Scribus – Linux Desktop Publishing

Scribus Info – Updated 03:20:2004

The release of Scribus 1.0 was greeted with much enthusiasm broad coverage in the Linux and DTP trade webistes. Tens of thousands of downloads in the first few days made it sometimes difficult to reach the main Scribus page, even with mirrors in Europe and Australia. Yes, we got slashdotted with tens of thousands of downloads in just a handful of days. (The log files on the servers could not keepup.) Scribus is an open source desktop publishing program we are supporting in our own modest way. We have been an enthusiastic supporter of this rapidly developing solution for desktop publishing and page layout. User satisfaction, has given it a top ten rating at:

Scribus is both user friendly wiih a growing list of enhancements and it has features usually only found in professional layout programs like Pagemaker or Quark Xpress. Moreover, even though it is a project in development, it is very usable and can create simple or complex documents. Right now it works superbly at creating short manuals, presentations and newsletter type publications. It can also create interactive PDF forms for businesses and organizations.

Why Scribus?

Scribus combines ease of use and power, a difficult combination in desktop publishing. It has its own Postscript and PDF (Portable document format) driver, so you can easily create a PDF which can be e-mailed, posted on your web site, printed locally or sent to a professional printer for high quality offset printing. The newest version of the PDF driver allows for creating presentation type effects, so your printed materials match the output to a projection screen running on a computer. It also supports many of the latest PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 5.0) features.

What does it look like?

Screen Shots of Scribus and Scribus running on Red Hat 8.0 and Notes and Pictures running Scribus on Windows 2000

Does it only run on Linux?

Well, Linux not long ago was really only for the advanced computer user. In fact, most of the top Linux distributions are as easy to install as late versions of Windows. Mandrake, Red Hat and Suse all offer very polished and user friendly distributions. Most come with an complete set of applications right in the box like Star Office, GIMP, games, Real Player, multi-media and interesting applications for Web design and the Internet – Instant Messaging…the’re all in the package.

Scribus V. 0.6 and 0.8 will compile and with the latest KDE-Cygwin libraries on Windows 2000, but does not run with the same speed or stability as Linux or BSD. Earlier versions also compile and run perfectly on Solaris 8×86.(More testing is in the works…stay tuned.) Scribus has been ported in Fink and Open Darwin (Open Source on Mac OSX). So, under OSX it can run with the approriate packages.

How do I find Scribus?

You can download Scribus here, along with the new plug-ins:

Tell me a little more of the details…

See the Introduction or you can see a detailed list of specifications

How do I get support?

There is now a Scribus mailing list on-line at : There is both a English and German language interface to the mailing list manager.

Well, we are also trying to write thorough up to date, documentation targeted at the end user. A complete rewrite of the documentation was just completed. Already, there are almost 100 pages of documentation, with many screen captures to explain features, along with some smaple files. The Scribus Help Manual On-Line is frequently updated.

The first example is here : Color Management for Scribus

Another is here: DTP Links for Linux

Second, you can e-mail the author directly. We can vouch for the speed of replies. When did you last receive an e-mail directly from the programmer of a commercial application? There is a link page within Scribus documentation and below which point to a number of How To’s and other complimentary applications.

How good is it? – really?

Scribus in the news:

We can only speak from our experience. Our first exposure to Pagemaker on Windows 2.0, lasted about 10-15 minutes at time because Windows 2.something kept crashing. At the same relative age, we have seen Scribus run for two days opening and editing about 50 documents without closing or crashing. These documents include large high resolution tiffs used in high gloss 4 color magazines – otherwise huge image files. Scribus with good fonts, reliably outputs good raw postscript – the true test of a publishing application. Moerover, it excels at producing PDF (Portable Document Format) files, which can be used for web, print and press – all from the same source file. No, it does not have every feature of the commercial applications, but it has not had 10 to 15 years of development like the others. Still, you can easily create a number of different layouts including posters, brochures, presentation handouts, business cards and more. Keep checking back here for more news and updates.

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