See All Desktop Publishing Software


August 2011
by ConsumerSearch

Best free desktop publishing software

  • It's free
  • Professional features
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Few templates
  • Awkward photo integration
  • No Pantone color integration
  • Printed manual is pricey
Where to Buy

Reviews call Scribus one of the best free desktop publishing tools available. This open-source software can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, and a large community of users is available to share tips and to offer support. It's full-featured enough to handle business applications such as stationery, flyers and brochures, including color separations and color management for PDF files to send to commercial printers. Only a few templates are built in, but free third-party templates from the user community are available. Usability gets mixed reviews, but most reviewers say that for pro-level software, Scribus is relatively easy to learn to use.

We found useful comparison reviews of Scribus at the Vid35 blog, where the blogger compares Scribus to Adobe InDesign Creative Suite, and at Gizmo's Freeware where editos look at the tools included with Serif PagePlus Starter Edition and Scribus. The site is the place to check for the latest updates.

Our Sources

1. Gizmo's Freeware

Editors compare the features found in Scribus and PagePlus Starter Edition desktop publishing software. While both software programs produce high-quality projects, the PagePlus Starter Edition software doesn't allow users to save files to a PDF and has a limited color palette, both of which will inhibit- or negate- commercial printing outputs. Scribus, on the other hand, has PDF and color separation capabilities, and according to the review, is a worthy competitor for pricey design software alternatives.

Review: Best Free Desktop Publishing Program, Editors of Gizmo's Freeware, April 30, 2011


CNET editors provide an overview of Scribus' features, stating that the software is a solid alternative to desktop publishers who need real design tools without the hefty price tags. The review points out that the software's interface is rather plain, but also indicates that the tools included with the freeware make up for the clunky interface. The review is brief, but relatively detailed.

Review: Scribus, Editors of CNET, Nov. 6, 2008

3. Vid35

This anonymous blogger compares Scribus to Adobe InDesign, attempting to match the software feature by feature. He provides extensive details about how both programs performs across various functions. For people who can't afford name-brand desktop publishing software products, he says, "Scribus offers a truly viable means to realize design concepts."

Review: Review: Is Scribus the Open-Source InDesign?, "Alex", Oct. 3, 2010

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