Overview of 5 Desktop Publishing Tools – Alternatives to InDesign

Alana Grace

Photo Source: Adobe

Adobe InDesign offers a variety of impressive features that allow you to create distinctive designs. However, the software can be relatively expensive, with a monthly fee of around €24. While InDesign is the most widely used software when it comes to desktop publishing tools, there are many alternatives to Adobe InDesign, some of which are even free. Here, we will introduce you to the free alternatives to InDesign.

1. Scribus

Scribus is an open-source program and one of the most popular among graphic designers and artists. This software is one of the best free alternatives to Adobe InDesign. It offers a simple user interface and all the features demanded by professional designers, such as versatile page templates, ICC color management, and PDF creation. Scribus supports most file types and markup languages like LaTeX and Lilypond. In Scribus, users can easily recover damaged design files using the text editor. Additionally, Scribus is actively maintained, with new features, optimizations, and bug fixes being developed to improve user experience and functionality.

2. Canva

Canva is not a conventional desktop publishing tool. Instead, it positions itself as a graphic design tool. You will find that Canva is great for creating visually appealing objects like posters and flyers. Canva is easy to learn and offers a wide range of free fonts, colors, and stock photos. With the premium version priced at €109 annually, users have access to an even wider range of features. However, occasional users will find that the free version is more than sufficient. Canva can’t really compete with InDesign, but it targets users who want to quickly and easily create attractive graphics.

3. Marq

Marq is a web-based publishing tool that offers a variety of features for creating flyers, posters, brochures, magazines, newsletters, books, and presentations. It works with a simple drag and drop interface that is suitable for beginners. Marq provides version tracking for your designs, allowing you to easily keep track of all previous changes made to your designs. The web-based publishing tool uses AES-256 encryption and is fully secured to protect your design work. Marq is available in both a free version and a premium version priced at €10 per month. However, note that the free version limits publications to three pages.

4. Affinity Publisher 2

Affinity Publisher 2 by Serif positions itself as a professional desktop publishing software alongside Adobe InDesign and is a more affordable alternative. The user-friendly interface provides a good entry point to the software. Unlike InDesign, you don’t need a subscription here, as you can purchase it for a one-time fee of €74.99. Affinity Publisher is available for both Windows and macOS. There is also an iPad version available for €19.99. In summary, the program offers an impressive range of tools at an affordable price.

5. VivaDesigner

VivaDesigner is another capable desktop publishing app available in both a free version and a premium version priced at a one-time fee of €129. As with most free programs, functionality is partially limited to the premium version. It offers a wide selection of templates and design layouts and supports various image formats such as BMP and TIFF. Like Lucidpress, VivaDesigner positions itself as an easy-to-use alternative. The user interface is clear and intuitive, allowing users to dive right in.

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