Other posts related to document-templates

 | December 29, 2010 6:18 pm

2011 Calendar - Africa January

Over the past week, I’ve been helping a non-profit put together a yearly thank-you calendar.  I’ve been using Scribus, and so far, it’s been going very smoothly.

Scribus includes a nifty “Calendar Wizard” that lets you generate date grids for any month or year.  But though the Calendar Wizard works well, I found that it didn’t support all of the features that I would like.  Therefore, I spent a little bit of time and put together my own template.

In addition to a date grid, the template includes modified styles for the weeks, days and months (set to use the Linux Libertine typeface); the lunar phases; common North American Holidays; and miniature calendars for the preceding and following months.  I’ve also added image placeholders for all of the different pages.

Using this template, you should be able to create a  handsome, interesting calendar in almost no-time.  Though I had a “fine arts” feel in mind, it seems to work well with funny cat-pictures.  The sample pages shown here were all created from the template.

Because it might be of interest/benefit to other people, I thought that I would post the template here.  The download file below includes everything required to make the template work.

To install, copy it to your Scribus Templates folder.  (The templates folder is included in your Scribus user folder.  For Linux users, this is usually a folder called “.scribus” in your home directory.  If you wish, you can change it from the “Preferences” dialog.)  Because the template was created with Scribus 1.3.9, you will need that version or the upcoming 1.4.0 to make it work.


2011 Scribus Calendar Template (Formal).  A formal calendar template for users of Scribus covering January to December 2011.  The template includes a calendar grid, the lunar phases, miniature calendars for the preceding and following months, and common holidays.  By default, it uses Linux Libertine as the typeface, though this can be adjusted using the available styles.  (Typeface bundled with the template.)

The template is released under a creative commons, attribution, share and share-a-like license.  If you make any changes or enhancements to the layout, please be kind enough to provide a link in the forum.  That way, everyone can benefit.

Example Layouts

2011 Calendar - page0062011 Calendar - page005

2011 Calendar - page009

2011 Calendar - page011

2011 Calendar - page013

(The images in the examples were taken from Wikimedia Commons and from the Creative Commons photos posted on Flickr, though I converted them to black/white.  You can probably tell that I’ve been pretty influenced by Nick Brandt.  These are not the images that will be used in the thank-you calendar, just pictures I’ve been using to practice photo-manipulation techniques.)

 | August 21, 2010 2:51 pm


During my talk to the local Linux user’s group the other night, I spent a few minutes introducing Scribus.   Scribus is a marvelous tool and fills a much needed void in the world of Linux writing/publishing.  It brings a robust layout and pre-press design tool to the Linux desktop, with the additional benefit that it’s easy to use.  (At least when compared to professional grade tools on other platforms such as Quark XPress or Adobe Indesign>)

However, even though Scribus is a wonderful tool, it can be a bit intimidating to get started.  Desktop Publishing programs are not the same as word processors and shouldn’t be used in the same manner.  That isn’t the purpose for which they were built.  They completely lack important extensions, such as a Thesaurus or Spellchecker, for example, that many writers would consider essential.

Rather, when you use a desktop publishing program, you are exclusively focused on how your document looks.  Desktop publishing programs are typography tools, not writing tools, that come into play after all of the words have been written.

Using a good layout/desktop publishing program, you can tweak any detail related to the appearance of your document.  This includes the the margins, the spacing between letters, the fonts and many other details besides.  Everything.  They are tremendously powerful.

But with power comes complexity and it’s easy to be intimidated by complexity.  We fear what we don’t understand and complex things can be difficult to understand.

In the case of a layout program, the language may be strange or the controls might not behave as you would expect them to; which just freaks people out.  (I mean, is it really fair to expect that someone unfamiliar with the history of typography know that “kerning” refers to the space between letters?)

This is why a well designed example, or template, can make all of the difference between success and failure when trying something new.  During my presentation and subsequent conversations I had with people afterward, this point came up (multiple times, actually).  So, in addition to my presentation slides, I also agreed to upload a couple of Scribus templates that people could use to get started.

In the remainder of this post, you’ll find two presentation templates that can help you get started with Scribus.  These examples/templates are:

  1. A modern style presentation theme (the same theme I used to create my slides, actually)
  2. A modern magazine/catalog layout

Both examples work with Scribus 1.3.6 or newer.  Older versions of Scribus (> 1.3.6) use version 3 of the Qt framework, which means that they are tremendously out of date and, for that reason, dead to me.

(If you’re using Ubuntu, you can install Scribus 1.3.6 by searching for the ScribusNG package in the Software Center.  Both the stable version and ScribusNG can be installed side-by-side.)

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