Need Honest Opinion

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I am in the process of writing a book, and working on turning it into a business, and not sure where a desk publishing package will actually fit in. Since the book is all words I suppose a Word or Open office would be the best solution for that.
I will be making very few web flyers like graphics but have been using  Corel Draw, and Pantshop pro, Affinity Photo. Affinity Draw.

So here are my fre questions:

1 Where will Scribus fit in to my workflow.  Do I need it?  For what?

2 Honestly how good is Scribus compared to something like Quark?  Really.

3a How good are the colors in Scribus to send posters to the printer vs my Corel Draw?

Should I create my pictures in a photo program and load them into a Desktop publishing program for just print?

Thank for your input. before I DL and do the learning curve.


hi guyon

scribus is meant to arrange things out of other programs to a final layout and export high quality print files – it's up to you, to decide if you need it...
i don't know how good quark xpress is today – i used it in the last century...
the color management of scribus is excellent. (but for best results you need to calibrate your monitor, otherwise you're flying blind with every program...)



Welcome to the forum Guyon.

I'll try and answer your questions from the information you have given:

1. It doesn't sound like Scribus fits into your workflow. If, as you say, your book is primarily words with no - or very few - images then you probably don't need a desktop publishing application. A word processor will probably be just fine and you will also get proper table of contents functionality - among other things.

My personal preference for a word processor would be LibreOffice: (OpenOffice is much the same thing.) If you already own Word then use that but LibreOffice is easily a good enough free alternative for most people.

Scribus can handle books that are mostly words, and will probably give you better/easier control over the typography than a word processor, but it really depends on what you want. There is no specific answer to a general question.

2. How good Scribus is compared to something like Quark is a difficult question to answer. It's a bit like saying, "How good is a Ferrari compared to a Rolls Royce?" They both basically do the same thing but they're built differently to do things in different ways.

Basically if your budget is $0 then you have no real choice other than to use Scribus (unless you're into software piracy). If you don't need all the extra bells and whistles of the commercial products then Scribus is still a good choice. If you need all of the extra features that the commercial products give then you should invest in one of those. Either way you're going to have a learning curve, so have a good think about what you actually need and see which product can give you what you want. Only you know what you want so I can't really give much more advice on that without knowing all of the specific details.

3. I normally don't get things printed so I can't vouch for the colour side of things but the output from Scribus should be as good as with any other software, and maybe better than some. Certainly, I've not heard of any nightmare stories from users in that area.

Have a look here for many examples of things created using Scribus. If you want something like these then Scribus can make it.

4(?). I'm not really sure what you mean about creating pictures. It depends on what sort of pictures you're creating and how you will use them. If you're already using things like Corel, Photoshop and Affinity then you can just use those to create whatever picture you want without needing a DTP application.


From what you have said it doesn't sound like you need DTP at the moment. However, if you are looking at making this sort of thing into a business then you might want to look at DTP with an eye to the future. Which DTP application depends on so many variables that it's impossible to give good advice without much more detailed information.

I hope this helps.



Thanks for your long review.  Beside my book i am going to make a compendium with maps short stories and pictures. Like a 100 page magazine.  I guess i could do each page in Corel Draw, but wondering if Scribus would do a better job?


You're welcome Guyon.

Once you start to add images to your document then you really should start to think about using DTP. You could probably still use a word processor but you would probably end up fighting against the software. You could also probably use Corel Draw but that might be more of a pain in the long run than learning the basics of Scribus.

Scribus has lots of complex functions - most of which you will probably not need to use - but the basics are easy to understand once you put some time into getting used to them. To add things to a page you add frames first. Text goes into text frames, images go into image frames. You put the text and image frames where you want the text and images to be on the page. Once you understand that then everything else is just formatting and making things look nice. (I've over-simplified things a lot but, for most purposes, that's enough to get you going.)

One thing you need to keep in mind is the size of your document in relation to the memory on your machine. Scribus keeps the whole document in memory so you need to make sure that your machine has enough memory to handle all the images you intend to put in the document. Total up the sizes of the images and if that total is anywhere near the free memory on your machine then you might have problems. You can get round this by creating the document in sections - separate documents - and then stitching them together later but that will require some planning and more software. This probably won't be an issue, and it's not just a Scribus-only issue, but it's worth keeping in mind.

There are some examples of similar publications - 100+ pages with images - here so you can see that Scribus should be able to handle what you want.

The question you need to ask yourself is: "Do you spend time trying to make the software you already know do what you want or do you learn some new software that already does what you want it to do?"


A very thoughtful reply GarryP.

I suppose i am at the point where I need to just DL the program and see how it runs. My document will be under 200 pages with some heavy full page graphics.  So thank for the hint that I many need to stitch parts together.


I don't think you need to worry about splitting the document at this point as it might not actually be needed (and could cause other problems).

Probably better to concentrate on learning Scribus and getting the document created in the first place.

(It's good to keep the idea in the back of your mind though as it might help you to construct the document in a better way from the start, E.g. using styles for formatting and not using very long text frame chains.)

Some places to start learning are:
This is quite old - some of the functions have been renamed and/or moved - but most of it is still relevant and it's done in a tutorial-style so you can follow along.
I personally haven't tried this one but it looks well written. More of a "read it through and then try it yourself" sort of a manual.

If you prefer to learn by doing then you could try some of the tutorials here:

Most of these tutorials expect you to have a bit of experience using Scribus but some of them go through the process quite meticulously so even a total beginner should be able to follow along.

My personal recommendation would be to, first, skim-read the FLOSS Manual - skipping the small details - then try some of the Wiki and Forum tutorials. Even if you don't want to make things like neon signs, vintage photos, or magazine covers, just knowing that the features you use are there will help you to remember them if you need them in the future.

I would also recommend these Wiki tutorials:
* (to get a basic understanding of layout)
* (very important for books)
* (if you will be using colours, which most people do)

If you get the basics right then you're off to the best start.

Anyway, good luck with your publications and learning Scribus.


To understand the difference between Scribus and a Word processor I think you can look at it this way:

With Scribus you decide the layout of the pages and fill the layout with content. This usually means you need to adapt the content to your layout (or manually change the layout to fit the content).

With a Word processor you have less control over the layout, but the content flows automatically. You can say the layout adapts to the content.

The Scribus way gives you more control, but it also forces you do take more control.