I'm experiencing a strange behaviour with Scribus; I'm using version 1.5.1, I don't know if it's relevant but I'm under openSUSE.

I have noticed that when I try to underline the text, the thickness of the line is always the same, and does not scale up or down according to the text dimension, like it does on every other program that I know.

In example, this is what underlining does in LibreOffice Writer: enter image description here

And this is the same thing done in Scribus: enter image description here

As you can see the effect is much better when the line has more or less the same thickness of the letters. I've tried to change the font, but it happens every time.

Is this a feature or a bug? Is there an option somewhere to enable the scalable thickness? Or to manually set it to a fixed dimension of my choosing?

  • 1
    If you click and hold down on the underline, you should have two options: one to change the displacement and line width. Perhaps setting the line width to something like 10% or so is what you are looking for.... Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


If you look closely at the "U" for underline, you would see that there's a drop-down arrow as part of the button. If you click and hold the button, you will have two additional properties: "displacement" and "line width". My screenshot tool doesn't seem to want to capture that, but click and hold where the arrow is pointing....

enter image description here

I would suggest experimenting with both of these to get exactly the type of line you want, which I suspect would be different according to the font you're using.


My general advice: don't underline text.
Or better: only underline text for ornamental / graphical purposes.

Underlining for emphasizing is an heritage from the typewriter time, where there was no italic and no bold.

That being said, in text processing, underlines is still required in some types of documents (depending of your country: legal documents!).
But since in DTP the usage should be purely ornemental, I would say that the current behavior in Scribus (manually setting the underline, as Sekhemty correctly suggests) is the right one...

  • Well I have to differentiate between various elements in lists and sub-lists, so I need to emphasise some parts of the text. Bold would stand out too much and italic not enough, so underlining was the right choice
    – user64186
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 23:00
  • for titles you should try to use different sizes of text, bold and italic. in the text itself i would go for different fonts (but that's hard to get right!), italic, colors (mostly grays; also not an easy thing), small caps, ... if it does not work, you might want to restructure you text and think about putting titles between the lists... really, you should consider underling as a decoration not as a way of emphasizing text.
    – a.l.e
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 7:42
  • 4
    I get goosebumps when I ask a question and I get "you should not want XY, you should want ZZ." It is nice if people give bonus advice, but even nicer without the word "should". I work in an "exotic" project and have to do "strange" things, so I try to respect any other question. User does not need to explain why he wants to underline. There IS the underline function, even powerful, just not very intuitive. That being said, I like the way a.l.e is explaining the possible reasons why Scribus does not automatically set underline values; you know your stuff! Styling is discussed elsewhere. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 8:57
  • @a.l.e Thanks for the suggestion, but underlining gets the job done without any hassle. I juts needed to know how to do it
    – user64186
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 15:55
  • @sekhemty: nice to know that it worked for you!
    – a.l.e
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:51

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