1.5.3 Release

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The Scribus Team is pleased to announce the release of development release 1.5.3, another major milestone on the way to Scribus 1.6.0.

In addition to being a major milestone in terms of typographic features, the Scribus Team is convinced that version 1.5.3 finally justifies the transition from existing workflows based on 1.4.x to 1.5.3+. Scribus 1.5.3 is very stable and unlikely to crash. Some newly introduced features like footnotes may not function as expected, at least not yet, but overall, 1.5.3 is working almost flawlessly, and also much better than 1.4.6.

Most important changes

  • The most important change isn't immediately visible, namely a completely rewritten text layout engine, which supports complex scripts like Arabic, Hindi or Thai, as well as providing access to advanced OpenType features such as ligatures and alternate glyphs.
    • Altogether, about 500 languages and/or scripts are supported. Please note that as of version 1.5.3, Scribus is supposed to render these diverse writing systems, which needs thorough testing by those who are familiar with them.
    • Typing on the canvas has become a lot faster now.
    • Vertical writing systems aren't supported for the time being, but support will be added in a later release.
    • Previews for fonts are now available in font selectors.
  • The "Text" tab has been removed from the Properties Palette and is now a separate UI palette.
  • An import filter for Krita's KRA format has been added.
  • Scribus now follows the XDG standard for configuration files. Therefore, the Scribus preference directory has moved from ~/.scribus/ to a new default location: ~/.config/scribus/
  • A longstanding problem with the launch option for an external image editing program has been resolved. Until version 1.5.3 it was necessary to manually close the external program before it could be started again from within Scribus. This is no longer necessary.

New dependencies

  • As of version 1.5.3, the minimum Qt version to compile the program is 5.5.
  • harfbuzz and libicu, as well as the related development packages are now required.

The future

Following the release of version 1.5.3, the Scribus Team will focus on an overdue re-design of the user interface by implementing "Indigo Dock", an independently developed and flexible replacement for the outdated Properties Palette (http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,1617.150.html), as well as completing the implementation of CTL (complex text layout) features introduced in 1.5.3.

Special Credits

  • This version builds significantly on the code from 1.5.2 with the work that the Oman House of Open Source Technology team, led by Khaled Hosny, delivered.
  • 1.5.3 uses all of the remainder of the code, and we have Fahad Al-Saidi to thank for his continued work and especially for the bug triaging and code changes.
  • Andreas Vox introduced a layout cache to speed up rendering.
  • William Bader has fixed the issue of launching several instances of an external image editing program.

Primary Download Locations


The Scribus Team would like to thank Anduin.net and Modirum for their continued hosting of all of the Scribus websites.

We are grateful to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Linux New Media (Germany) for sponsoring.

The Scribus Team is also honored to have Resene Colours (New Zealand), dtp studio Oldenburg (Germany), Scientific Illustration Services Corp. (USA), the Newspaper Association of America (USA), Software Consulting Services (USA) and freieFarbe e.V. (Germany) as Special Supporters and donors of color palettes and other content since the 1.4.x release, just like we are grateful to the owner of Vector Portal for the permission to distribute some of his work as Scribus Templates.

Porting Scribus to OS/2 and eComStation is being supported by Mensys BV (The Netherlands) and Serenity Systems (USA).

Finally, the Scribus Team would like to thank the many end users, translators, testers and contributors who helped us with this release.

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