Difference between revisions of "Useful Free Resources"

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* Please do not add sites that mostly - or only - offer resources that cannot be used by Scribus users.
 
* Please do not add sites that mostly - or only - offer resources that cannot be used by Scribus users.
 
* Please do not add sites that you have not personally used and cannot vouch for. (If you wouldn't recommend it to a good friend, don't add it.)
 
* Please do not add sites that you have not personally used and cannot vouch for. (If you wouldn't recommend it to a good friend, don't add it.)
* Please do not add sites purely advertising purposes.
+
* Please do not add sites purely for advertising purposes.
  
 
Any sites breaking these rules will be removed as soon as they are found, so there's no point adding them in the first place.
 
Any sites breaking these rules will be removed as soon as they are found, so there's no point adding them in the first place.
  
 
If editing this page seems a little daunting then tell someone about your site on the Scribus [http://forums.scribus.net/index.php Forum], or the Scribus [https://plus.google.com/109612024486187515483/posts Google+] page, and someone else might add it for you.
 
If editing this page seems a little daunting then tell someone about your site on the Scribus [http://forums.scribus.net/index.php Forum], or the Scribus [https://plus.google.com/109612024486187515483/posts Google+] page, and someone else might add it for you.

Latest revision as of 12:24, 16 March 2015

Introduction

Whether you're just starting with Scribus or you're an expert with years of experience under your hat - or anywhere in-between - one thing you need when you're creating documents is stuff to put in them.

That stuff could be images, vector art, fonts or anything else. And you need access to good resources to be able to produce good results.

Some very lucky people have teams of photographers, illustrators, and even typographers behind them ready to find, design or create precisely what's needed to make a publication look fantastic. Most people, however, are not so lucky and have to rely on the kindness of people who make their creations available for free for everyone to use.

This doesn't mean that most people can't make something that looks fantastic, only that it takes more time and effort to do so.

Whilst you can do web searches yourself and find countless websites offering all sorts of things, what follows is a curated list of sites that Scribus users have personally found useful. It's not meant as a comprehensive list of sites, just those that people have found to give good quality resources that are - for the most part - free for anyone. The sites in each section are listed in no particular order.

Before the site listings however, some words of warning are necessary.

Copyright and Licensing

The websites listed below have been checked and offer resources that are free to use for most purposes. This means that at least some of the things you can get from them are fine for you to use in your own creations without breaking any laws. However, always check the terms and conditions of the site for yourself before downloading anything and check to see if what you're downloading has any specific conditions that apply to it. Some things are only free if you're using them for strictly personal use, while others require you to include an attribution to the original creator. Always check before you download. That way you know you'll not have any nasty surprises later on.

Attribution

Some licenses say that you need to attribute the original author and/or the website when you use their stuff in your creations. There are various ways of doing this - and each site will have its own rules - but you can generally get away with listing their names in a section somewhere in your document. Always check first.

Adverts

Some sites are supported by adverts that may show on the screen or pop up in their own windows. They generally need to do this to get money to keep the site running. This does not mean that you have to click on the adverts.

Some sites ask for donations for the authors. Whether you donate is entirely up to you and you shouldn't feel like you are being forced into anything.

Some sites that host free resources earn a bit of money - to keep the site going - via click-throughs to "Sponsored Links". For instance, an images site may include a row of images in its search results that look like they're from that site but they're actually from another site (usually somewhere like "Shutterstock").

If you click on one of these links you will be redirected to the other site where you will be expected to pay for what you download. Most of these "sponsored links" have some kind of watermark over them - or otherwise look a bit different - so they're generally easy to spot but you should be careful. If you don't want to pay for the stuff you download make sure you only download the free stuff from the site you're in.

Safety

Some nasty people like to hide malicious files - such as viruses - in their "free" downloads. Sometimes this is how they make their money, sometimes they just aren't very nice people. Only download files from websites you trust.

Warning
Contributors: If you have your own favourite resource web site then why not add it to this list and tell other people about it? See the notes for more information.

Summary

Images
Resources lists images.png
Warning
Find out more about images here
Vector Art
Resources lists vector art.png
Warning
Find out more about vectors here
Fonts
Resources lists fonts.png
Warning
Find out more about fonts here
Or go directly to a site:
Open Font Library
daFont
Font Squirrel

Images

Photographic images - sometimes called "bitmaps", or even "rasters" - can be used to add a nice bit of colour to your creation but they are supposed to be seen at a certain size. Making an image larger can make it look blocky, while making it smaller means that you may lose some detail. Make sure you download the image at a size that is right for how you want to use it if possible.

warning
Searching Tips
If you're searching for an image and can't find exactly what you want, try using a thesaurus. For example, if you're looking for a photo of a fence, why not try searching for barrier, railing, boundary, or access instead? Not everyone uses the same word for the same thing. If that doesn't work, why not try using a different language? Using the same example, try valla (Spanish), clôture (French), or hek (Dutch) instead and see what you can find. Not everyone uses English keywords or names.

Pixabay

Resource pixabay.jpg

Pixabay is a very useful place for getting nice general-purpose images, on a variety of subjects, that come in many different sizes. It also has some vector art.

Most images are totally free to use in any way you want but it would be nice if you could include an attribution somewhere in your document if possible.

You don't need to register with the site to download images unless you need the very large versions (generally needed for professional printing).

Free Digital Photos.net

Resource freedigitalphotos.jpg

Free Digital Photos offers a good mix of different types of images with a nice search and filter function.

Small images are free to download but you need to pay for larger ones.

An attribution in your document is required for the free images but you don't need to register to download them.

Lost and Taken

Resource lostandtaken.jpg

Lost and Taken provide some very interesting and nice textures and backgrounds that can come in very useful.

Paper, stone, clouds, metal, blurs, leaves, etc. There are all sorts of things in there.

All of their images are free for any use and you don't need to register.

The Amazing Pattern Library

Resource patternlibrary.jpg

The Pattern Library offers some very nice patterns that are completely repeatable so you can use them as Scribus Patterns.

All of the patterns are free to use in any way you want and there's no registration required.

There aren't many patterns available at the time of writing but it's worth keeping a link and checking back from time to time just in case.

Vector Art

Vector art - sometimes called "clipart" - can be used to spice up a page with graphics that are fully scalable. This means that you can resize the art to any size without losing any detail. Sometimes vector art can look a bit simple but some of it looks really great. It's worth having a good browse around and seeing what you can find.

warning
Feature Rich
Some advanced vector art applications - Inkscape for example - allow designers to use certain effects that Scribus currently can't handle. This means that sometimes, when trying to import some vector art into Scribus, you may get a message saying that some features are not supported. If this is the case, continue to import the art but check it against the picture on the original website. If you really can't see any difference then you'll probably be okay to use the art. In cases like this the person viewing the document probably won't notice anything is wrong. On the other hand, if the art looks significantly different then you need to decide whether you still want to use it. The decision is up to you. Just don't take it for granted that Scribus will draw every vector perfectly as the original artist intended.

Formats

Vector Art can come in many different formats, including SVG, EPS and AI. Scribus works best with SVG art.

warning
Adobe Illustrator
Some sites only give you the option of downloading an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file for some of their vector art. Scribus currently can't use all AI art so try and avoid AI downloads unless you have no choice. If you can only download an AI file and you really have to have that piece of art you can try loading the file into Inkscape first, saving as SVG, then importing the SVG into Scribus. However, there is no guarantee that the art will still look exactly the same after using this process.

Open Clipart Library

Resource openclipartlibrary.jpg

The Open Clipart Library contains thousands of examples of vector art that are completely free to use for any purpose you can think of without attribution.

Some of the art is quite basic but there is also a lot of very nice and useful stuff there.

The Open Clipart Library also allows you to download the art in different formats - SVG, PNG, etc. - depending on what's better for what you want to do with it.

No registration is required.

Vector Open Stock

Resource vectoropenstock.jpg

Vector Open Stock has some very nice vector art that is generally of a high quality.

Most of the art can be used in any way you want for personal use but the original author should be attributed. Note that some artworks - called "Premium Vectors" - need to be paid for. Also, for commercial use you are expected to pay for a commercial license. Check before you download.

The vector art on this site comes in various formats but no on-site conversion is provided. So check that you can use - and know how to use - that sort of artwork before you download.

No registration is required unless you want a commercial license or the premium vectors.

Fonts

Fonts - sometimes called "typefaces" - are what you use to make your text look nice. And different fonts are designed to be used in different ways. Some fonts are designed to be used for headlines or posters, while others are meant to be used for smaller text, such as the body of your document. The choice of font is very important and discussions/arguments have been going on for as long as people have been using reusable type. A discussion about font choice is beyond the scope of this article, however, if in doubt, use a "serif" font for body text and a "sans serif" font for headlines. That will get you started.

Warning
Some fonts are not created properly. The glyphs - characters - in them aren't always designed with the correct typographical information. Fonts like these may cause problems when you try to use them for anything other than trivial purposes. If in doubt, use a good font manager application to check a font before you install it. Many font managers are available for free on most of the usual platforms and you may already have one installed.
Warning
If you do a web search for "free fonts" the first page will probably be full of sites giving away collections of hundreds - or even thousands - of fonts. Please do not download and install these fonts. While there may be nothing wrong with them you probably won't use most of what these collections contain and installing a huge number of fonts may slow down your computer. At the very least they will take up space you might want for other things. It's best to pick single fonts for the specific purpose you have in mind.

Open Font Library

Resource openfontlibrary.jpg

The Open Font Library has thousands of fonts in hundreds of different font families. (A font family can include regular, bold, italic, etc.)

You can use their catalogue to browse or search their fonts and there's a good preview section too.

Their fonts are published under many different licenses and almost all are completely free to use in any way you want, but check the license information on the download page for the font first.

No registration is required.

daFont

Resource dafont.jpg

daFont has thousands of fonts for use in all kinds of projects.

You can browse by category and see a preview of some text before you decide to download.

Most fonts are free for personal and commercial use but you should check before downloading and read the README file included in the download before use.

No registration is required.

Font Squirrel

Resource fontsquirrel.jpg

Font Squirrel has hundreds of very nice fonts for all kinds of different types of document.

You can search or browse by different classifications and tags.

Most of their fonts can be used in any way you want but be careful to check their FAQ for licensing information before downloading.

No registration is required.

Notes for Contributors

The lists on this page have been carefully curated to give a good overview of free and safe resources for users of Scribus.

Some of the sites are run on a commercial basis but the downloads available from them should be, on the most part, free for people to use in almost any way they want.

  • Please do not add sites that mostly - or only - offer paid-for resources.
  • Please do not add sites that mostly - or only - offer resources that cannot be used by Scribus users.
  • Please do not add sites that you have not personally used and cannot vouch for. (If you wouldn't recommend it to a good friend, don't add it.)
  • Please do not add sites purely for advertising purposes.

Any sites breaking these rules will be removed as soon as they are found, so there's no point adding them in the first place.

If editing this page seems a little daunting then tell someone about your site on the Scribus Forum, or the Scribus Google+ page, and someone else might add it for you.