Scribus is an open source desktop publisher.
Supports templates to separate content from presentation
It has a kind of mail merge
Support for font embedding and sub-setting with TrueType, Type 1 and OpenType fonts.
Free and open source.
Runs on Windows, Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, ...
the one software that comes in my mind is Scribus:
supports RGB, CMYK and spot colors
shipped with almost 200 color palettes, and almost 400 more for download in the next stable version
I am going to second the psbook recommendations but add this as a separate answer to note some of the complexities and what would be lost in what you are doing. Chances are this is not a problem (I assume you are trying to print the book, not click on pages with a mouse) but basically this limits you to the PDF features available in Postscript (no ...
On the command line
You can use Pdfjam. This is a front-end for PDFLaTeX, so you need a LaTeX installation. This isn't difficult to install on Linux (just let your package manager pull in the dependencies), but it will cost a few hundred MB of storage. The command is:
with the output going to foo-book.pdf, or pdfbook --output book.pdf foo....
As noted in the comments, it might well be the printer driver handles that: watch out for an option like "booklet".
Apart from that, you might be able to combine several command line utilities, which are part of the Ghostscript package (at least on Ubuntu):
pdf2ps converts your PDF into the PostScript format
psbook does the job you've asked for (rearrange ...
Cost: ~$800 one off, or ~$20 a month (Renting through the Adobe Cloud)
Free Trial Here
In the professional world you will find that InDesign, is used.
It is not a tool designed specifically for this.
I believe a large portion of this is because InDesign is already being used for settign the rule book, and in other products by the design ...
You mentioned toward the end that you're at least open to the idea of Web-based collaborative editing, so in case you haven't already checked it out, I recommend writeLaTeX.
It offers (to my taste) a good balance of ease of use for the TeX-uninitiated (which includes me) and genuine LaTeX capabilities. It can be used as a browser-based editor with real-...
Personally I would suggest:
Use (pandoc extended) markdown for the actual files and pandoc to produce the final output - this will handle UTF-8 with no problem and gives you the option of multiple output formats. The pandoc extensions to markdown support
document metadata (title, author, date);
superscript and ...
Since it looks like LaTex provides support for all(most) all the OpenType font variants, including swash, you can either generate your graphics directly in LaTeX or generate the elements and import into Inkscape then position them.
You may need to add some supplementary programs to be able to do the latter with:
sudo apt-get install texlive pstoedit
By looking at this Wikipedia page, I can see there aren't too many free alternatives for Linux. In fact you've already tried all WYSIWYG DTP software (excepting LyX).
You say you weren't happy with Scribus. Well, it has a lot of options but some are hidden in that interface.
Paragraph borders are not missing in Scribus. Draw a text frame T, write some text ...
I would suggest using markdown to write the documentation, (and preferably .png for any screenshots, illustrations, etc.), and pandoc to output the required format(s). BTW I would strongly suggest using .pdf or such for your windows customers so that they don't have to buy MS-Word if they don't already have it.
pandoc is a free tool that will read a large ...
If you are comfortable with HTML and command line, pageres could help.
You give pageres an HTML file and it returns you a screenshot of it.
So you could:
Wrap your input text inside an <html><div> of the size you want, with no margins
Run pageres on it
You may have to crop the resulting screenshot to the size you want (using imagemagick), as ...
As far as I understand, you want a framework that does it all, that holy grail many are looking for. As I have been working lately with Gtk (more specifically, gtkmm, which is written in C++, in contrast to Gtk, which is in C), I can make a case for it. From what you mentioned, this is what gtkmm covers:
It's not only free, it's FOSS (free open source ...
Possibly more generic that you would like but I would recommend taking a look at using LibreOffice - Specifically the Impress presentation tool.
Free both Gratis & Open Source
Cross platform - available for Windows, OS-X & Linux
Lots of templates or you could prepare and keep your own
Integrates with the Base database so you could build up a ...
Serif has a Free Desktop Publishing application called PagePlus.
Stunning stationery is so simple
Easy drag and drop designing
Layouts in a couple of clicks
Precise and easy design tools
Versatile desktop publishing
Help is always on hand
Simple to use and great support
Runs on any version of Windows
It's a GUI editor for Markdown, using Calibre for final rendering. It allows you to have the manual with a Git and to write in separate chapters.
It's free and open source. It renders to HTML, PDF and EPUB but you can later do the conversion using other tools.
The following little tool written in Java worked just perfectly:
Bookbinder is a program that will convert a PDF document into signatures suitable for traditional bookbinding.
While there are a lot of programs on the net that will create a single booklet from a small document, I couldn't find one that ...