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Desktop publishing with OpenOffice.org

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"Do you offer a program like Microsoft Publisher?" Some version of this question appears regularly on the OpenOffice.org mailing lists. Many people automatic answer "no," and say that Scribus is more suitable for desktop publishing. But, in fact, OpenOffice.org boasts two mid-level layout programs -- Draw and Writer -- each of which is far more versatile than its name suggests.

Draw and Writer have similar tools for positioning text, but Draw is better suited for text mixed with graphics or for highly variable pages, while Writer is designed for text-heavy documents with minimal variation in the pages. Both lack some of the fine controls of a high-end layout program, but their features are complete enough that either can be used to produce professional-looking work.

DTP with Draw

Draw is primarily a vector graphics drawing program. However, because it shares much of its back end with Impress, OpenOffice.org's slide program, Draw is easy to use for layout.

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