Dia lets you create and edit technical diagrams and plans. Whether its wiring diagrams, simple maps or a plan of your kitchen, Dia has all you need to produce a precise, professional-looking graphic. For more information, extension scripts and extra shapes for your diagrams, visit the Dia web site.


Scribus is an open source desktop page layout program with the aim of producing commercial grade output in PDF and Postscript, primarily, though not exclusively for Linux.

Scribus can be used for many tasks; from brochure design to newspapers, magazines, newsletters and posters to technical documentation. It has sophisticated page layout features like precision placing and rotating of text and/or images on a page, manual kerning of type, bezier curves polygons, precision placement of objects, layering with RGB and CMYK custom colors. The Scribus document file format is XML-based.


Scribus supports professional DTP features, such as CMYK color and a color management system to soft proof images for high quality color printing, flexible PDF creation options, Encapsulated PostScript import/export and creation of 4 color separations, import of EPS/PS and SVG as native vector graphics, Unicode text including right to left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew via freetype. Graphic formats which can be placed in Scribus as images include PDF, Encapsulated Post Script (eps), TIFF, JPEG, PNG and XPixMap(xpm), and any bitmap type supported by QT3.

For more information, visit the Scribus home page.

IconsPage/apt.png Scribus is available in Ubuntu's Main repositories.

IconsPage/info.png The Scribus team also maintains a software channel that contains the latest version of Scribus and a number of Scribus-related packages, including a scribus-ng package (Scribus 1.3.x developmental series). scribus-ng can be installed in parallel with the scribus package from the official Ubuntu repositories. It should be noted that packages from this software channel are not supported by Ubuntu and may be unstable development versions, and so may not function as expected. See the AddingRepositoriesHowto for information on how to add additional software channels.

PDF editors

Note: This section focusses on PDF editors and tools. Normal PDF viewers are not listed.



PDF Compression script

This small script integrates in Nautilus (or other file managers) and it is designed to reduce the file size of existing PDF files.

  • Good for: Optimizing file size of an existing PDF file
  • Good for: Downsampling images in an existing PDF file
  • The script can easily be adapted, it is basically a GUI for GhostScript

  • Download: https://launchpad.net/compress-pdf


PDF Shuffler

  • Good for: Assembling PDF files into one, deleting pages, rotating pages
  • Not so good for: Minimizing file size


Commercial PDF software compatible with Ubuntu

Generally, there is a lack of good open source PDF software, although the situation is improving. If you don't mind paying money, there are some commercial options available.

Business, finance, etc


gLabels is a program for creating labels and business cards. It is designed to work with various laser/ink-jet peel-off label and business card sheets that you'll find at most office supply stores. gLabels-small.png


GnuCash is a personal finance manager.


Semantik (previously Kdissert) is a mindmapping-like tool to help students to produce complicated documents very quickly and efficiently : presentations, dissertations, thesis, reports. While targetted mostly at students, Kdissert can also help teachers, decision maker, engineers and businessmen. Semantik is also available exclusively for Linux and other free operating systems.



Glom is an easy database application designer.

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