Scribus is a cross-platform, open-source, and completely free desktop publishing software. It allows you full control over the page you are editing and features professional options, such as full CMYK support, PDF export function, image packing and much more.

Free desktop publishing software

This free software may also export in various formats. It is also extensible with third-party Python-based plugins.

Scribus is constantly developed for 13 years, and because of that, it has some amazing colour management options as well as online publications such as interactive forms and PDF formats. However, it is not capable to open or save the files of other popular publishing apps, such as InDesign or Quark.

Scribus user experience

If you’ve never used a similar software before, you would need to take some time to master it. But if you are used to InDesign’s system of layers and frames, a learning curve is fast.

The starting place of Scribus is the Document. It is only a blank space within which you need to work (A4, USLetter etc.).

On this Document, you can place objects (frames). Frames can be, for example, textual (text) and graphical (images). You can also add shape, polygon, and line frames easily.

Scribus PROS

  • Open source software available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS platforms,
  • Amazing PDF export capabilities,
  • Supports interactive PDF forms creation,
  • Amazing color management and full CMYK support.

Scribus CONS

  • The steep learning curve to software UI and functionality for someone,
  • Does not support InDesign and/or Quark file formats.

With Scribus, you can move way beyond the limits of the Office-based layout to a more professional print-friendly approach.

  • User interface: 70
  • Functionality: 80
  • Speed: 70
Total rating: 73%