A Short Review for Scribus 1.5

There are interesting new features in 1.5 version of Scribus. One of them is table improvement, when it is almost as easy as using LibreOffice Writer’s one. Another one are tabbed interface, footnotes, endnotes, calligraphy pen, and so on. Surely, this 1.5 brings so many new features and it’s hard to explain them all. We will cover some of those interesting features here.

1. Table Features

In the version before 1.5, a Scribus table was only text frames. It means if users want to add/remove columns/rows in once, they must add another cell. Also, merging/splitting cells was only manual jobs to do. In 1.5, the table is improved a lot where users can insert rows/columns or delete them automatically by menu. Users can merge and split cells automatically too, just like in LibreOffice Writer. It is a big improvement.

2. Docking User Interface

Surprise for us, Scribus Properties Dialog (F2) is now dockable into main window. It is very important to save our hands from not important movements just because the dialog was not dockable before. More surprises, any other important dialog such as Action History, Align and Distribute, Scrapbooks, Symbols, or else is dockable too. They are attachable in any place users want and detachable too. So users can arrange their own preferred Scribus interface. This new feature personally I love the most.

3. Tabbed User Interface

It is very impressive to have multitab feature in Scribus. It can be enabled and disabled by users choice. It will speed up user multitaskings just the same as Firefox does. By default, it is disabled. To enable it, go to menu File > Preferences > check Use tabs for documents.

4. Text Features

Scribus added some important features requested by users such as footnotes, endnotes, cross references, and widow & orphan control. These features will be very helpful for books and papers publishing.


It is more awesome when Scribus added more features in Paragraph Effects such as Drop Cap, Bullets, and Numberings. All done automatically.

5. Support for Microsoft XPS Output

Scribus 1.5 has new filter improvement when it supports saving into XPS format (Microsoft alternative’s for PDF).

6. Support for Vector Formats Input

Another big surprise for us is Scribus now can import so many vector formats. This including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign (IDML, IDMS), Dia Shapes, EPS, Kivio Stencils, Macinosh Pict, XPS, LibreOffice Draw (ODG), LibreOffice Impress (ODP), Open XML Paper, PDF, Adobe Pagemaker, PostScript, StarView Metafile (SVM), SVG, WMF, Viva Designer XML, Word Perfect WPG, XARA, Xfig File, and iWorks. Even Scribus can make use of Uniconvertor to import anything Uniconvertor can import.

7. Drop Shadow

Scribus added drop shadow feature too. Scribus made it handy to edit its properties via Properties Dialog (F2). Now users can give it to any object on the page.

8. Picture Browser

Scribus added a new Picture Explorer. It is a small file manager for pictures, to collect, tag, manage, and insert pictures into document. Picture Explorer consists of three mode: Folder Browser, Collection Browser, and Document Browser.

9. Drawing Features

One of the most noticeable change in Scribus 1.5 is its addition of calligraphy tool, pen tool, spiral shape, and arc shape. It reminds us to Inkscape. Yes, now Scribus can draw calligraphy.

Another Important Changes

  • Scribus 1.5 will not backward-compatible in SLA document editing with previous release. So any SLA document edited with 1.5, can not be edited with 1.4 for example.
  • Scribus can now include bitmap images inside its document file. Previously, it was impossible.
  • Weld is a new feature to combine two objects (like group) but every object still can be edited separately. Weld is a new group feature while the group itself still exist.
  • Symbol is a new feature (similar to the same in Adobe Illustrator) which is a form of clone feature, but once the original object edited all the clones (copy object) will be edited too following the original.
  • And so many another features.


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