Top Free Desktop Publishing alternatives to Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign

Desktop Publishing (DTP) software tools help Publishers create the prototype of the printable media that later can be printed using a high resolution printer. This is a very important software and all publishers love using such tools. Back in the mid 1980’s Aldus Corporation had a dominant DTP Software, PageMaker. Desktop PublishingPageMaker was ruling the DTP market until mid 1990’s and slowly gave its market share to QuarkXPress (Which still exists today and popular). Adobe bought Aldus in 1994 and now PageMaker is no more actively developed. instead, Adobe now has Adobe InDesign and is competing against QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher. However, with Open Source gaining strong traction, there is a very functional and a right alternative to these proprietary DTP Software like Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher and QuarkXPress.

Scribus is the Open Source answer!

Scribus is an open-source program that brings a professional Page Layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of “press-ready” output and new approaches to page layout. Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation and a user friendly Interface.

The file format of Scribus is SLA and is based on XML. Text can be imported from OpenDocument text documents, as well as OpenOffice.org Writer, Microsoft Word and HTML formats with exceptions.

Unfortunately, Scribus can not open or import proprietary file formats of InDesign or MS Publisher or QuarkXPress due to legal obligation.

However, Scribus supports mostly all serious features that one expect from a DTP software and a good free alternative to commercial DTP tools.

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Download Scribus here.

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  • Erik Andkjaer

    Hi from Denmark,

    Just wondering – what is Adobe InSight – never heard of it and nothing on the web … don’t you mean InDesign.

    I have been using Quark for 17 years and quite happy – tried InDesign when it was young but never got in to it.
    To help some friends (with their school-newsletter) who have struggle with Publisher and don’t know much about RGB / CMYK , Page-bleed etc (witch is bad in Publisher) and to get better results from their printer, we have downloaded Scribus both for PC and Mac, and will soon try it out.

  • OpenTube

    oops! :) yeah, We mean InDesign! Corrected and Thank you.

    Please let us know what you feel about Scribus!

  • http://www.taskcapital.com Ardella Levee

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  • Sharma McHhe

    Gr8 post. I have been searching a long time on this matter and thank goodness I found this

  • LeBaron Washington

    Scribus is taking a long time to download. Could there be a problem with the downloader or the script?