As discussed on this blog previously, “print-ready” files are those that require almost no intervention to print. These files contain CMYK color space, images with resolution of at least 300 dpi, embedded fonts and trim marks. Productivity software such as Microsoft Word or Open Office are not suitable for preparing files for commercial printing. Print-ready PDFs are often created using high-end desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator or Quark.
If you would like to take advantage of high-end desktop publishing features, without the high-end software cost, consider using Scribus, an open-source alternative for Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation and Windows.
Since its humble beginning in the spring of 2001, Scribus has rapidly evolved into one of the premier Open Source desktop applications. Encouraged by professionals and beginners alike, the Scribus Team, supported by a large and constantly growing number of enthusiastic contributors from all over the world, is dedicated to develop and improve “one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there” (TechRepublic).
Underneath a user-friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK colors, spot color support, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.
In addition to providing guidance and assistance through a comprehensive wiki site, Scribus also has a large community of “dedicated and friendly people highly knowledgeable about Desktop Publishing. This group consists of core Scribus Team and an enthusiastic and friendly Scribus community that assists beginner and pro alike.”
Scribus can be freely downloaded at http://wiki.scribus.net/canvas/Download.