Linux Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop Publishing Software Titles for Linux

Woman working on desktop computer

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Unlike Mac and Windows, there are only a handful of Linux programs for doing desktop publishing. But if Linux is your preferred OS and you want to create fliers, brochures, newsletters, business cards, and the like, then give one of these programs a spin. Because there aren't many Linux options, this list includes more graphics software and office titles for Linux that are often used in conjunction with desktop publishing or to produce typical desktop publishing projects.


Laidout desktop publishing software
What We Like
  • Unique features like a spread editor.

What We Don't Like
  • Outdated user interface.

  • Limited import and export support.

  • Few text features.

Laidout 0.096 for Linux is a page layout program by Tom Lechner, a Project. See this feature comparison chart for Laidout, Scribus, InDesign, and other programs.

"Laidout is desktop publishing software, particularly for multipage, cut and folded booklets, with page sizes that don't even have to be rectangular."

SoftLogik/Grasshopper LLC: PageStream

PageStream page layout and publishing program

Grasshopper, LLC

What We Like
  • Versatile use cases.

  • Supports several languages.

  • Lots of documentation over what every tool does.

What We Don't Like
  • It's not free.

  • Trial versions don't seem to work.

PageStream 5.8 for Linux (and Mac, Windows, Amiga, MorphOS) is a desktop publishing and page layout program for multiple platforms by Grasshopper, LLC. It also has integrated illustration tools.


Page layout using Scribus desktop publishing software

Dan Fink

What We Like
  • Free, open-source software.

  • Mimics the user interface of similar programs.

  • Built-in manual.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks support for files made with QuarkXpress and InDesign.

  • Missing a spell-check function.

Scribus 1.5.2 for Linux (and Mac, Windows) is probably the premiere free desktop publishing software application. It has the features of the pro packages, but it's free. Scribus offers CMYK support, font embedding and sub-setting, PDF creation, EPS import/export, basic drawing tools, and other professional level features. It works in a fashion similar to Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress with text frames, floating palettes, and pull-down menus — and without the hefty price tag.


Gimp photo editing software
What We Like
  • Similar to Adobe Photoshop.

  • Updates are released frequently.

What We Don't Like
  • User interface is easily cluttered.

  • Not ideal for inexperienced users.

GIMP 2.8.20 for Linux (and Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris) is a popular, free, open-source alternative to Photoshop and other photo editing software.


Inkscape open source vector drawing program
What We Like
  • Well-organized toolset.

  • Tons of great features.

What We Don't Like
  • Missing tools found in similar software.

  • Buggy at times.

  • Help documents are hard to read.

Inkscape 0.92 for Linux (and Windows, Mac, and will run on FreeBSD, Unix-like systems) is a popular free, open source vector drawing program, Inkscape uses the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Use Inkscape for creating text and graphics compositions including business cards, book covers, flyers, and ads. Inkscape is similar in capabilities to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. Inkscape is also being used to create fonts.

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