Features

Here is a list of the current features of Laidout (version 0.096). Most of these features can be seen in action on the screenshots page.

You might also be interested in this comparison between various desktop publishing and vector graphics programs, and also the rough Laidout development roadmap.


     Impositioning

Impose a document as a collection of single pages, custom folded signature based impositions (folded right on screen) such as booklets, and nets derived from polyhedra, possibly based on a dodecahedron, a box, or other polyhedra. Thus, Laidout impositioning is broad enough to allow impositions with pages that don't have to be rectangular, such as a triacontahedron.

Also, you can define one or more paper arrangements for any kind of layout from any of the impositions. Each paper arrangement lets you place the same page, or page spread, or scratch space data across many pieces of paper. This is very useful for postering.

Signature Editor Paper Tiler Nets


     Object Types

Objects can be moved, scaled, rotated, and sheared, by themselves or as a group. There is a special 3-point transform, where you can define an anchored center of rotation and scaling, then drag another point to scale and rotate. Or you can anchor 2 points, and drag the third point to shear the object accordingly.

If you have a sufficiently new Linux system (meaning since around 2010, must support Xinput2), you can use two mice at the same time to do fancy multipoint scaling and rotating.

Color patch gradients Linear and radial gradients Image warping Engraver Tool Text in the Caption Tool Paths


     Exporting

You can export everything, or just a range of spreads to a single file or multiple files as is possible for the format. You can also export from the command line, without actually starting up a window. The currently supported export formats are:


     Importing

When importing, Laidout tries to remember as much as it can from the original file. This allows you to edit a file in Laidout and then export back out to the same format, and the mystery objects will be passed through. For instance, you can import a Scribus document, reimpose it to a booklet, say, then export back to a Scribus format, even though Laidout cannot (yet) handle text blocks, text wrapping, and clip paths.


     Interface Windows

A splittable window system, reminiscent of Blender and the Ion window manager. You can dock, float, move and temporarily maximize the panes of any main split window you have up. The window configuration is also loaded and saved with whatever document you are working on. The panes of each splittable window can be:

One feature of the Page View and Spread Editor windows is that the whole view can be arbitrarily rotated. Normally, programs only allow viewing a page in portrait or landscape orientation.

Viewport and Object Basics Window arrangements


     Misc


How to make booklets Page Range Interface