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.