Post By Mike F
free software for prepress
I want to share a question with you: how far we are of can work in prepress with free software?
I mean, the freeware competitors of the prepress standard software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, Indesign, Preps) are usable in prepress?
For example, Gimp instead of Photoshop.
Its supposed this is not possible, but the freeware actualize every few months with new versions. So maybe, somebody have check these possibilities.
Thanks in advance,
Gimp, Scribus and Inkscape are open source, for free and can be combined for Desktop Publishing. Gimp is the open source equivalent to Photoshop, Scribus is the open source equivalent to InDesign and Inkscape for Illustrator. The big advantages about these applications are: They're for free, you can use them for anything without any restrictions, they work on OSX, Windows and Linux and they do not contain as much, in my opinion, often unnecessary bloating stuff like for example the lens flare tool in Illustrator. Also you do not have to worry about a new version with brand new, and in many cases completely useless functions every two years. It is theoretically possible to create solid, printable, professional Design Work with these three applications.
The disadvantages are: It is way more time consumpting to use these open source products instead of paying some money for commercial software like Adobe Creative Suite. Especially InDesign is becoming more and more sophisticated in automating publishing via Grep functionality, Scripting, XML Connectivity and IDML file format. Not to forget about InDesigns new options to publish electronic media like the epub format or PDF forms. If you really want to earn money with Desktop Publishing, and if you want to work state of the art open source cannot compete with comercial software at the moment.
On the other hand, if you are an enthusiast, if you just want to do some private work or if you work for benefit, it will surely be fun to try out the open source products. At least Gimp 2.8 can be a real substitution for Photoshop when you just have to do some simple image editing tasks.
Last edited by ASchuett; 12-10-2012 at 05:15 PM.
When I first started doing wide format digital printing all I had were Inkscape and GIMP for designing, didn't get Corel until about 6 months into it. It's definitely possible as far as just designing goes. The only problem I ran into was that Inkscape didn't handle Pantones at that point in time. Haven't really been keeping up with it since I got Corel but they may have added support for it by now. Don't know of any free or open source pre-flighting or RIP software though.
Ohh !! free version of RIP, i think we may not get this for some time. As JDF has got dependency with MIS, and MIS intern with RIP... everything is interlinked for business. I am quite not sure why that industry open standard format is depending on some expensive software systems. If it is open standard should have talk to printer directly. Instead of asking vendors to develop JDF compatible software, they would have asked printer manufactures to develop cross platform native support for JDF. (Not sure all this are the business tactics or JDF can't run without expensive software)...
It's a business model. There's no logical reason all software isn't free and open source, other than the almighty dollar (or whatever your local currency may be).
Originally Posted by Janidbest