Scribus – An Open Source Desktop Publishing Software

Scribus is a desktop publishing freeware and open source app mainly used for creating books, posters, brochures, magazines, flyers, newspapers, etc.

Given its support for exporting projects to epub format (regarding e-book creation), it is one of the best alternatives to Adobe’s famous InDesign available in the market.

Its User Interface is far from strange thanks to its typical arrangement of design creation and editing functions which are organized into segmented panels and view applets as is common to other desktop publishing software.

Features in Scribus

  • FOSS: Free to download and use with its source code available on GitHub.
  • Cross-Platform: Scribus is available for a long line of OSes and Unix & Linux distros including Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana, Debian GNU/Hurd,  eComStation, Haiku, and Windows.
  • Support for CMYK colors, spot colors, and ICC color management.
  • Versatile PDF creation.
  • Supports import/export filters.
  • Support for LaTeX and Lilypond.
  • Open source and XML-based file format.

You can also use Scribus to create page layouts, typesetting, interactive PDF presentations, and forms. And because it is completely FOSS, you determine how your data is being used, where it is kept and can access the apps source code.

Installing Scribus in Ubuntu Linux

To install Scribus in Ubuntu based Linux distributions, use the official PPA repository as shown.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:scribus/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install scribus

For other Linux distributions, you can download and install the latest stable release from sourceforge site.

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Are you a Scribus user? How good has your experience and productivity with it been compared to Adobe’s InDesign which is available only on the Mac and Windows platforms?

Or perhaps, you use a different alternative app on your GNU/Linux workstation. Feel free to share your thoughts and add your suggestions in the comments section below.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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4 thoughts on “Scribus – An Open Source Desktop Publishing Software”

  1. I taught Pagemaker and InDesign for years at our local college. Scribus’ interface could still use work to streamline productivity, but overall it is an excellent DTP tool. Like GIMP, it might lack the polish of Adobe’s commercial offerings, but the program’s feature set is more than capable for most users. Remarkable open-source software.


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