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Review by Paul K
If last month’s news of free Adobe software piqued your interest, then release of the latest version of Scribus may also be welcome news.
Scribus is a design tool which does much the same as InDesign or Quark but unlike Adobe, this is Open Source software, so it’s always free and legal to use and always comes as the very latest version which should mean no compatibility issues.
Some of the best tools are Open Source because they evolve and grow and are often able to pool resources for a variety of talents. Perhaps two of the most famous examples of Open Source projects are WordPress (the website platform) and Firefox (the web browser).
What is Scribus and how does it work?
Scribus is described on the site as “…a program that brings professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design.” It goes on to say: “Underneath a modern and user-friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.”
That description’s about as clear as mud and doesn’t really do it justice (who do they get to write these things!?) Simply put Scribus is a desktop publishing tool that can be used to design books or flyers or promotions. It’s perfect for any budding writers, designers or publishers who don’t want to shell out hundreds of pounds to put a project together.
You can see a picture of it in action above. By the way I don’t really publish ‘Birdfeeder Weekly News’ I just set this up as an example!
There’s the odd review that suggests this is not as polished as the Adobe product, but having used Scribus myself to design newsletters, leaflets and even greetings cards, I can say with certainty that this is a powerful and versatile piece of software. It’s also FREE.
There are a wealth of tutorials, forums and other ‘how to articles’ available online and the learning curve isn’t too steep either. If you’re just starting out it’s worth joining The Scribus Community.
You can find out more and download Scribus for free here.
Free Font Downloads
Staying with the ‘free’ theme, you might also want to check out this website which offers a free font every month in either TrueType or OpenType format, suitable for PCs and Macs.
Of course, they’re offered as an enticement to buy the premium quality typefaces available here but I’ve used these free fonts to great effect in the some of the work I’ve produced with Scribus.