Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Open Source Program

While I have been continuing to work with Open Source software I found a program that might be helpful to some on small budgets (whether you are using Windows, Mac or Linux). If you are familiar with Microsoft Publisher then you know it to be a desktop publishing software package which allows you to create many different types of paper based layouts (brochures, flyers, signs, etc...). It is relatively easy to use (there is no Ribbon Bar to try and figure out where your buttons went!) and can create just about any type of layout you need (there are 28 different options to choose from in the opening menu alone). It is not part of the Office Suite, unless you get the professional grouping (which is very expensive). It is a niche program, Google doesn't have anything to compare it to; and, with the exception of Adobe's InDesign (even more expensive then Publisher) there aren't too many similar programs. If you are used to the program, you will miss Publisher when it is gone (or at least I know I certainly do).

Enter the Open Source option. There is a program called Scribus. It is a free download and available for Windows (2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7), Mac, and of course, Linux. It's layout is similar to Publisher and allows you to make publications easily. There aren't the pretty step-by-step wizards that you will find with Publisher but if you need a desktop publishing program (familiarity with Publisher will help but isn't essential), I think this one will fit the bill nicely. If you give it a shot or you know of another program that can accomplish the same thing, please leave me a comment and let me know!

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