Wednesday, January 03, 2007

DTP On The Cheap

Someone in the office asked me recently if there was anything available that would allow one of their relations to create posters. The main proviso being that it could do that job for a reasonably low cost (or even be free). The first thing that came to mind was…

PagePlus SEPagePlus SE Windows Compatible

Serif Software have been releasing older versions of their software solutions for free for many years and are always worth checking out. While these free versions aren't current, Serif do offer very low-cost upgrade prices and even their full prices are way below that of the major players.

PagePlus SE handles single or multi-page projects with all the usual DTP tools like inline graphics, graphics/photo placement, colours, line styles, fills as well as a built-in word processor and table designer. It also comes with a range of templates, colour schemes, document layouts, graphic shapes and tutorials to help you get started. You can even design artistic text fonts and download even more free templates.

PagePlus SE ExamplesFor small club, home and personal projects like greetings cards, booklets, banners, posters, etc., it's definitely worth trying out.

PS Serif also produce similar free software for Photo and Image Editing, Graphic Design and Vector Drawing, 3D Animation and Modelling and Web Site Design and Publishing.

Then, fed up with eating too much and watching too much telly over the Christmas break, I had a few hours online and found…

ScribusScribus Apple CompatibleLinux CompatibleWindows Compatible

Scribus is an open-source, desktop publishing application for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and Unix so if you can't afford a commercial solution like Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe InDesign or Quark Express, then this may well be worth checking out.

Like the apps above, Scribus is designed for DTP with the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setters. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Underneath the user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

Scribus MacBeing open-source, it has a fairly well developed community of users and developers so there's a wealth of resources available. Have a look here for links, documentation, etc. Native versions are available for Mac OS X Aqua, Windows and Debian/Ubuntu.

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