There are many online services that can convert webpages to PDF files. These may be of use for printing or archiving internet pages.

With Web2PDF, you enter the internet address of a particular page on the internet into an online form. When this is submitted, the document is converted and presented to you as a downloadable document.

Etherpad Lite

Etherpad is an online word processor with formatting options.

It offers a lot of the same features as Google Docs, but is not suited for sensitive information as it has limited password protection and access control features. It does have lots of other great features, however. Edits by different authors are colour coded, and there is a chat window which allows you to talk in real time to other people working on the same document. You can undo and redo changes easily, and import/export as text, HTML, PDF and other common formats.


ZXing (pronounced 'zebra crossing') is an open source barcode image tool.

It can be used to create and read barcodes and QR codes. A QR code is a printed square of blocky pixels which can be scanned by devices including smart phones to point users to a web page, contact details or other information.


Booktype is an open source platform for writing and publishing print and digital books.

The goal is to make it easier for people and organisations to collaborate on and publish books, using a variety of different outputs. Booktype can output to print-ready PDF files, epub files for eReaders like Kindle or Kobo, word processing (LibreOffice) files or HTML webpages. You can host the software yourself on a server, or set up a free Booktype Pro account, where Sourcefabric can install, host and update Booktype for you.


Scribus is a page layout program. It can be compared to Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign.

With Scribus you can create layouts for newsletters, bulletins, manuals, reports and other printed materials that require text and image layout. It is a good tool to use when you are creating publications that need a more specialised approach.

Scribus has a user-friendly interface but also supports advanced features like colour separation, CMYK, and flexible creation of PDF documents.


LibreOffice Writer is a word processing and desktop publishing tool. It can be used for simple tasks but is also capable of creating leaflets, booklets or even books. It forms part of a family of applications called LibreOffice, which contains tools to create diagrams, spreadsheets and presentations which can be used in your printed work. It allows the use of style sheets, which makes it possible to create consistent layout on groups of documents.


Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editing application, with capabilities similar to Illustrator and CorelDraw.

Vector graphics are often used for illustrations, graphic design or advanced work with graphical text. Inkscape is a perfect tool for creating beautiful complex or simple images, flyers or posters where the more block-orientated layout of print applications is not appropirate. Some of more advanced uses of Photoshop – like applying effects to fonts and altering the shape of images – are best done in Inkscape rather than GIMP.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can do just about everything that Adobe Photoshop can do, and it's free for anyone to use.

You can use GIMP to re-size and crop photographs or other images, as well as adjust the brightness and contrast of images, add text to graphics, apply various effects and filters, work with layers, create animated GIFs and get images ready for print or the internet.

Grass-mud horse: Circumventing Censorship

In order to circumvent internet censorship in China, bloggers have created a lexicon which makes puns out of words and phrases in the Chinese language to talk about forbidden topics. It started with the 'grass-mud horse' – a mythical creature which sounds nearly the same as a dirty insult – as a tool to ridicule the government's blocking of vulgar content online. The grass-mud horse has achieved a personality, making its way into art, poetry and online videos, as well as inspiring an entire vocabulary of words.

WordPress for audio and video distribution

WordPress is a system for creating websites and blogs.

You can have your own installation of WordPress if you have some webspace, or you can use the free service at

It is easy to install WordPress and learn how to publish webpages, and it is a good vehicle for publishing and promoting your audio and video online.

If you are using, you either have to pay an upgrade fee to host media files, or you can include them from SoundCloud, YouTube or other audio and video sharing sites.