Page Layout Tools for Nonprofits
Publisher retails for $169, but is only $7 for nonprofits through TechSoup Stock.
Adobe is a force in the graphic design software marketplace. Its Creative Suite bundles InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator — Photoshop is the photo editing package, while Illustrator is a vector graphic and drawing package useful for logo creation or complex typesetting work, and probably best suited for use by professionals. Like its siblings, InDesign, the layout package, is powerful but complex. It was designed to produce the sophisticated page layouts required by magazines, newspapers, catalogs and similar printed materials.
If you’re familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator, InDesign will feel familiar. However, nearly everyone will require at least a book, and likely a class, to effectively use the complicated feature set.
In addition to the cost of the software, you’ll need to consider the hardware on which you’ll load it. InDesign is compatible with multiple operating systems, including Mac and Windows, and can run on Linux with a little work. However, it requires a fairly up-to-date computer, with about a gigabyte of RAM at a minimum, and benefits from even more RAM or an advanced video card.
InDesign retails for $699, or is $60 for nonprofits through TechSoup Stock.
Scribus is an open-source page layout application for multiple platforms, including Linux/Unix, MacOS X, OS/2 and Windows. It supports press-ready output and other professional publishing features, such as color separations and PDF creation. What this means, essentially, is that Scribus offers many of the same features as InDesign, but for significantly less money — in fact, it’s free.
Scribus is under active development and improves with each regular release. It’s stable, and because of its wide user base, support can be found in online forums. Several large corporations have invested in its development, and it has a large following among fans of community-based open-source software.