Adobe InDesign Alternatives and Similar Software

Though its ability to create content for Flash Player-based sites is no longer in high demand, InDesign is still a great piece of software for creating PDFs and other types of content for webpages and print.

Because of how exporting from InDesign functions, you might need to look for software alternatives that can export designs and layouts to more modern digital frameworks (such as Small QuarkXPress iconQuarkXPress and its ability to export content to HTML5 or Small Scribus iconScribus and its support for creating interactive PDF forms).

The list of alternatives was last updated: 3/13/2019 3:38:00 PM

Alternatives to Adobe InDesign for all platforms with any license

  • Scribus

    Scribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application. Scribus is designed for flexible layout and typesetting, and the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.

    • absolute pain in the $$$ to work with. lacks basic functionality like showing up the font you select in the actual page Guest • Oct 2017 • 28 agrees and 19 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Powerful and in-depth, lots of features. You can definitely produce professional work with Scribus. Usability is a mixed bag; get ready to meet plenty of quirks and learn some hacks which which really shouldn't be necessary (and some patchy, outdated documentation). In short: can be quite frustrating, but about as good it gets for professional output at the price of free. Guest • Feb 2019 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • I work with designers who send me PDFs as finished products. Sometimes I have to just make a small change here or there, and rather than going through a hassle of contracting someone for 10 minutes of work, I use Scribus to edit the files. I haven't used InDesign because it is too expensive and too much of a hassle to justify purchasing at work. Scribus can do the job that I need it to do. I have also used it to desing my CV and some other small projects, and I am very happy with it. Guest • Feb 2019 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Full features. Good for commercial print jobs. Guest • Mar 2017 • 13 agrees and 15 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD PortableApps.com ... Haiku

    Scribus icon
  • QuarkXPress

    Computer application for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG environment. It runs on Mac OS X and Windows. It was first released by Quark, Inc. in 1987 and is still owned and published by them. The most recent version is QuarkXPress 8 and it allows publishing in English ("International and U.S."[1]) and 36 other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.

    • 2 generations ahead of InDesign and available as a permanent purchase with no subscription. Converts all types of PDF files to native objects and outputs HTML5 and iOS apps in addition to industry-standard PDF for print. martinturnerJul 2017 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Innovative features, like make PDF editable, create HTML5, as many apps as I want etc. And I can buy a license which I keep. At $185 for an upgrade. Plus it is fast, launches within 6 seconds. Guest • Jul 2017 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Way better than the competition. I learned Adobe InDesign when I was in school but I now use QuarkXPress for work. POXJul 2018 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Quark still is the most intuitive and powerful application for layout and design. InDesign is almost as good but having used Quark since 1.1 I can say it is still (very expensive) but the best. phillipsalfNov 2017 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac Windows

    QuarkXPress icon
  • Canva

    Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. Create designs for Web or print: - blog graphics - presentations - Facebook covers - flyers - posters - invitations - and so much more

    • Canva is a good layout but has none of the advanced text editing functionality that InDesign has. Guest • Sep 2017 • 8 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Canva is a great tool for making a simple social media post, but it is not an industry-standard design software competitor. Guest • Feb 2018 • 4 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Easy to use interface, lots of free photos, templates and fonts. Gives you the opportunity to work fast, in your browser, with professional results. Guest • Apr 2019 Disagree   Agree
    • Canva is certainly not an advanced design software, but for a home user on small to medium projects it is an excellent alternative to InDesign. Guest • Aug 2018 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium $ $ $ Web iPhone iPad

    Canva icon
  • Affinity Publisher

    *** FREE WHILE IN BETA *** From the earliest days of visualizing the Affinity range, we planned an unrivaled trio of sleek, modern apps tailored to work with the latest technology – ultra-fast, with stunning power and completely stripped of bloat. The final step towards realizing that ambition will come with the launch of Affinity Publisher.

    • Although it is only in beta, it has already proven to do everything Indesign can do. It is also much more intuitive. Guest • Jan 2019 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Mac Windows

    Affinity Publisher icon
  • Microsoft Office Publisher

    Microsoft Publisher, part of the Microsoft Office Suite, helps you create, personalize, and share a wide range of publications and marketing materials in-house. New and improved capabilities guide you through the process of creating and distributing in print, Web, and e-mail so you can build your brand, manage customer lists, and track your marketing campaigns — all in-house.

    • Most of the essential InDesign functions are not there. Guest • Nov 2015 • 11 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Good for very simple job. Nice for merging data (db) and presentation ! Guest • Mar 2019 • 2 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Windows

    Microsoft Office Publisher icon
  • Laidout

    Laidout is desktop publishing software, particularly for multipage, cut and folded booklets, with page sizes that don't even have to be rectangular. The whole page view can be rotated to any angle. Warping is implemented. Laidout exports to Postscript, PDF, PNG, SVG, SLA (Scribus, images and groups only) and PP (Passepartout, images and groups only).

    Free Open Source Linux

    Laidout icon
  • Desygner

    Desygner is an online and mobile design solution, which offers a simpler alternative to expensive and complicated design suites. The collaborative design tool allows anyone to create beautiful designs regardless of skill level.

    • It simply doesn't offer file upload. I'm looking for a online solution to edit my .indd files... Guest • Nov 2018 • 1 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium $ $ $ Web Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad

    Desygner icon
  • Lucidpress

    Lucidpress is a web-based design and layout application that enables anyone to create beautiful print and digital documents. PERFECT FOR PRINT: We've eliminated the frustration of traditional layout tools -- easily create flyers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and photobooks. DYNAMIC FOR DIGITAL: Quickly create digital documents for viewing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    Freemium Web

    Lucidpress icon
  • iStudio Publisher

    iStudio Publisher, the new page layout and design application for Mac OS X has arrived. Produce professional looking magazines, brochures, adverts, reports, newsletters, greetings cards and many other types of publications without having to learn overcomplicated design applications. iStudio Publisher has a simple and intuitive user interface that has everything in easy reach allowing you to spend more time on your design work, and less trying to find those elusive features.

    Commercial Mac

    No features added Add a feature

    iStudio Publisher icon
  • Swift Publisher

    Swift Publisher is an easy-to-use page layout and desktop publishing app for Mac. This software provides all you need for creating impressive and professional-looking documents such as flyers, brochures, catalogs, magazines, booklets, newsletters, calendars, posters, menus, cards, Facebook and Twitter covers and many more.

    • It's inexpensive and very straightforward. It misses some of the hi-end features of InDesign, but is very good for basic tasks such as designing flyers, posters or brochures. Handling of text could be better though. Overall, it's a very good app for its price. Guest • Jul 2018 Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac

    Swift Publisher icon
  • VivaDesigner

    This economically priced high end DTP program is extremely powerful and still very easy to use. With its innovative concepts, you can decisively improve your working processes and document management. With VivaDesigner, all collaborations between end customers, corporations and their employees as well as agencies, service providers, printers and editors can be simplified and dramatically improved.

    • It has 95-99% of all the features of InDesigner, can read and write Adobe InDesign files based on IDML and is the only app that is also available for the browser without any installation for the client. And last but not least you can buy or rent it and there is even a free version! Guest • Apr 2017 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    VivaDesigner icon
  • Serif Pageplus

    PagePlus is the easy to use, all-in-one solution for professional desktop publishing, creative design, full PDF editing and quality print work. The intuitive interface and high-end output makes it the ideal choice for anyone from home users to small businesses.

    Freemium Windows

    Serif Pageplus icon
  • Adobe FrameMaker

    A desktop publishing (DTP) and word processing application that is popular for large documents. Adobe FrameMaker software is a complete solution for authoring, enriching, managing, and publishing technical documentation. Author with best-in-class XML/DITA and DTD support. Manage content using out-of-the-box integration with leading content management systems and Dropbox. Collaborate with PDF-based reviews, even on mobile devices.

    Commercial Windows

    Adobe FrameMaker icon
  • Webworks ePublisher

    With over 20 years serving the technical communications industry, WebWorks ePublisher is the ultimate tried and true publishing solution for technical communicators. It is important to us that the value of what you do is not lost when delivering the content you create. Because of this, WebWorks puts more into the development of content delivery than any other competitor, by a wide margin.

    Commercial $ $ $ Windows

    Webworks ePublisher icon
  • 365Layouts.com

    365Layouts is building an online drag and drop design platform to help small business owners create advertising materials with our free design templates. Features: - Nothing to install: Say goodbye to the hassle of using desktop layout and design software. - Perfect for Print: 365Layouts offers a large library of templates for designing print content. - Drag and drop: Our easy-to-use page layout and design software makes every aspect of the design process more intuitive.

    Free Mac Windows Web Chrome OS

    No features added Add a feature

    365Layouts.com icon
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  • Picmaker

    Picmaker is an online design solution that helps create stunning YouTube thumbnails, channel art, and IGTV covers. It is a simpler and faster alternative to expensive and complicated design tools that are available today. Picmaker was created with the mission to help every video maker create their own thumbnails in a Jiffy. Picmaker completely removes the need for a professional design software that requires advanced design skills.

    Free Web Self-Hosted

    Picmaker icon
  • SpringPublisher

    SpringPublisher is a professional and easy to use desktop publishing software. With its included various templates and online template store, powerful multi-layer editor, detailed help-files, SpringPublisher enables you to design and print Business Card, Flyer, Postcard, Letterhead and other artworks within a few minutes. Features: 1. Enables you to add images, texts, vector shapes, logos and arrange them as you like; 2. Provides various image effect: shadows, opacity, rotation, etc. 3.

    • Warning installs potential malware

    Free Personal Windows

    No features added Add a feature

    SpringPublisher icon
  • Orion Flyer Maker Pro

    Create beautiful professional looking flyers in minutes! Easily add objects and apply formatting using the incredibly simple drag and drop editor. Anyone can create professional flyers, even those without any graphic design or technical backgrounds.

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac

    No features added Add a feature

    Orion Flyer Maker Pro icon
  • Layup

    Layup is your technical partner, and preferred tool, while creating unique experiences on the web. Web design is now in the hands of the designer. Creatives are free to be independant from developers, with a new design tool, new advanced features and a sophisticated HTML5 output straight to your chosen domain. Tell unique stories in any format online and be digital first.

    Free Personal Web

    No features added Add a feature

    Layup icon
  • Crello

    Crello is a new visual editor that simplifies the design process for everyone. It’s an easy solution that eliminates the need for complex design tools to create visuals. Now, you can create your own designs in just a few clicks. Choose your format, pick a template and customize it - 3 easy steps to an outstanding design.

    Free Web

    Crello icon
  • Passepartout

    Passepartout is a desktop publishing system that is based on the idea of automatic typesetting of streams of XML based text documents.The project was started back in 2002 to facilitate a particular task — creating a newspaper. These days the project is somewhat dormant.

    • Discontinued The last update was released on August 5th, 2007.

    Free Open Source Linux

    Passepartout icon
  • RagTime

    RagTime is both a traditional Office and DTP layout application. Like an office application, RagTime contains a powerful word processor, a sophisticated spreadsheet, and a tool for slide shows. It supports picture handling and creates business graphics. In addition, it offers CMYK separation, color management, support for spot colors, frame-based layout, PDF export and tabular composition.

    • Because we use it everyday for office applications. We know more functions than any software used on occasional base. It is very powerfull stable software. The piont we are missing is more basic templates. Guest • Nov 2015 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows

    RagTime icon

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