0029696
2014-01-26 22:16 JLuc Note Added: 0031202
2014-01-26 22:16 JLuc Note Edited: 0031202
2014-01-27 12:20 JLuc Note Edited: 0031202
2015-06-09 11:53 JLuc Relationship added related to 0013125
2015-06-09 11:53 JLuc Relationship deleted related to 0013125
2015-09-17 20:08 Kunda Category Story Editor / Text Frames => Story Ed/Txt Frames
2015-09-17 20:12 Kunda Category Story Ed/Txt Frames => Story Editor / Text Frames
2016-03-14 13:17 Kunda Relationship added related to 0005592
2016-03-28 15:27 MZaske Note Added: 0039471
2016-03-28 15:38 JLuc Note Added: 0039472
2016-03-28 18:58 Kunda Note Added: 0039477
2016-03-29 06:09 JLuc Relationship replaced parent of 0005592
2016-04-01 12:30 Kunda Tag Attached: discussion
2016-04-01 12:30 Kunda Tag Attached: unicode
2016-04-01 13:06 Kunda Relationship added related to 0013373
2016-04-01 13:08 Kunda Relationship added related to 0009614
2016-04-26 22:11 Kunda Relationship added related to 0009615
2016-05-24 19:24 Kunda Tag Attached: control characters
2016-12-09 17:32 Kunda Note Edited: 0039477
2017-10-28 10:12 JLuc Tag Attached: spacing
2017-10-28 10:13 JLuc Description Updated
2017-10-28 10:13 JLuc Patch => No
2021-09-14 11:48 JLuc Relationship added related to 0016626