Scribus Portable - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Scribus Portable

CNET Editors' review

Scribus offers up a freeware desktop publisher that lacks the polish of more popular, pay-for-use programs. What it lacks in pretty design, though, it more than makes up for with a full complement of useful features that compare very favorably against more expensive competition.

The detailed Web site includes a wealth of documentation, tutorials (some with video), and notes on everything from installation problems to drawing a grid to creating a text frame. We found it an invaluable resource when testing the application. There wasn't much jazz to the interface, but all the major beats were present: buttons were laid out logically and grouped according to function, without any unusual placement.

Scribus does have some oddities, mostly related to the scaling of imported images, but there's something else about it that's far more interesting: it painlessly brings in documents from the OpenOffice.org suite and it uses The GIMP for image editing. By taking advantage of these other freeware apps to boost its own productivity, Scribus enhances its appeal by forming a virtual freeware suite. We highly recommend this app to anyone who needs the power of expensive tools but can't afford them.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-6 of 6

  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent open source software !"

    April 7, 2011  |   By William_Berzoff

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.14

    Pros

    Fully featured desktop publishing program.
    Good community support.
    Being actively developed.
    Doesn't cost anything.

    Cons

    Maybee I am not patient enough, but I found the learning curve a bit steep.

    Summary

    Besides the things mentioned above I can say that since CNET reviewed it several years have passed and Scribus has evolved nicely and improved a lot. You can use it to design your own business cards or a pamphlet for your community center, or a brochure. The program comes with many very nice templates to start you off with, and if you want more of them you can download them from their community site.
    The price is right as it doesn't cost you anything - since it is open source software. They cover their expenses (website, development) with donations from grateful users.
    Highly recommended both for people who like to try new things out and serious designers too.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Does nothing for me."

    May 26, 2010  |   By gjoreilly

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.12

    Pros

    Very few that I could find.

    Cons

    Having to build new libraries is a drag.

    Summary

    Does nothing that PrintMaster does not do. No thanks.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Not the best thing in the world."

    October 15, 2009  |   By bexxiiboop

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.11

    Pros

    It is pretty easy to fit a picture into a certain area, and the interface is pretty nice. Also, the customisation options on the front page are really useful. The fact that it is free is also a pro.

    Cons

    It takes ages to load, and the tools can get quite annoying after a while.

    Summary

    I personally ended up not using this program again because it was a bit too non-user friendly for my liking. I don't think its that bad for a free program to be honest, but if you need a professional, easy-to-use program I think it's worth buying the better ones.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Fast, Easy, and Free...the best solution!"

    July 14, 2009  |   By eckelsburrows

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.11

    Pros

    The pro's start with the fact it is free - seriously, I have used publisher and quark and adobe products for years, but that was before I was a lay religous on a fixed income! The interface is definately another thing, compared toother free stuff

    Cons

    I do small runs (under 500 copies) and lots of inkjet or lazer in house. Haven't found any cons yet except for an error message about eps files (which I reported of course)

    Summary

    I had a choice for my 8 page 8.5 x 11 newsletter last quarter. Try to get it together in openoffice writer, use the free no name marketing sofware on the pC, or cobble it together in an old copy of photoshop. Chose photoshop because I had greater control than the other two, but OH, the pain! If you need to do professional print, books, brochures, signs and you are pretty sure you'll be getting them professionally printed when the depression ends, get it now and enjoy. Scribus is powerful but even a novice can use the help feature, groups, and practce to create really great stuff. The pro's suddenly without all the fancy stuff can still work and produce just as well without having to sacrifice the entire severance check. Companies trying to bring such design in house can do so without having to break the bank. Great product!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easily a competitior to Quark and InDesign"

    February 24, 2009  |   By vanderloo

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.11

    Pros

    I produced the layout for a 24 page newspaper in one afternoon; in QuarkXpress or InDesign that could take me roughly two days. More print options.

    Cons

    Perhaps a better picture/text wrap facility. This gig of placing a blank figure underneath images gets annoying.

    Summary

    The editor review is mistaken about images in Scribus, like InDesign you have to adjust the image to the frame or vice versa. There is also no question as to "prettiness", it looks as good as any other programme. It seems almost inconceivable that you could get a free programme that has such power and functionality, but here it is.
    Scribus beats bulkier, more expensive DTP stalwarts like Quark on simple features like a story editor (Quark has no proper editor) and Scribus has a much more intuitive menu system. There are no ludicrous naming conventions or irritating multi-step ways to do what should be simple tasks. Once you've poked around a little, it leaves you free to concentrate on what you opened the programme to achieve: design and layout. You can even save your own templates to a useful visual template bank.

    Considering Scribus has be shown capable of preparing print-ready materials for professional printing jobs, the $0 price-tag makes it the only choice for those who need professional layout tools, but can't afford to take out a mortgage on QuarkXpress or industry standards like InDesign.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "will not open"

    September 26, 2007  |   By jaguar0

    Version: Scribus Portable 1.3.3.9

    Pros

    Nothing> It said window, but qin-zip would not open it.

    Cons

    I can't open it?

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