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[2024] 8 Best InDesign Alternatives (Free and Open Source)

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Adobe InDesign is an industry leader in creating and printing digital layouts. But just like Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, and others, it is pricey and takes up lots of space. That's where InDesign Alternatives come into the picture.

The internet is loaded with a plethora of open-source and free payout design and publishing tools that help you create beautiful graphic designs without draining your pockets. But since not all of them are created equally and live up to their claims, it is important to carry out in-depth research and pick the option that's actually worth your time.

To cut through the clutter, we have put together a list of the tip 8 InDesign Alternatives that offer identically powerful features either for free or at the fraction of the cost.

indesign alternative free

Part 1. 6 InDesign Alternatives for Everyone

Undoubtedly Adobe InDesign is an industry-leading software and has gained immense popularity among professionals, but it still isn't the perfect choice for everyone. Therefore, we have mapped out the 8 best alternatives to InDesign to get your projects up and running smoothly. Check them out and pick the option that syncs well with your requirements and budget.

1. PDFelement

free indesign alternative

An easy and quick solution for all your needs, Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor handles your portable documents while maximizing their efficiency. What makes this software a perfect InDesign alternative is its simple interface and affordable pricing.

It offers loads of features to manage your PDF files, such as drawing on the file with different markup tools, adding notes and comments, changing font styles and colors, adding watermarks, and links, and much more.

Want an alternative to InDesign? Try out PDFelement, one of the best ways to work with PDFs. Click the link below to learn more.

Key Features:

  • Wondershare PDFelement is a multi-platform PDF solution, that runs across desktop, mobile, and web.
  • It offers all powerful features like Adobe but at half the price, which thus makes it a perfect choice for freelancers and professionals running low on their budget.
  • It supports batch printing and converting to get the work done faster and more efficiently.

System Supported:

  • Windows 11 and below
  • masOS 10.14 to macOS 13 compatible
  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and above
  • iOS 13 and above

2. Microsoft Office Publisher

indesign free alternative

It is yet another effective way to create polished, professional layouts and style text, pictures, and more without any hassle. With Microsoft Publisher, you can craft everything from greeting cards to professional newsletters using their pre-designed templates.

Key Features:

  • It enables you to share pixel-perfect printouts and export professional-quality email publications to industry-standard non-editable formats.
  • This feature-rich platform has a straightforward and powerful interface that offers simple maneuverability.
  • Publisher provides a massive range of preset color palettes to help ensure your designs look professional.

System Supported: Windows

3. QuarkXPress

indesign alternative

Listed among the best Adobe InDesign Alternatives, QuarkXPress is a powerful content design and desktop publishing software. Since its market debut in 1987, this software has been offering incredible graphic design functionalities to unleash your creativity. The best thing about this application is that it allows you to use some InDesign shortcuts within the QuarkXPress environment.

Key Features:

  • With QuarkXPress, you can produce stunning page layouts for any category while refining graphics and illustrations on the digital canvas.
  • It can also easily correct, enhance, and fine-tune images without putting much hassle.
  • This tool supports digital publishing; hence converts print publications to digital layouts without requiring any HTML coding skills.
  • It gives you access to a royalty-free image stock library so you can add high-resolution images to your layouts.
  • This application also enables you to create bookmarks for specific pages, text, or sections.

System Supported:

  • Windows 8.1, 10, and 11
  • macOS Monterey (12.x), Big Sur (11.x), and Catalina (10.15.7) compatibility

4. Serif Pageplus

free alternatives to indesign

A simply brilliant DTP software, Serif Pageplus is an efficient option for individuals and small business users. While it has been around for quite a while, it still looks fresh-saved and feels overburdened with features. The interface is incredibly straightforward and you can easily locate items in its menu without having to dig deeper.

Key Features:

  • The tool comes with a wide range of high-quality templates, making it suitable for people that don't have much time or design skills to start from scratch.
  • Templates are nicely arranged by document types to make them easily accessible.
  • It also offers support for Master Pages, which is similar to Word's Headers and Footers.
  • The graphic design tools in Serif Pageplus are equally brilliant and help you create stunning layouts by using simple controls for drawing shapes.
  • Its Dynamic Guides function makes it simple to line up objects without creating Guides first.

System Supported: Windows

5. Affinity Publisher

indesign alternatives

The third release in the Affinity range of Adobe-challenging creative apps, Affinity Publisher is one of the best InDesign Alternatives to opt for. Launched in 2018, it has always been admired for offering an experience that's pretty close to using InDesign.

It boasts a similar interface and can handle almost everything that InDesign does. From impressive page layouts to unmatchable color schemes to pre-designed templates, this software has it all.

Key Features:

  • With Affinity Publisher, you can easily link the style of your texts across all pages in your document.
  • It offers OpenType support to let you access all stylistic features of the later OpenType fonts.
  • You can add lines and borders to elements of your typography.
  • It also allows you to insert drop capitals into any paragraph.
  • The tool ensures that the baseline of your text is aligned across all spreads and columns.

System Supported:

  • macOS 10.x, 11, and 12
  • Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and 11

6. Spring Publisher

adobe indesign alternatives

An ideally designed to create and print high-quality documents, Spring Publisher is a simple, desktop publishing software that enables you to add images, texts, logos, vector shapes, and more to create stunning layouts within a few clicks. It can generate high-resolution artwork while making it easy to print them.

Spring Publisher's user interface offers a sophisticated look, with classic ribbon-style toolbars running along the top and left edges.

Key Features:

  • It includes various pre-designed templates that fit any of the messages. Moreover, the tool also gives access to various online template stores to facilitate the users.
  • The application offers various image effects, such as shadows, opacity, rotation, and more, so you can easily fine-tune and modify the image depending on your project.
  • Also, it helps you change the canvas size and background color easily.

System Supported: Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10


Part 2. 2 InDesign Open-Source Alternatives

Do you prefer using open-source applications? If so, then check out the 2 best, open-source Adobe InDesign Alternatives that are worth giving a try.

1. Scribus

indesign open source alternative

The best free InDesign Alternative, Scribus was first launched back in 2001 and features an InDesign-like interface. It offered a lot more features than you would expect from an open-source, free package.

The tool is created by a dedicated and enthusiastic developer community; hence, it is stable to use and gets updated regularly. The only drawback of the tool is that it doesn't import or open files created with other desktop publishing software.

Key Features:

  • This application supports OpenType fonts, CMYK colors, ICC color management, spot colors, and a versatile PDF creation.
  • It even comes with a massive selection of templates for creating newsletters, business cards, and brochures.
  • What else makes it worth considering is its cross-platform compatibility.

System Supported: Windows, Mac, and Linux

2. PDFrizator

indesign alternative free

PDFrizator is a fully-fledged desktop publishing application that lets you create stunning masterpieces without breaking the bank. It is a freeware tool to craft PDF presentations and comprises various PDF page transition effects. The tool features an intuitive interface so you can locate all features easily without having to dig deeper.

Key Features:

  • The best thing about this tool is that it supports background music as well, which in turn makes your layout interesting.
  • It is available in multiple languages so that users can use the application easily without having to worry about the language barrier.
  • The tool also supports a wide collection of image formats to facilitate the users.

System Supported: Windows 7, 8, and 10

So, that's all about InDesign Alternatives. We hope our guide will help you narrow down your choices. Compare all of them in terms of price, features, and complexity, and pick the option that best caters to your needs and budget.

Part 3. What Is Adobe InDesign? The Next Page in Layout Design.

adobe indesign free

Launched in 1999, Adobe InDesign is one of the premium and high-end desktop publishing and page layout designing software applications. It offers multiple language support and is compatible with Windows and macOS.

This versatile desktop software gives you pixel-perfect control over typography and design. It lets you create appealing graphic designs from the world's top foundries and imagery from Adobe Stock. Once you are done with the work, you can easily share content and feedback in PDF, which is an added plus.

Main Features:

  • InDesign makes it simple to manage your design elements and offers impressive experiences in any format.
  • It keeps you and your team on the same page by streamlining the whole process. It collaborates 3 times faster with enhanced Share for Review.
  • Adobe InDesign can create anything you can imagine, right from flyers and posters to annual reports, magazines, books, brochures, and everything in between.
  • With this application, you can easily publish your content directly to the web and then use built-in analytics to see how your content is performing.
  • You can also import color themes and shapes from Adobe Capture.
  • InDesign is also optimized to offer Apple M1 silicon support, so you can enjoy 2 times fast PDF exporting and text reflow.
Pros

Balanced and intuitive interface

Simple, automatic global page adjustment

Offers a massive collection of downloadable fonts

Let you access contextual information at your fingertips

Cons

Takes plenty of space in your computer

It is extremely pricey for an individual, thus leading them to InDesign Alternatives

System Supported:

  • Windows 10 64-bit or later
  • macOS 10.15, 11, and 12.0

Plans & Price:

  • Individual: US$20.99/ mo
  • Business: US$35.99/ mo
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