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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0008023ScribusStory Editor / Text Framespublic2015-11-27 22:44
ReporterHellstorm Assigned Tocbradney  
Status assignedResolutionopen 
Product Version1.3.5svn 
Target Version1.6 milestone 
Summary0008023: Quotation marks menu not very usable
DescriptionThe current menu for quotation marks in the story editor is not very helpful.

First, they are currently designed for English, e.g. “Double Left” and “Double Right” are in one group, but “Low Double Comma” is in another group.

It would be better to group the menus by language:

? Opening Single (‘)
? Closing Single (’)
? Opening Double (“)
? Opening Double (”)

? Opening Double („)
? Closing Double (”)
? Opening Single (‚)
? Closing Single (’)

? Opening Bracket (?)
? Closing Bracket (?)
? Opening Inner Bracket (?)
? Closing Inner Bracket (?)

As you have seen, I’ve already included the actual character in the brackets, because if you just see “Single Left”, you don’t know what it is.

Because it is not very helpful for usability, it would be better, if the story editor sees, what language the text box has and displays these set of quotation mark styles at first, but the other ones in submenus.


Text is set to German. Menu becomes like this:

? Opening Double („)
? Closing Double (”)
? Opening Single (‚)
? Closing Single (’)
? -------
? English
?? Opening Single (‘)
?? Closing Single (’)
?? Opening Double (“)
?? Opening Double (”)
?? Opening Bracket (?)
?? Closing Bracket (?)
?? Opening Inner Bracket (?)
?? Closing Inner Bracket (?)

This would then allow easy access to the most used quotation marks but also allows access to quotation marks of other languages.

Also, the current “Apostroph” is wrong. It should _not_ be ' (U+0027), but instead ’ (U+2019).

I think it would be good to “outsource” the set of quotation marks for each language in a different file so that the user can easily create new sets for other languages without going into the source code, e.g. in a xml file.
TagsNo tags attached.



2009-11-17 07:39

reporter   ~0022858

Could somebody tell me, in which source codes files this is hidden? Then maybe I could improve it a little bit by myself.


2009-11-17 11:13

administrator   ~0022860

The situation is not represented by your description. Please read Unicode.. 27 is Apostrophe, 2019 is and is on the menu as Single Right. The quotes are grouped, however not for any particular language.


2013-01-31 12:53

reporter   ~0029777


the Unicode names are a little bit wrong. Also, the problem is like this:

In good typography, the real apostrophe ’ should be used, not the one on the keyboard. On your linked webpage, it says to U+2019 (the real one):

"single comma quotation mark
this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe"

U+0027 has the name "apostrophe", but unicode names are not always correct and often only for compatibility reasons. For U+0027 it also says "neutral (vertical) glyph with mixed usage
U+2019 is preferred for apostrophe".

Another item though, apart from my suggestion with grouping: Wouldn't it be nice to at least put the character in brackets, how it looks like? Currently there is "single quotation mark left" or "<" or "<<".
I think every system supports Unicode nowadays, so it should not be a problem anymore to actually insert the real marks in it.

So as I have said above it would be much easier to write "Opening Double („)" in the menu, so one can see from the menu which quotation mark results. Also, it would be better to replace << with « (just looks better).


2013-01-31 19:23

developer   ~0029778

Displaying the real glyph in the menu is a great help to choose it when possible.
It's the most obvious 'hint' and does better at it than a hint bubble.
Beside, it's pedagogical and invites to learn more about these typo subtleties.

Same in the wysiwyg editor's menu.


2013-01-31 20:07

administrator   ~0029779

If the font used by someone's GUI has the glyph.. which they don't always.


2013-02-06 21:32

reporter   ~0029799

This is a common problem which I observe in OSS projects (this is not a criticism, but an observation):

Technical progress is often slowed by considerations of people who "may not have a xyz".

In my opinion, there is no one with a current operating system who does not have these glyphs in the default font. Windows and MacOS do have them of course, and Linux has them usually too. All the major Linux used fonts have them (Dejavu, Linux Libertine etc).

In my opinion, people who deliberately use so extremely non-standard settings should not create obstacles for the absolutely vast majority (99.9999% of the users) who would clearly benefit from having the quotation marks displayed how they would get them in the end. This is just easier than having a cumbersome description about something which people may not understand, instead of just displaying it.
Besides, people who use Scribus are expected to know a little bit about typography, and they are actually the kind of users who will have capable fonts installed.

For all the other people: Sorry to say this so bluntly, but sometimes it is necessary for technical progress to make change , and it is not possible to take every setup into consideration. Sometimes people need to be forced to their fortune ;)

By the way, the German KDE translation uses German style quotation marks („”) in all its windows, and I have not heard any complaint.

Please, do show the correct quotation marks (Also the trade mark, copyright, center dot etc) in the menu. It is 2013 and not 1990. Unicode is supported everywhere, and the fonts do not pose any problem.


2013-02-07 20:11

developer   ~0029800

craig : the issue arises only when the menu is active, that is when the glyph is defined in the font. When the glyph does not exist in the font, the menu entry is greyed, and there is no benefit nor big problems to display whatever.


2013-02-09 07:23

administrator   ~0029812

IMHO, this should be done via Document Setup/Prefs. There are typographic rules for quotation marks that aren't just different for certain languages, but also for the same language but different countries.


- British/International English: Standard marks are single commas, 6 superscript left, 9 superscript right.

- US English: Double commas 66 superscript left, 99 superscript right.

- German and Austrian German: Either double commas 99 subscript left, double commas 66 superscript right or reversed French guillemets left and right (>> <<).

- Swiss German: French guillemets, but without thin space.

In DocSetup/Prefs users should be able to chose between different default quotation mark patterns based on the local practice, like:

- English (UK)

- English (US)

- German (Gänsefüßchen)

- German (Guillemets)

- German (Swiss Guillemets)


A somehow delicate problem is French, because it requires a thin space between the quotation mark and the text. Cezary is currently working on this issue, and once he made his code working reliably, we should think about adding this to the DocSetup/Prefs. On a sidenote, in LyX this is also a document setting.

In addition, a user should be able to create custom schemes for quotation marks. A good example on how to do this is LibreOffice (but it has been that way since long-gone StarOffice days): Under Tools > AutoCorrect > Localised Options one can choose custom glyphs for the default double and single quotation marks, i.e. those that will be inserted after pressing Shift+' and Shift+". If different quotation patterns are being used in a single doc, it's possible to insert them via Insert > Glyph.

At a later stage (i.e., after the release of 1.6, we could make default quotation marks part of a style setting).


2013-02-09 10:20

administrator   ~0029817

This is not a question of preferences, that is something that should depend on the language of the applied style, or a document default if there are no styles. There is always a case where you want to be able to use these independent of some automatic application, hence the existence of the menu.


2013-02-09 11:04

reporter   ~0029818

Well, another option could be to set a language (or multiple languages) for a document (and paragraph and word). An option in the general preferences would be bad because sometimes the same Scribus setup may be used to write documents in different languages.

Therefore, if one could set the language for the entire document to e.g. English, the English quotation marks would be displayed. If one sets it to German, the German ones. If one sets it to English and German, then both are displayed. Of course, the other marks can be displayed as well.

By the way, concerning quotation marks, I think smart quotes are really necessary (just for the far future). I guess that most people nowadays don’t really have any ideas that " is not the correct quotation mark. You can choose it from the menu, but if one does not know from the beginning that this is necessary, they are not chosen. Also, selecting it from the menu is cumbersome. For French, all these spacing rules are also better done automatically (MS Word does it quite nicely).
Then an option for imported texts to “make them typographically correct” would also be nice, if one imports e.g. only a plain text file with " instead of „“ or “ - ” instead of “ – ”. Then Scribus could just check for every “bad” character and replace it with something better.


2013-02-10 07:16

administrator   ~0029822

cbradney: "This is not a question of preferences, that is something that should depend on [...] a document default if there are no styles."

While true, where are the document defaults derived from? The Prefs, of course, and if a user knows that in 95% of all cases he will only need a certain set of quotation marks, it'd make a lot of sense to add this setting to the Prefs as well. Remember that most users don't operate in multi-lingual environments.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2009-05-10 11:20 Hellstorm New Issue
2009-05-12 21:07 plinnell Status new => assigned
2009-05-12 21:07 plinnell Assigned To => cbradney
2009-11-17 07:39 Hellstorm Note Added: 0022858
2009-11-17 11:13 cbradney Note Added: 0022860
2013-01-31 12:53 Hellstorm Note Added: 0029777
2013-01-31 19:23 JLuc Note Added: 0029778
2013-01-31 20:07 cbradney Note Added: 0029779
2013-02-06 21:32 Hellstorm Note Added: 0029799
2013-02-07 20:11 JLuc Note Added: 0029800
2013-02-09 07:23 christoph_s Note Added: 0029812
2013-02-09 10:20 cbradney Note Added: 0029817
2013-02-09 11:04 Hellstorm Note Added: 0029818
2013-02-10 07:16 christoph_s Note Added: 0029822
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
2015-11-27 22:44 Kunda Patch => No
2015-11-27 22:44 Kunda Target Version => 1.6 milestone