Linux Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop Publishing Software Titles for Linux

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. On my Mac and Windows lists I generally only include page layout software. Because the list is so short of Linux, I've included more graphics software and office titles for Linux that are often used in conjunction with desktop publishing or to produce typical desktop publishing projects.

These Linux desktop publishing software titles are listed with page layout first, then graphics software, and then word processing or office suites.

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Laidout Logo
Laidout Logo. Laidout Logo

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."

Laidout 0.09 for Linux 

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SoftLogik/Grasshopper LLC: PageStream (

PageStream screenshot from
PageStream screenshot from PageStream screenshot from

Desktop publishing and page layout for multiple platforms by Grasshopper LLC. It also has integrated illustration tools.

PageStream 5 for Linux (and Mac, Windows, Amiga, MorphOS)

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Scribus - Screenshot from
Scribus - Screenshot from Scribus - Screenshot from

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.

Scribus 1.4+ for Linux (and Mac, Windows)

Scribus Tutorials

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2010 Reader's Choice Awards Winner: GIMP
2010 Reader's Choice Awards Winner: GIMP. /

The GNU Image Management Program (The GIMP) is a popular, free, open source alternative to Photoshop and other photo editing software. The GIMP was the 2010 Reader's Choice Winner in the Free Desktop Publishing Software category.

GIMP 2.6.1 for Linux (and Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris)

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Inkscape (

Inkscape screenshot from
Inkscape screenshot from Inkscape screenshot from

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, fliers, and ads. Inkscape is similar in capabilities to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. Inkscape is also being used to create fonts.

Inkscape 0.48 for Linux (and Windows, Mac, and will run on FreeBSD, Unix-like systems)


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Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice. Apache OpenOffice screenshot

Free suite comparable to Microsoft Office, includes a word processing application that can double as desktop publishing software on the cheap.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4+ for Linux (and Windows, Solaris,  Mac)

Overview/Tutorial of OpenOffice ( Linux)