Scribus is a free, open source page makeup program. It compares in some way to Quark and InDesign, but is not as robust in some features (see Resources below to download). When used in conjunction with Ghostscript software (see Resources below), you can render perfect PDF and PostScript files. In this article we will demonstrate how to make documents using Scribus templates. Scribus comes with a few free templates and others may be downloaded at no charge by clicking on the link below.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Scribus software installed and running on a PC (XP or 2000 with GDI+ installed) or MAC
- Ghostscript software installed on a PC or MAC
- Install Ghostscript first
After downloading and installing Scribus and Ghostscript, double-click on the Scribus program. Under the FILE menu, select NEW FROM TEMPLATE. This opens a browser allowing you to select the available templates. New templates that you create or download should be stored in their own file folder in the directory: SCRIBUS/SHARE/TEMPLATES.
Click on the template to see the properties of the template. Each template has different usages. For each template you can see size, colors usages and other information. Once you have selected a template, click OK.
If the fonts used during the document creation are not available on your system, you will have an opportunity to specify substitutes. Scroll down to see the available fonts.
You can specify a different font for each missing font. You may have to alter these fonts later if the choices you make do not fit the design. You can choose to make the substitution permanent for those missing fonts, if you desire, and the substitutes will be used every time the missing font occurs.
Right-click on the headings and EDIT TEXT to change the heading text. You can also GET TEXT from another document, but with headers it is usually easier to just type in your changes.
You can use GET TEXT to import text from another saved document in a wide variety of formats. Once the text is in place you can EDIT TEXT, which opens up the STORY EDITOR. In the story editor you can change the text, change color, size and font. You can also change leading and line spacing. The story editor is a powerful tool.
Using GET IMAGE, we can replace the picture and use the color properties to change the color of the text blocks. In a similar manner we can acquire images. Change backgrounds and adjust text for all pages of the document, remembering to save after each series of changes.
Tips and warnings
- Install Ghostscript first. Check the websites for help and contribute help as well; that is how open source works. Scribus uses printing terms and measurements, therefore a basic understanding of print layouts is helpful.
- Save under a document name so you can maintain your template library.
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