Get Started With Scribus:2

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 Get Started With Scribus 2006
Current authors:   Scribus Wiki Authors
Original author:   Niyam Bhushan, 2004
Licence:   GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
 Chapter 2


  1. What Can You Do With Scribus
  2. Scribus And Its Sisters
  3. Empty, White Spaces
  4. Cover Page
  5. Working With Layers On A Page
  6. Design Multiple Pages
  7. Create Final Page Layouts
  8. Design With Graphics And
  9. Set Fire With SVG Graphics
  10. Publishing Demands Freedom.PDF.
  11. Travel At The Speed Of Scribus
  12. Contributors
  13. GNU Free Documentation Licence

Download A New Version

First: make sure that you know what you are doing. The basic process of installing Scribus on your computer may have both an easy and more complex solution, so choose the one that fits your experience, unless you're willing to be adventuresome. In general, for those unfamiliar with downloading, compiling, and installing software, it would be best to seek out an already compiled version for your system. These exist for various Linux distros, MacOSX, OS/2 & eComStation and Windows (in fact, as of this writing, for Windows automatic installing of the binaries are your only option, and please note that the Windows versions require Win2000 or XP).

Hints for the wary:
  • Get help from a friend who knows how to install Scribus on your platform (platform meaning Linux vs MacOS vs Windows)
  • Check the Scribus archives for installation help.
  • If you get stuck, send an email to the Scribus list. Here's what they will want to know: your platform and distro, the version of Scribus you're trying to install or work with, and of course the problem along with what happened, messages you got along the way, and so on.

Easy Does It - the binaries

Debian apt-get install scribus
Fedora Core - Plan A use yum (must be root)
yum install scribus
All dependencies should be taken care of.
Fedora Core - Plan B download the RPM, then install (need to be root for this) with
rpm -ivh scribus-exactly-like-the-file-says (e.g. scribus-
Be prepared for dependencies you need to address.
Gentoo emerge scribus
Mandriva use urpmi (must be root)
urpmi scribus
All dependencies should be taken care of. Use and add 'main' and 'contrib' to your urpmi media database ('updates' and 'plf' repositories are very usefull, too).
PLD poldek -i scribus
SUSE Use Yast2 or RPM, as with Fedora Core above
(X)(K)Ubuntu Please, refer to this article.
Mac OSX Go to this page and follow the instructions there
Windows 2000 or XP Important: Go here first to read the instructions
Then go here for the download.
OS/2 / eComStation Important: Go here for the download. Please note the release on this platform is still in beta due to other software dependencies however Scribus tests ok. Feedback is required!

Compiling your Own

The Basic Process:
  • Download your file
  • Uncompress it
  • Untar it
  • Enter the directory (using the cd command)
  • ./configure
  • make
  • make install (as root - if you are installing system-wide)

Visit and head to the downloads section. Please read the instructions in the documentation section on how to install Scribus for your platform. There is some detailed information inside your downloaded package, in the INSTALL and README files.

You could start with the stable download available. As your skills grow, may I strongly recommend you discard the stable version, and go to this page to get the latest CVS version. This, because Scribus evolves rapidly on an almost nightly basis. The CVS version is equally stable, and quite often, more stable than the official stable version. It is also significantly ahead of the stable version in its features and capabilities. Every two or three days, I tend to issue the simple two-line commands from my PC, and get hold of a freshly-baked Scribus with a slew of new features added. Try it. You'll love it. Just follow the simple instructions on the Scribus site on how-to install from CVS. For those who don't know, CVS stands for Concurrent Versioning System, a clever way for several programmers from diverese geographical locations to store their software at a central repository as they dynamically work on it.

Do read the requirements page on the site. This because Scribus needs some rather important files installed on your system. And don't forget the hints mentioned above.

Get Adobe Reader

Scribus is a great tool for creating PDFs. Yet not all PDF viewers are created equal, especially under Linux. So, head to and download and install the latest, native version of Adobe Reader for your platform. As of this writing the latest version is Adobe Reader 7.

Match Colors That Print

Finally, if you wish to design publications, you need to ensure colors you see on screen match colors that print. For this, you need to install a special and separate piece of software, called a Color Management System, or CMS. Windows and Macintosh come with a CMS built-in, called ICM and ColorSync, respectively. Under Linux, you need to install a free CMS, called LittleCMS. Download and follow the instructions at, or you may find that lcms (and lcms-devel) can be installed just as Scribus binaries are shown above. You can also install versions of this under Windows and Macintosh. For this tutorial, LittleCMS is not necessary, though quite helpful.

You Can Use Your Existing Fonts Collection

Do you have a collection of fonts that you wish to use under Linux? Install your existing TrueType, Postscript, or OpenType format fonts under Linux. You'll find the simple steps mentioned in the documentation section of the Scribus site. For our tutorial, we don't need to install any special fonts. So you can start right away with your first sample publication.

Sane Workflows

Our magazine is called 'FreedomYug' and it contains a lot of pictures and text. A magazine with a few hundred pages could also have several Scribus files, each with eight to 20 pages. So, it is best to create a folder for each publication. I've created one called 'Fyug'. Inside this, create at least two distinct folders, 'Text,' and 'Images'. You may use a plain text editor, such as Vim or Emacs in Linux, or Notepad in Windows. You may also use a word processor, such as, author your articles and save them in the Text folder. Scribus can import files with some limited ability to make use of text formatting. Later versions of Scribus (1.2.5, 1.3.3 or higher) can also import Microsoft Word files, but the text will lose all formatting during import.

Similarly, scan or enhance photographs and store them in the 'Images' folder. A wide range of image formats can be used, including TIFF, JPEG, and PNG.