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File:Scribus logo.svg
Scribus under Linux Mint
Developer(s) The Scribus Team
Initial release June 26, 2003 (2003-June-26)
Stable release / August 11, 2009; 354065977 ago
Written in C++ using Qt
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in Multilingual
Development status Active
Type Desktop publishing
License GPL

Scribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application, released under the GNU General Public License as free software. It is based on the free Qt toolkit, therefore native versions are available for Linux, Unix-like, Mac OS X, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows. It is known for its broad set of page layout features comparable to leading non-free applications such as Adobe PageMaker, PagePlus, QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign.

Scribus is designed for flexible layout and typesetting and the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.

An official Scribus manual has been available since January 19, 2009[1], published through FLES Books[2].



Scribus supports most major image formats including scalable vector graphics (SVG). Professional type/image setting features include CMYK colors and ICC color management. It has a built-in scripting engine using Python. It is available in more than 24 languages.

Printing is achieved using its own internal level 3 PostScript driver, including support for font embedding and sub-setting with TrueType, Type 1 and OpenType fonts. The internal driver supports full Level 2 PostScript constructs and a large subset of Level 3 constructs.

PDF support includes transparency, encryption and a large set of the PDF 1.4 spec as well as PDF/X3, including interactive PDFs form fields, annotations and bookmarks. While PDF export is very good, it is not currently able to import/edit PDF files, and PDFs exported from Scribus 1.3.3.x and earlier are not searchable in Acrobat Reader if the fonts were outlined/subsetted as vector objects.[3][4]

The file format, called SLA, is based on XML. Text can be imported from OpenDocument text documents, as well as Writer, Microsoft Word and HTML formats (although some limitations apply).

Scribus cannot read or write the native file formats of commercial programs like QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher, or InDesign; the developers feel that reverse engineering those file formats would be prohibitively complex and could risk legal action from the makers of those programs.[5]

The software package also does not include support for the Pantone color matching system (PMS), which is included in some commercial DTP applications, due to licensing issues.

Although Scribus supports Unicode character encoding, it currently does not properly support complex script rendering and so cannot be used with Unicode text for languages written with Arabic, Hebrew, Indic and South East Asian writing systems.[6][7]


Scribus in Windows
  • June 9, 2001 – Scribus 0.3 version released (first dated release found through
  • June 26, 2003 – Scribus 1.0 stable version released
  • August 28, 2004 – Scribus 1.2.0 stable version released, first stable release in the 1.2.x.x series
  • July 15, 2005 – Scribus 1.3.0 development version released, first version running natively on Windows and Mac OS X
  • November 10, 2006 – Scribus stable version released, first stable release in the 1.3.x.x series
  • January 9, 2007 – Scribus stable version released, first release running on OS/2
  • March 15, 2007 – Scribus stable version released
  • May 30, 2007 – Scribus 1.3.4 development version released
  • January 8, 2008 – Scribus stable version released
  • January 11, 2008 – Scribus stable version released
  • June 23, 2008 – Scribus stable version released
  • April 15, 2009 - Scribus stable version released
  • April 20, 2009 - Scribus 1.3.5 development version released


See also


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