Is LibreOffice Writer suited for professional desktop publishing?

I want to produce professional-looking publications in a simple way, so I’m doing my best to create a template that doesn’t look bad, though I believe it is far from looking professional enough.

Here’s my attempt:

All the official guides concerning LibreOffice published by the LibreOffice Documentation Team (See here.) are created and maintained using LibreOffice Writer. The documents make extensive use of templates and styles.

However, LibO may not be specifically adapted to DTP implementing every feature you might expect. The limitations of Draw concerning graphical elements may impose restrictions. Is there any software you would judge to supply a pattern of what you want?

I can’t think of a specific software, but maybe Scribus.

What I want is a document that looks good enough to be published as a textbook, brochure…you know, graphic design-heavy documents.

I do not know much of it - and I never produced documents of the “design-heavy” kind. I always worked content-oriented. But you may check many examples of documents based on LibO Writer/Draw (probably with diagrams from Calc…) you find in the web. The mentioned LibO guides are some.You decide if that’s good enough for you.

You might find the following book helpful (it is free if you don’t want a print hardcopy): Designing with LibreOffice It covers quite a lot of ground on templates, layout and choosing fonts etc.

Awesome one! Thank you!

Tough question, but it probably depends on the abilities of the user more than on the software if the result looks professional. If you’re a professional designer, you can probably, if you’re patient and have lots of time on your hands, still make something beautiful with MS Notepad and a cheap printer. And a terrible designer can work with Indesign and completely mess up. It takes time to learn to make a professional design, or why would it take some years of training to become a professional designer?

Scribus has more to offer for lay-out work and graphical details that the average layman has never heard of and wouldn’t notice, but it also has a very steep learning curve.

Bruce Byfield, who wrote the book I refer to in my answer (below), says of Writer:

“LO, especially Writer, is a lot more versatile than most users think. People think they’re getting a word processor in Writer, but they’re really getting a mid-level desktop publishing program.”

He has what is actually a pretty good interview on LO and its DTP capabilities here:

It’s quite a good interview and worth a read through.