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Scribus logo.svg
Scribus 1.4.6 under Linux Mint 18
Scribus 1.4.6 under Linux Mint 18
Developer(s) The Scribus Team
Initial release 26 June 2003; 14 years ago (2003-06-26)
Stable release
1.4.6[1] / 11 January 2016; 2 years ago (2016-01-11)
Preview release
1.5.3[2][3] / 22 May 2017; 9 months ago (2017-05-22)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Development status Active
Written in C++ (Qt)
Operating system Windows, Linux/UNIX, macOS, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana, GNU/Hurd, Haiku
Available in Multilingual
Type Desktop publishing
License GNU GPL

Scribus /ˈskrbəs/ is a desktop publishing (DTP) application, released under the GNU General Public License as free software. It is based on the free Qt toolkit, with native versions available for Unix, Linux, BSD, macOS, Haiku, Microsoft Windows, OS/2 and eComStation operating systems.

Scribus is designed for layout, typesetting, and preparation of files for professional-quality image-setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters, and books.

Books about Scribus are available in several languages,[4] including an official manual for v1.3, published through FLES Books in 2009.[5]

General feature overview[edit]

Scribus supports most major bitmap formats, including TIFF, JPEG, and Adobe Photoshop. Vector drawings can be imported or directly opened for editing. The long list of supported formats includes Encapsulated PostScript, SVG, Adobe Illustrator, and Xfig. Professional type/image-setting features include CMYK colors and ICC color management. It has a built-in scripting engine using Python. It is available in more than 24 languages.

High-level printing is achieved using its own internal level 3 PostScript driver, including support for font embedding and sub-setting with TrueType, Type 1, and OpenType fonts. The internal driver supports full Level 2 PostScript constructs and a large subset of Level 3 constructs.

PDF support includes transparency, encryption, and a large set of the PDF 1.5 specification including layers (OCG), as well as PDF/X-3,[6] including interactive PDFs form fields, annotations, and bookmarks.

The file format, called SLA, is based on XML. Text can be imported from OpenDocument (ODT) text documents, Writer, Microsoft Word, PDB, and HTML formats (although some limitations apply). ODT files can typically be imported along with their paragraph styles, which are then created in Scribus. HTML tags which modify text, such as bold and italic, are supported. Word and PDB documents are only imported as plain text.

Initially, Scribus did not properly support complex script rendering and so could not be used with Unicode text for languages written in Arabic, Hebrew, Indic, and South East Asian writing systems, even though it supported Unicode character encoding.[7][8] In August 2012, it was announced that a third party had developed a system to support complex Indic scripts.[9][10][11] In May 2015 it was announced that the ScribusCTL project had started to improve complex layout by integrating the OpenType text-shaping engine HarfBuzz into the official Scribus 1.5.1svn branch.[12] In July 2016 it was announced that the text layout engine had been rewritten from scratch in preparation for support of complex scripts coming in Scribus 1.5.3 and later.[13] In December 2016 Scribus announced they got support for OpenType advanced feature in 1.5.3svn, as well as complex script and RTL direction.[14] In 22 May 2017, Scribus announced version 1.5.3 released.[3]

As of June 2016 Scribus stable release did not have OpenType alternative glyph support, so ligatures, for example, aren't inserted automatically.[15]

Next Version 1.5.4 will have a rebuild of the Palette system. QT 5.6 will be necessary for Compile process.[2]

The 1.6.0 as first stable version of 1.5.x is expected to provide a better table implementation and support for PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-4, and PDF/E. Footnotes, marginal notes, and ePub exporter are under development.[16][17]

Support for other programs and formats[edit]

Scribus cannot read or write the native file formats of other DTP programs such as QuarkXPress or InDesign; the developers consider that reverse engineering those file formats would be prohibitively complex and could risk legal action from the makers of those programs.[18] Support for importing Microsoft Publisher is incorporated into version 1.5,[19] and QuarkXPress Tag files, InDesign's IDML, as well as InCopy's ICML formats were added to the development branch.[20]

Due to licensing issues, the software package does not include support for the Pantone color matching system (PMS), which is included in some commercial DTP applications. Pantone colors can be obtained and incorporated within Scribus without licensing issues.[21] Scribus is shipped with more than 100 color palettes, most donated by various commercial color vendors, but also including scientific, national, and government color standards.


External links[edit]