Creating templates for Scribus

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To be continued ...

Especialy for beginners, templates can be very useful for creating documents in often used formats. Templates can be created for personal use, but if you want to offer your templates to a broader audience, here are some thoughts:

  • Use only free content. That includes texts, images and fonts.
  • In different regions of the world, different document formats are used. For example, the DIN-A-4 format is common for letters and similiar documents. In the USA, the Letter format is used for the same purpose. If possible, create your template flexible so that it can be converted to other formats.
  • It makes a big different which output medium is targeted by your template. Professional printed products have other requirements than the ones which are produced by a home user with an inkjet printer.

The text

  • If your document uses a text which is not free or which you don't want to be public, replace it by a dummy text. Scribus offers dummy texts in a lot of languages when right clicking a text frame.


  • The internet offers a lot of sources for free images. If you are in doubt if an image is really free, don't use it. Replace it by one of your own images.
  • If possible, use SVG graphics in your template. Scribus converts imported SVG graphics into it's own shapes so that there are no other files are necessary. is a great place for finding free SVG graphics.


  • Scribus is available for different platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac OS X etc. On every platform, a different set of fonts is available by standard. In contrast to the WWW, in a DTP application like Scribus it is not possible to define a general font family like "sans-serife".
  • The internet also offers a lot of free fonts. Again: make sure that all of the used fonts are free available. Some examples for free fonts can be found on Where can I get good fonts?.
  • In any case, put a short mark on the used fonts and where they can be find inside the document. In Scribus, for example use a textframe which is set to "Not printable".

For the home user

If you create a template for a CD cover, the main users of your template will be amateurs or semi professional users (professionals designers will create their own layout ...). These users are using inkjet or laser printers with a predefined paper format: DIN-A-4, or in the USA the Letter format.

  • Put your template on a DIN-A-4 or Letter formatted document. If it is smaller, a scissor will do it's work.
  • Don't think of color management. If possible, use no colors, just black, white and grey tones.