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Open Source Desktop Publishing Software
Anyone know of good ones?

 6:49 pm on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am looking for a desktop publishing software to create books or brochures. If possible, I'd like to use an open source software.

Basically, I need a Pagemaker or Quark program without all the expense.

I have found one Open Source software for Linux called Scribus [atlantictechsolutions.com] but I'd really prefer Mac or Windows.

Does anyone know of any?



 7:48 pm on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

What about OpenOffice?

It can do pdf files.


 5:01 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you're running OSX, I've heard good things about Stone Software's Stone Studio programs... they're less expensive than the "standard" commercial apps, and I think the purchase price comes with lifetime free upgrades or something like that.

I'm not using OSX yet, so I can't vouch for it, but they do the 30 day download trial thing.

[edited by: mivox at 6:38 pm (utc) on Dec. 31, 2002]


 11:00 pm on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Perhaps I should start a new thread instead of adding this here, but I'm baffled as to what "desktop publishing" software is supposed to do that word processors don't. I get asked this question suprisingly often, and I don't really know what it means :)

Mind you, I'm a code monkey who opens up a word processor once every few months, reluctantly. My 'productivity' apps are e-mail client, web browser, text editor, and compiler. Everything I "publish" is web content.


 7:10 pm on Dec 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

The line between desktop publishing and word processing software is getting really fuzzy these days... back when DTP was really first emerging, word processors were the programs with the spell/grammar check functions, and desktop publishing was when the software allowed you to wrap/flow your text around an image. Heheheh.

Of course, that was back when PageMaker and FreeHand were both owned by the same company (Aldus), and WordPerfect still ruled the word processing universe.... things have changed in the eons since then.

Generally speaking, a modern word processing program will do everything most people need done. But if you need to produce professional printed materials, a desktop publishing program gives you the extra nit-picky tools required to get the job done properly.


 5:50 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks, mivox.

I don't know what platforms it's available for, but LyX might be an option for some such needs as well. It's supposed to be a front-end for LaTeX, which I've never used. Six years ago LyX was too confusing for me when I tried to use it as a word processor, and I haven't used it since, but if it has advanced half as far as the rest of the Free desktop has since then, it might be pretty impressive.


 6:32 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Open office is pretty good for the wordpro dept, but for booklet or real dp I think something else is needed. That's especially true if you are going to be dealing with inserted content from corporate types.


 6:50 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you want to create books whose typographic quality is comparable to that of the worldīs finest printers you should use LaTeX. Itīs free, itīs great, itīs scriptable. However, I havenīt seen a good GUI for LaTeX. But you do not really need one.

You shouldnīt use Computer Modern fonts. They are really ugly. But you can use any PostScript fonts you want to.



 7:41 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

comparable to that of the worldīs finest printers

Indeed, TeX and LaTeX are used by many of those self-same printers. And I know that if you want to publish in any of the journals of the American Mathematical Society, you better submit the article in some form of TeX, preferably AMS TeX.

My reasons for not having used it are purely that I have no need of something in that niche. I turned in hand-written math homework, and never had something worth publishing.


 3:54 am on Jan 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

OOooooh yes...'Tex'.

Rob compiled that a couple of years ago, but MAN it was not intuitive at all. Steep learning curve as I remember.

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