Learn the Scribus Desktop Publishing Software With These Tutorials

Learn to use the free Scribus desktop publishing software

Office workplace with tablet on wood table
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Scribus is a free open source desktop publishing application that's been compared to Adobe InDesign, much like GIMP has been compared to Adobe Photoshop and OpenOffice compared to Microsoft Office. It's free and powerful. However, if you've never used professional page layout applications, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first open it up and try to create something. Scribus tutorials may not be as plentiful as those for ​InDesign, but they are out there. Here are some tutorials and Scribus documentation that you may find useful in getting up and running quickly with Scribus.

Scribus Versions

Scribus offers its software in two versions: stable and development. Download the stable version if you want to work with tested software and avoid surprises. Download the development version to test and help improve Scribus. The current stable version is 1.4.6 and the current development version is 1.5.3, which has been in development for some time now and is relatively stable. You can even install both versions on your computer and decide which one you like the best. ​Download Scribus for Mac, Linux, or Windows.​

Scribus Video Tutorials

scribus desktop screen

The Scribus comprehensive tutorial wiki offers helpful video tutorials including:

  • Getting started with Scribus
  • Ways to apply paragraph styles
  • Creating bullet lists
  • Creating a three-fold document
  • Page numbers and sections
  • Basic text effects
  • Text on a path
  • Creating a table of contents
  • Object frame border

There are also text instructions on styles, lists, drop caps, text frames, page numbers, text effects, and other common tasks you can perform in Scribus.

The videos are in Theora/Ogg format, which is supported in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. If you use a different browser, refer to these instructions before viewing the videos.

YouTube Demonstrations Using Scribus

The YouTube video Part 1 Basic Introduction and Setting Preferences is a comprehensive overview that gives you get a feel for how to use Scribus. Take a few minutes to watch this video if you've never seen Scribus in action. Follow up with Part 2 Creating a Simple Poster and Part 3 Text Around an Image for the real-life creation of documents.


Hexagon Scribus Tutorial

The Hexagon Scribus Tutorial PDF contains information for beginning, intermediate, and expert users of Scribus. In its 70-plus pages, it covers many topics including:

  • Master pages
  • Font installation
  • Styles
  • Links
  • Image transformation
  • Layers
  • Text effects

It contains plenty of detail and screenshots that are useful to new users of Scribus.

Course: Get Started With Scribus

During the course of Get Started With Scribus, which is a Scribus tutorial with screenshots, you learn the features of Scribus while creating several pages of a magazine. You'll be learning not only how to use Scribus desktop publishing software but a lot about desktop publishing and printing in general.

This course was designed for an early version of Scribus. There may be some differences between it and the current stable version.

Scribus Manual Basics

For a beginner's tutorial in using Scribus for publication design, check out  Sott's World Scribus Manual.

This manual was written for an early version of Scribus. There may be some differences between it and the current stable version.