Sunday, January 09, 2005

Free Desk Top Publishing with Mac OS X

A challenge from Pete: "is there a low end, preferably free DTP solution for OS X". Knowing that QuarkXpress costs just under $1,000 and Adobe's InDesign is about the same, I knew we would be talking about something else! Fortunately there is a free solution: Scribus.

Unfortunately, Scribus is primarily designed for Linux and therefore runs under Apple's X11 UNIX terminal. This invokes potential nightmares relating to command line instructions, UNIX directories, three button mice and so on. Fortunately I am not the only one who detests nightmares, for there is a neat interface called AquaScribus that takes you straight from the OS X dock through X11 to Scribus. Sure, the Scribus window is an X Window, but apart from that the software appears to have most of the features contained within the expensive QuarkXpress box. Within a few minutes of starting Scribus I was able to work out the basics for a report or newsletter format, including text box linking, image placement, etc.