Foss for foto book designing

(KV Subbaiah Setty) #1

Is there some Foss SW for foto book designing like Fundy designer’s album builder or pixellu’s smart album or lumapix’s fotofusion.

(Mica) #2

The FOSS Desktop Publishing app is call Scribus. It isn’t specifically for photography (I don’t think a photo specific book design tool exists), but Scribus has all the necessary features to send your book to a professional publisher. There are some photo import scripts here:

I personally use a TeX typesetter called ConTeXt ( which is sort of LaTeX like, but catered more towards general publishing.

Anyway, publishing pipelines are how I make my living; please ask any questions you may have.


Did you manage to work on full spreads, e.g. with split images ending up aligned on both pages with a defined overlap in ConTeXt? This is something I never figured out if it would work. I did a lot of stuff in LaTeX over the last >10 years and always had a look on ConTeXt, but never had the initial energy to try a photobook with it, but always wanted to.

(Mica) #4

I’ve never tried a split page spread, but I’ll look into it.

(Stefan Chirila) #5

I love Scribus! I made a small template a while back for The Gimp but I should be able to port it to Scribus. I will post.


Please, @paperdigits, only if you are curious yourself, I am probably going to use Scribus for the photo book purpose, recently I had some discussion on their ML about the handling of images, which was not perfect for the photo book case, but may have improved since then. Hm, this reminds me that I have to look into that again. So little time and so many things to take care of.

(Mica) #7

On the Scribus ML or the ConTeXt ML?


Scribus. It’s this and this thread. Already more than a year ago :neutral_face:.

Edit: and this bug report:

(Mica) #9

Good things take time! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Hm, the scribus guys have been extremely fast, but I did not find the time to actually try the new feature(s) on a photo book.

(Mica) #11

It seems like all three of those things work as expected, unless I’ve really misread something.


I hope so. This was not a call for help but a demonstration on how wonderful the direct connection between devs and users in FLOSS projects is (mean value, my experience). It was just me who asked (more or less) for the feature and did not manage to make proper use of it in one year. Nevertheless, it is still not optimal, if you want to move the image inside the frame, you have to change numbers and cannot just drag with the mouse. And, what I missed for many years regarding photo book layouts and what ended up in Scribus recently is vertical text alignment. So there’s no excuse anymore, I have to do a photobook soon :wink:.


I usually recommend to install Ubuntu Studio with all the bundles (or all but audio). I comes with all the good soft for photography, graphics, video, publishing, etc. including darktable, RAWTherapee, Scribus, GIMP, etc etc etc. It has a lite XFCE desktop environment and dark themes out of the box which allows users to focus on their images / videos.

(Mica) #14

We could certainly use some photo book templates :wink:


Me too ;-);-).

Seriously, if I get some result in the future[TM], I will for sure share it here.

(Mica) #16

Do you know any sites that’ll take a PDF and do a POD type of thing? Preferably one with good quality :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Talking about photo books with a low number of copies, down to one?

I once did a book with the original “BoD”, but more a magazine-style content with only some photos, and the quality was OK but not great. The laser printing type of result is definitely not made for photobooks. I think in Germany, saal ( is a reasonable price vs performance choice, they accept PDF and the quality is better than the cheap drug store stuff, with a reasonable price. There is an overview for Germany: Outside Germany, besides BoD I have no experience.

(Mica) #18

Hmmm thanks. Their are a few others, like Blurb, but I don’t have photo experience with them, only text. The cost for a single book is ~60 USD last I checked.


Speaking of vendors, do you happen to know one in Germany that is able to make photo books with many pages? I still want to make one for my one-photo-per-day project, but even 185 pages seems to be too much. Besides that I have always been happy with the quality from Saal.


On there are 2 print shops mentioned that may be capable of such a project, and I tried to enter a 370 pages book DIN A5 full colour into the web interface of the first job, and requesting only one will cost about 275 €. If you order 100, you will get them for 40 € each :slight_smile:. Besides, I guess you have to check with all the photo book services mentioned before if they offer something in that range.

Btw, did you do your 365 project last year or did you just start? Anything to show? :smiley: