Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Free Software, part 1

There is a tremendous amount of open source software available on the internet. For those of you who are unaware, open source software is free! Which means if you are looking at dabbling in designing invitations or placecards and don't have InDesign or Adobe Illustrator (or want to splurge on it), you can download a similar program at no cost to you.

Today, I bring to you a design program I have worked with: Scribus. Now, documentation for the program isn't fabulous, but there are plenty of good tutorials available on the web. I'm definitely not the most design savvy individual, but I've been able to figure out some of the very basics of the Scribus without too much trouble. And the benefit is that it is easy to do layouts, when compared to using Microsoft Word.

Here are some screenshots.

A basic document. I changed the dimensions to be the size of our invitation.

What the text editor looks like. It is really easy to edit line by line.

Print preview! You can see the document, as welll as what it looks like.

Now, with all free things, there are some drawbacks. Like I said, documentation isn't necessarily the best. There are some bugs- I've found that the text doesn't always change size/font on the first try. And for some reason, it doesn't really like dingbats all that much.

That said, Calvin and I used it successfully to make a cookbook for our families last Christmas.

Despite those problems, Scribus is free, so it might be worth checking out if you are interested in doing some design work and don't want to pay for a program.

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