Scribus is a maturing publishing tool which has much to like. The upcoming (when? who knows?) release of 1.6 should put it squarely in direct competition with Adobe Indesign, it's proprietary competitor. Scribus is free and open source software, developed with love. However, there is one bad part, which is the development lead who believes that new versions (e.g., 1.6) should be released over several years, rather than several months. Too slow for my tastes, though they are doing incremental releases at a faster rate, and frankly it is a nice piece of 'ware.
When and Why to Use Scribus
Scribus fits in between a few different document niches, and is specifically a desktop publishing layout editor. Other document editors which are different enough, but useful for comparison:
- Libreoffice (wysiwyg spreadsheets and text documents)
- Markdown + Pandoc + LaTeX (text + markup)
- Inkscape (svg editors)
For example, all four of these can create PDF files, that can result in a book or other printed or digital material. However, Scribus excels at doing complex but repetitive layout and having text flow across pages.
- For short documents with simple layout, something like Libreoffice would work.
- For more complex layout and graphics, but still short documents, things like infographics, then Inkscape would be good.
- For longer documents that have a standard layout, such as ebooks, then pandoc + markdown + LaTeX is a solid performer.
- For longer documents with complex layout, then this is where Scribus would fit. One cannot easily create an epub out of Scribus, but for things like fixed layout books or pdfs, this is highly functional.
|Short Documents||Long Documents|
|Simple layout||Libreoffice||Pandoc + Markdown + LaTeX|
Scribus is pretty good and should be tried out. It is the future (and possibly current) replacement to Adobe Indesign. Along with GIMP, Inkscape, and Blender, the Adobe Suite or so-called Creative Cloud can be retired. I personally have not used any Adobe software since 2010 (and any Microsoft software since 2007, with the exception of Github which is now owned by Microsoft).
- Homepage of Scribus
- Download Scribus This is the so-called unstable branch but the stable branch is quite old. Best to keep up with the latest development release
- Scribus Bug Tracking
- 1.6 new features and fixes discussion
- 1.5x feature set
- In August, 2012 Indic Unicode Support was announced to the Scribus mailing list. A third party created a solution for this. See also the support page for the Complex Script Functionality (where text samples are submitted).
- There are several books on Scribus (and made with Scribus)!