If youíre interested in desktop publishing but balking at the cost of commercial software, try Scribus, a free open source desktop alternative. Developed by the Scribus Team, this powerful program is capable of producing professional typesetting, and layouts for various publications. Although it is free, it is in terms of features comparable with Adobe InDesign, PageMaker and QuarkXPress.
Apart from being used with high quality image setting tools, Scribus is also capable of producing forms and interactive PDF presentations, plus books, posters, newsletters, brochures and newspapers. Compatibility is no problem either since it supports Photoshop formats, JPEG, TIFF and bitmap among others. You can also import or directly open vector drawings in Scribus and edit it. Adobe Illustrator, SVG, Encapsulated PostScript, ICC and CMYK color management are also supported.
With its PostScript driver, you can do high quality printing plus it has support for OpenType, Type 1 and TrueType fonts. Additional features include bookmarks, annotations and many more. Various document formats can be opened in the program such as Word, OpenOffice and HTML among others. Itís also worth noting that the PDF files in Scribus are RIP ready. Scribus native file format is SLA, and is derived from XML. Also, while it can handle Unicode, encoding, the current version cannot yet handle complex script rendering, although this can change in future releases.
And while the list of features seems imposing, the software is actually intuitive and easy to use. Their website also has a wealth of information on how to use the programís many features, and its community is very active. The software is available for Windows, the Mac and various Linux systems.