FOSS Under Mac OS X – Scribus

Scribus is a cross-platform (OS X, Linux, Windows, and BSD) desktop publishing (DTP) program that began development in 2001. Scribus is the Open Source answer to commercial programs such as QuarkXPress and InDesign. Scribus can be used for layout, typesetting and file preparation for professional grade image setting equipment. It can also be used to create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Scribus is a good tool for creating everything from small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, and posters to business cards.

FOSS Under Mac OS X - Scribus1Scribus supports most of the common bitmap formats such as TIFF and JPEG. Vector graphics can also be imported. Text in the OpenDocument and HTML formats are easily imported. Other text formats can be imported, but loose some of their embedded style information. There are many different templates provided to get you started on the type of document you want to create.

FOSS Under Mac OS X - Scribus2Scribus does not have the polish or power of the commercial software tools, but for most jobs it will get the work done quickly and efficiently. Since the tool is free, it is always worth downloading and trying it before you commit to an expensive commercial product. The product reviews on SourceForge rate Scribus 4.8 out of 5.


  • Free Open Source Software
  • Supports common bitmap formats
  • Vector graphics can be imported
  • Uses XML-based file format, easily manipulated with scripts (Perl, Python, etc.)
  • wide array of document templates


  • Does not support native file formats of other DTP programs
  • Limited text import
  • Documentation could be better

See my other Mac OS X articles

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