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Scribus on Windows

Historical Background

Scribus was originally developed on and for Linux, but over time it has been ported to other platforms like Mac OS X or Windows, so sometimes things work in a rather OS-neutral way.

Downloading Scribus for Windows

The latest Windows installers can be downloaded from Sourceforge.

Hardware/Software Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, Vista or 7 are supported. Windows 98 and ME have not been tested and are not supported. Any and all bug reports relating to Windows 9X will be closed quickly.
  • 512MB RAM or more is strongly recommended – the more, the better.
  • Pentium III or better – 750MHz or better
  • It is strongly recommended to disable any custom desktop themes. If you encounter any strange behaviour, like no document appearing on screen, use the “Windows Classic“ theme. There is a known Qt issue with custom themes causing document loading problems. This is especially true with third party themes.

Before Installing Scribus

  • Install Ghostscript for Windows - Ghostscript 8.7+ or later is recommended. This is important for EPS import. Note: After installing there are two .exe files installed by the installer. The correct .exe name to use in the Scribus Preferences (under External Tools) for Ghostscript is gswin32c.exe, not gswin32.exe. In the large majority of cases if Ghostscript is properly installed before installing Scribus, Scribus will automatically detect the location for Ghostscript for you.
  • Scribus is very intolerant of poorly constructed or marginal grade fonts. Once installed, please read the font setup section in the documentation carefully. Scribus may and often will refuse to load fonts which do not follow the True Type, Type 1 and OpenType specifications properly. What this means in plain English is that freeware fonts may work in other programs, but will be rejected by Scribus when starting. Some of the information is Linux-specific, but has detailed explanations as to why poor quality fonts will cause problems.

After Installing

  • The first launch of Scribus or when a new user launches Scribus will be much longer than usual. This is because Scribus is creating a cache file of your fonts. Later re-starts will be much quicker.
  • When you select the “Extra Fonts” Option in the installer, this will install two sets of high-quality, freely distributable fonts. One set is the the URW fonts from Ghostscript. This includes 45 typefaces which are compatible with those included with most PostScript printers. The second is the Bitstream Vera font family, widely used on Linux and by many of the included templates.

Console Mode for Diagnostics

There is a second way to launch Scribus on Windows: “Console Mode”. In the Start > Program Files menu there is a second shortcut Scribus -console. This mode merely opens a Windows command prompt, but will show line by line, each font and its full path being loaded by Scribus. This will also show any rejected fonts and duplicate fonts Scribus finds, along with other diagnostic info in some cases. Duplicates are not loaded, even if they have different names. One of the font tests Scribus performs on launching is to ensure that each font file has a correct PostScript name.