I use Publisher regularly and am migrating to a Linux system want to know what is and isn’t possible.
LibreOffice does not have a dedicated DTP app. Writer is good in some cases. Draw is decent for other cases. Scribus (not part of LibreOffice) is the go-to OpenSource DTP app. While not a part of LibreOffice, it works well in conjunction with this suite.
What to use depends largely on the use case.
- For newsletters and books, Writer is usually fine.
- The support for page styles makes it a lot better for this kind of work, compared to other wordprocessing software I have used.
- Use frames for inserts.
- Linked frames for continuations/forwards.
- For posters/flyers, Draw works well.
- All graphical shapes support inclusion and formatting of text, inside the shape as well as along the line/contour.
- Limited support for pixel map graphics, 3D objects, special color handling
- Try Scribus if you want to create …
- a nice looking brochure
- a school textbook with complex layout
- other material requiring advanced structure or graphical functionality
For DTP work I often find it best to use a wordprocessor (Writer) for the content production, and then import my files into the DTP app. May be “best practice”. See what works for you.
If you use Publisher’s templates, be prepared to do a lot more of the work yourself. Templates are available for all the apps mentioned, but the prominent Microsoft automation/mindreading, wizards and such, is largely absent when using Writer/Draw/Scribus.
Don’t forget Impress where each slide can be thought of as an equivalent of a page. May come handy when each page has not a lot of text in it.
If your work is technical or scientific in nature, you might also consider LaTeX which is available under Ubuntu Linux and other Linux systems. There are many extensions and add-ons to make life easier and it is well supported.
There is a sort of workaround for Bleeds using Draw as well, Why does Writer not support print bleed? but might not work for everything. I can do everything I need in Writer except for bleeds. Cheers, Al
I’ve been using Publisher to make my printer calendar for my planner since it went up to $15 for a plain one. I also ran a test with Draw. Draw does a great job assembling the same file (I paste in GDI images from Excel templates from Vertex42.com). Scribus is closer to Adobe Illustrator than Publisher–more advanced and focused towards extremely complex layouts.