21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

16 February 2024
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Desktop publishing (DTP) refers to creating and designing documents like brochures, newsletters, magazines, etc. using specialized page layout software on personal computers. Historically used for print publications, DTP is now widely used for digital content and marketing material.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

So, who can benefit from DTP? The answer is simple: anyone who wants to create high-quality, impactful documents. Whether you’re a small business owner, a student, or simply someone who appreciates good design, DTP can be your secret weapon.

Ready to get started? We’ll explore popular options, walk you through key features, and provide tips to help you create stunning documents that leave a lasting impression. Buckle up and get ready to unleash your inner design pro.

How to choose the right DTP software

Selecting the ideal desktop publishing solution depends on multiple factors based on your needs and level of expertise:

Cost

DTP software ranges from one-time purchase options to monthly/annual subscription plans. Adobe CC apps require a subscription, while Affinity Publisher is a single purchase. Some open-source DTP platforms like Scribus are entirely free. Evaluate ongoing usage levels and budget considerations.

Performance

The software should provide high speed and stability during intensive tasks like working with large images and formats. Check that the DTP platform is optimized and compatible with your OS, hardware specifications, and preferred printers.

Ease of use

Beginners will benefit from an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, templates, and simplified tools to quickly create professional documents with a minimal learning curve. Experts require more advanced capabilities.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

Functionality

Assess the feature set against your requirements. Necessary DTP features include typographic controls, color management, libraries, collaboration abilities, scripting/automation, and cross-platform publication.

Technical specifications

Consider the supported file types, export options (print vs digital), automation potential through scripts, integration APIs, and other technical factors that impact workflow.

Customer support

Look for responsive technical support via forums, documentation, and troubleshooting resources to smooth out the learning curve.

Community

An engaged user community provides helpful tutorials, tips, and peer support for maximizing your use of the software.

By balancing these criteria against target audience needs, organizations can determine the ideal desktop publishing solution for their content production goals and skill level.

21 best DTP software tools

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a professional desktop publishing software known for its robust layout and design capabilities. It offers advanced typography, seamless integration with other Adobe Creative Cloud apps, and support for print and digital publishing. 

Adobe InDesign is available through Adobe Creative Cloud subscription plans, starting at $20.99 per month for individuals.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

Adobe InDesign is ideal for creating magazines, brochures, flyers, posters, eBooks, and interactive PDFs. It is widely used by graphic designers, publishers, marketing professionals, and print service providers.

Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher is a professional-grade desktop publishing software that offers precise layout tools, advanced typography, and seamless integration with other Affinity apps. It boasts a modern, intuitive interface and robust performance. 

Affinity Publisher is available for a one-time purchase fee of $49.99, making it a cost-effective alternative to Adobe InDesign. 

Affinity Publisher is suitable for creating books, magazines, brochures, posters, and digital publications. It is popular among graphic designers, publishers, freelancers, and small businesses looking for professional layout and design tools.

Canva

Canva is a versatile graphic design platform that offers a wide range of design tools, templates, and stock assets. It features a user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop functionality, and collaboration features for teams.

Canva offers both free and paid subscription plans, with the Canva Pro plan starting at $12.99 per month. Custom pricing is available for enterprise users. 

Canva is used for creating social media graphics, presentations, posters, flyers, logos, and other marketing materials. It is popular among entrepreneurs, marketers, educators, and individuals looking to create professional designs quickly and easily.

CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is a comprehensive vector graphics software known for its powerful illustration and design tools. It offers advanced vector editing, layout capabilities, and support for various file formats. 

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is available for a one-time purchase fee of $499, with subscription options starting at $16.50 per month. 

CorelDRAW is used for creating logos, illustrations, banners, signage, and other graphic design projects. It is popular among graphic designers, illustrators, sign makers, and print service providers.

Conga Composer

Conga Composer is a document generation tool that allows users to create custom documents, reports, and presentations directly from Salesforce data. It offers automation, customization, and integration with Salesforce CRM.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

Pricing for Conga Composer is available upon request, with custom quotes based on business needs and usage requirements. 

Conga Composer is used for generating quotes, proposals, contracts, invoices, and other business documents within Salesforce. It is popular among sales teams, customer service departments, and business professionals.

DesignCap

DesignCap is an online graphic design tool that offers thousands of templates, graphics, and fonts for creating professional designs. It features a simple, intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality. 

DesignCap offers both free and paid subscription plans, with the Basic plan starting at $4.99 per month. 

DesignCap is used for creating social media graphics, posters, flyers, invitations, and presentations. It is popular among small businesses, marketers, educators, and individuals looking for easy-to-use design tools.

iStudio Publisher

iStudio Publisher is a user-friendly desktop publishing software designed for Mac users. It offers precise layout tools, advanced typography, and support for various file formats.

iStudio Publisher is available for a one-time purchase fee of $29.99 on the Mac App Store. 

iStudio Publisher is suitable for creating newsletters, brochures, flyers, calendars, and other print and digital publications. It is popular among Mac users, small businesses, and freelance designers.

Kofax Power PDF

Kofax Power PDF is a powerful PDF editing and conversion software that offers advanced features for creating, editing, and securely sharing PDF documents. It features intuitive editing tools, document management, and OCR capabilities.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

Pricing for Kofax Power PDF is available upon request, with custom quotes based on business needs and usage requirements. 

Kofax Power PDF is used for creating, editing, and collaborating on PDF documents in various industries, including legal, finance, healthcare, and education. It is popular among professionals who require robust PDF editing capabilities.

LibreOffice Suite

LibreOffice Suite is a free and open-source office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software, and more. It offers compatibility with Microsoft Office formats and extensive customization options. 

LibreOffice Suite is available for free, making it an affordable alternative to proprietary office suites. 

LibreOffice Suite is used for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, slide presentations, and other office tasks. It is popular among individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions seeking cost-effective office productivity software.

Marq

Marq is a cloud-based digital asset management platform that enables teams to organize, collaborate on, and distribute digital assets. It offers advanced search and tagging capabilities, version control, and customizable workflows. 

Pricing for Marq is available upon request, with custom quotes based on business needs and usage requirements. 

Marq is used by marketing teams, creative agencies, and content creators to manage and share digital assets such as images, videos, documents, and presentations. It is popular among organizations seeking centralized asset management and collaboration tools.

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing software that offers intuitive layout tools, templates, and design options for creating professional publications. It integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

Microsoft Publisher is available as part of Microsoft Office suites, with subscription plans starting at $69.99 per year for individuals. 

Microsoft Publisher is used for creating brochures, newsletters, flyers, posters, and other marketing materials. It is popular among small businesses, educators, and individuals looking for easy-to-use desktop publishing software.

Pagination

Pagination is an online design tool that streamlines the creation of print and digital publications. It offers templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and collaboration features for teams. 

Pricing for Pagination is available upon request, with custom quotes based on business needs and usage requirements. 

Pagination is used for creating catalogs, magazines, reports, and other publications. It is popular among marketing teams, publishers, agencies, and brands looking to streamline their design workflows.

PageStream

PageStream is a desktop publishing software that offers precise layout tools, advanced typography, and support for various file formats. It is available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

PageStream is available for a one-time purchase fee of $99.95 for the standard version and $199.95 for the professional version. 

PageStream is used for creating books, magazines, newsletters, advertisements, and other print and digital publications. It is popular among graphic designers, publishers, and print service providers.

Publuu

Publuu is a digital publishing platform that allows users to create, publish, and share interactive online publications. It offers customizable templates, multimedia integration, and analytics tools. 

Publuu offers subscription plans starting at $19 per month for individuals and custom pricing for businesses. 

Publuu is used for creating digital magazines, brochures, catalogs, and presentations. It is popular among marketers, publishers, educators, and businesses looking to enhance their online content.

QuarkXPress

QuarkXPress is a desktop publishing software known for its precision typography, layout automation, and advanced design tools. It offers support for print and digital publishing formats.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

QuarkXPress is available for a one-time purchase fee of $849 for the full version, with upgrade options and educational pricing available. 

QuarkXPress is used for creating books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and interactive digital publications. It is popular among graphic designers, publishers, and print service providers.

Scribus

Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing software that offers professional layout and design tools for print and digital publications. It supports various file formats and offers extensive customization options. 

Scribus is available for free, making it an affordable option for individuals and businesses. 

Scribus is used for creating newsletters, brochures, posters, and other print and digital publications. It is popular among graphic designers, educators, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is a desktop publishing software for Mac that offers intuitive layout tools, customizable templates, and support for various file formats. It features a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality. 

Swift Publisher is available for a one-time purchase fee of $19.99 on the Mac App Store. 

Swift Publisher is used for creating flyers, brochures, newsletters, and other print and digital publications. It is popular among small businesses, educators, and individuals seeking affordable desktop publishing software for Mac.

Venngage

Venngage is an online infographic maker and design tool that offers thousands of templates, charts, and icons for creating visual content. It features a drag-and-drop editor, collaboration features, and data visualization tools. 

Venngage offers free and paid subscription plans, with the Premium plan starting at $19 per month. 

Venngage is used for creating infographics, reports, presentations, and social media graphics. It is popular among marketers, educators, and businesses looking to communicate complex information visually.

VistaCreate

VistaCreate is an online graphic design platform that offers a wide range of design tools, templates, and stock assets. It features a user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop functionality, and collaboration features for teams.

21 Best Desktop Publishing Software

VistaCreate offers both free and paid subscription plans, with the Premium plan starting at $9.99 per month.

VistaCreate is used for creating social media graphics, presentations, posters, flyers, and other marketing materials. It is popular among entrepreneurs, marketers, educators, and individuals looking for easy-to-use design tools.

Xara Page & Layout Designer

Xara Page & Layout Designer is a desktop publishing software known for its intuitive layout tools, advanced typography, and design templates. It offers support for print and digital publishing formats. 

Xara Page & Layout Designer is available for a one-time purchase fee of $89.99. 

Xara Page & Layout Designer is used for creating brochures, flyers, newsletters, and other print and digital publications. It is popular among graphic designers, small businesses, and educators seeking affordable desktop publishing software.

Conclusion

Desktop publishing empowers both professional creators and casual users to design and produce high-quality print and digital content. DTP software provides unmatched layout capabilities beyond basic word processing programs.

With the wide range of desktop publishing solutions available today, take time to explore different options based on your budget, skill level, and project needs. Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher offer full-featured tools for experts, while Scribus is an accessible free option for beginners.

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