16 thoughts on “Can anyone share any solutions for producing nicely typeset custom classes in Linux?”

  1. Yep. LaTeX is the typesetting language of choice on linux. It is difficult to learn, but produces beautiful pdfs. I don’t know if there are good templates out there. LyX is a graphical LaTeX editor for more casual users.

  2. Depends on what you want and how much work you’re willing to put into it.

    For quick and dirty, use whichever of OpenOffice or LibreOffice your system includes. The Word templates will probably work pretty well, with never OO/LO releases doing better.

    Scribus is the big GUI desktop publishing package; I’m not real impressed with it.  It might work better for classes, but the table support is embarrassingly bad, which is a bit of a dealbreaker for a lot of RPG layout work.

    If you’re willing to put the effort into developing the template, LaTeX will generate beautiful output and be pretty clean for writing.  Decidedly nerdy, and creating that template is Serious Work.  If you go this route, consider XeTeX, which supports TrueType and OpenType fonts and supports a lot of advanced font features.

    If you want to do graphical layout and want a lot of control, Inkscape.  This is a drawing program, not a layout program, so it can be a lot of work.  A truly nerdy person might create an SVG template and fill it in programatically (http://blog.natbudin.com/2008/08/08/a-nifty-way-to-make-character-sheets/ )

  3. Wynand Louw , I don’t think that Inkscape is going to cut it for me. It definitely seems like a path to recreating the look of the official sheets, but OpenOffice is going to be less fiddly.

  4. have you got, or can you direct me to, a sample of what you want it to look like? I’ve got some, but would have to dig them out… but as I recall they’re not that complex.

  5. I used the ODT Dungeon World Playbook Template located here:


    in LibreOffice under Ubuntu 13.04 and it worked pretty fine. It definitely was not a cut & paste job, but it does not require aligning graphics & text boxes by hand so I call that a win. I had to properly delete the headers and footers of the template spell list to delete those pages to export a nice 2 page PDF, and Document Viewer has some display issue with the exported PDF which isn’t present in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Other than that, I am happy with the look!


Comments are closed.