Technical writing with open source or cheaper than professional tools?

What tool(s) do you recommend regarding writing technical documents/books including formal TOC, pictures, appendices etc. The documents must be able to be provided both electronically and in print, including page numbering (maybe advanced numbering using chapter number and page number in chapter (including sections and maybe subsections)

I have considered LaTeX (but feel image handling is too troublesome - consistent document structure is super though). I'm not proficient with Sigil or Scribus, but will any of these thoose be effective?

Do you have any other suggestions in the range 0-100$?

The purpose is non-profit writing and therefore the big professional stuff is not within financial range.
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Jane Noesgaard LarsenCRM Application SpecialistAsked:
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John-Charles-HerzbergCommented:
Have a look at this

Technical Writing on a Shoestring: Open Source Tools That Can Save Your Technical Writing Department Money

http://techwhirl.com/technical-writing-on-a-shoestring-open-source-tools-that-can-save-your-technical-writing-department-money/

Thanks
JC
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
May I suggest LibreOffice:
LibreOffice is a comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite that you can download and install for free, with no fear of copyright infringement. There is a large base of satisfied LibreOffice users worldwide, and it is available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.
It includes word processing, spreadsheet, database, drawing and presentation software.

These tools are similar to older versions of MS Office!
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Jane Noesgaard LarsenCRM Application SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Regarding Word a-like applications: the only thing is, my experience is not that good regarding handling large/complex document structures - it tends to be somewhat inconsitent regarding formatting (graphics jumping all over the place and paragrahs behaing odd when graphics or page breaks are inserted.

Maybe I just need to add some routine using this type of applications for the specific purpose...
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
>>I have considered LaTeX (but feel image handling is too troublesome - consistent document structure is super though). I'm not proficient with Sigil or Scribus, but will any of these thoose be effective?

LaTeX, Sigil and Scribus are all "Desktop Publishing" type applications. If this is the route you wish to take, please have a look here: Gixmo's Best Free Desktop Publishing Program. May I suggest that you take a look at the comments for more ideas on how to approach your project.

But you may find that the learning curve for DTP apps is steeper than for word processing apps!
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Jane Noesgaard LarsenCRM Application SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I've been making my final report at the university in LaTeX - so I know... (the learning curve) but I really like the fact that when you have put something in place - it stays there - no matter what you do else where in the document (except for intended global changes of cause)
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Here is a list of 2013 Best Desktop Publishing Software Reviews and Comparisons (NOTE: these apps are all for Windows OS, but you didn't mention this...)
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Jane Noesgaard LarsenCRM Application SpecialistAuthor Commented:
How is Sigil and Scribus handling TOC and page numbering? I need a consistant and automatic solution for that...
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Scribus seem to be better suited to smaller documents... articles, brochures and newsletters. For larger documents see Success Stories 2008
Homebrew Wind Power — 320-page technical book
I just completed a 320-page, heavily-illustrated technical book using Scribus. I guess you could say my workflow was designed around Scribus.

Each chapter of 10-20 pages was a separate Scribus file. Within those chapters, re-arranging sections was easy — just a couple minutes of re-formatting using the master page templates if I had to insert or remove pages.

Then the final steps were:
   - Assemble sections into final order in each chapter
   - Assign page numbering to each chapter
   - Build TOC and Index
   - Generate press-ready PDF of each Chapter
   - Assemble PDFs into one large PDF, using PDF Toolkit (or Acrobat)
Here is an article Dan has written on About.com: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/findsoftware1/a/OpenSourceDTP.htm

And
Sigil is a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor

I would suggest trying the free version of PagePlus Starter Edition. If you think it suits you, you can purchase the full edition of PagePlus X7
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Jane Noesgaard LarsenCRM Application SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I have never tried combining several files in Scribus - do you know of any tutorials or guides that can describe the process in detail - especially regarding handling TOC, with chapter, section and subsection based pager numbering and preferably appendixes
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