Scribus for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Scribus for Mac

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.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-8 of 8

  • 4.0 stars

    "Good alternate to InDesign"

    December 2, 2012  |   By Chinngis

    Version: Scribus 1.4.1

    Pros

    It does a lot that InDesign and Quark do on the DTP side
    Easy to work with
    Good export
    Saved me another huge upgrade bill

    Cons

    The major one that I have found is trying to get a reliable Pantone swatch into it. Possible but tricky enough for me to usually set (as far as possible) the value as CMYK percentages instead. If anyone knows a better way then tell me and you can have my first born!

    Summary

    This, Gimp, and Inkscape really are a fine alternate to Adobe CS. For the cost of your time invested in coming up to speed with each app, you've saved the thick end of two grand!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Multiple tries I was not able to download successfully."

    October 5, 2011  |   By dsmpalatka

    Version: Scribus 1.4.0rc2

    Pros

    I was never able to use.

    Cons

    I could never get the software to work. Apparently it needs Ghostscript and I couldn't get it installed.

    Summary

    This software was totally useless to me. I tried more than once to install it and could never get the Ghostscript installed.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Low Cost Alternative"

    October 4, 2010  |   By rowanwood

    Version: Scribus 1.3.8

    Pros

    Powerful and cheap (what's cheaper than free?)

    Cons

    Misleading system requireements listed. Does NOT run under Tiger despite system support claims.

    Summary

    I found an earlier version (1.3.5) to be a powerful alternative to non-freeware alternatives.

    That being said...

    The system requirements listed are wrong. Version 1.3.8 definitely does not support Mac OS X 10.4, despite the listed information. Nor does version 1.3.7 or version 1.3.6.

    I could find absolutely no information at the download site about the system requirements, processor support, etc.I had to download several versions, running down the version list to version 1.3.5 before i found one that would work under Mac OS X 10.4.11.

    This kind of carelessness does not encourage me to try to support this product in the future. It wastes my time to see if the information listed is correct and if it will really run on my system.

    Potentially nice product, but very little information is provided even about what systems are supported, and even that little bit has proven to be wrong., Not good!

    Borborygmus

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A generous idea badly received"

    June 10, 2010  |   By Cattus Thraex

    Version: Scribus 1.3.7

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Scribus began as a big, generous idea of creating a DTP application for linux. In the course of time, it developed as a cross-platform DTP application. Many users find it useless and nervously welcome it (if â??welcomeâ?? may be used) as a bad, ready-to-crash application. It does not crash here, but it may crash elsewhere, seemingly on PPC machines.
    As DTP applications are usually commercial (Quark, InDesign, iCalamus), perhaps the authors should consider abandoning the Mac OS version, at least because of its bad echo here and on other sites. If they decide to continue its development, then they may consider a solid application, even a commercial version. Note that any of the other named 3 commercial apps have more or less important bugs.
    Those who abruptly criticize Scribus should perhaps reconsider their abrupt behavior, at least for the sake of a polite behavior. I find the recent comments really boorish and lacking good sense.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Could Not Open 1.3.7 - They can't get it right"

    June 9, 2010  |   By getittowork

    Version: Scribus 1.3.7

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I have a MacBook Pro 10.4.11. This file would not open and just crashed. I went to the website to try and download 1.3.5 and 1.3.3XX. I could not find the proper links as they had been removed what they had was not mac specific. The website is confusing. Both thumbs down. You think they would have it right after TWO CRASH VERSIONS. You can waste your time if you want. It appears as if they are PC people and they did not test what they call "open source" on the Mac. Would have taken the developer four minutes. But, they have chosen to waste our time. I do not like to give one star, but three strikes and you are out!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "CRASHES ON START UP"

    March 22, 2010  |   By getittowork

    Version: Scribus 1.3.6

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I am running 10.4.11 on my macbook pro intel core 2 duo. I opened the program and it immediately gave me the crash report options window. My machine is not out of the ordinary. Did the developer not even test it? I wonder? I was so excited to get something that was going to work.

    First rule; the software should open
    Second rule: if the first rule is violated, forget it.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Brilliant.. until it burned up on re-entry."

    April 4, 2008  |   By sdavitt

    Version: Scribus 1.3.3.10

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I loaded this program ( it seems as if the newer version is compiled - or the link was fixed ) without incident. It took a while to open it as it processed and went through my fonts, and such. Then when the new document dialogue box popped up I was in HEAVEN! I loaded in my numbers and whee!

    Then I found out that you couldn't type directly into the textboxes. I found the work around in the Read-Me text on the Scribus website, involving using the "story editing" and the "dummy text" So I did that, and I typed away... then clicked on an outside web browser, for a second, and there was nothing left. Control Z! no effect -- it wasn't something I did. I went to the website and tried to enter a new bug report, but it wasn't possible, or obvious. I tried to download the noted stable versions from the Scribus website, but they are only offered in code...So then I rewrote everything, and was going strong, when I thought I should save the text somewhere... and I copied opened a text file... and pasted *nothing* and then Scribus crashed. All the text gone.

    Please fix this program, or make the stable versions available and compiled. and seriously, that Story-editing feature is kind of dumb... Especially with the memory leak, and crashing. In order for this to be a proper Desktop Publishing program, you need to be able to edit in the page.

    But I'm really thrilled that this exists... I just wished it didn't eat my text, and waste my time, ad make things complicated.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Great Open Source App!"

    November 11, 2006  |   By ~Antonio

    Version: Scribus 1.3.3.2

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I am greatly enjoying this application.
    As an Indesign user who also enjoys working with open source/GNU stuff and compiling in Unix with GCC, this app is a lot of fun.

    And, I'd wager to say it could definitely be used for professional-quality work, though I would like to see some things streamlined, such as proportionally scaling images, as is neatly streamlined with a keyboard shortcut in both Indesign and Quark.

    Also, I don't have print preview or EPS import, as Scribus won't recognise my Ghostscript framework.
    -Yes, Ghostscript is installed correctly, in the Frameworks folder. I even compiled and installed Ghostscript via Darwin, and still, Scribus fails to see it.

    Other than that, the app works really well with robust and professional-level features, including collection for output, for which I configured a custom keyboard shortcut from within the preferences.

    An online wiki is available for the regular Scribus, and much of the info is applicable to the Aqua version.

    Fix the few bugs and keep up the good work!

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Scribus for Mac