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InDesign vs Publisher: Which One to Use

2021-11-29 13:58:07 • Filed to: Indesign Features • Proven solutions

If you are just entering the world of graphic design, and you have at least some knowledge of Microsoft Office, Publisher is an application you can use to create publications right away. The InDesign vs Publisher is a great debate in the publishing world. If you need a desktop publishing solution, these are the two obvious choices. InDesign is the industry standard, but that doesn't mean Microsoft Publisher is not a good software tool. Quite the contrary. Let's see what are the differences and similarities between the two.

Top 5 Differences between InDesign and Publisher

When looking at the InDesign vs Publisher debate, we have to take a look at the two tools. What is InDesign, and what is Publisher?

Let's start with InDesign, an industry-leading page design software and layout application. InDesign allows you to create, preflight, and publish documents for print and digital media. The desktop publishing and typesetting software application can be used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, eBooks, interactive PDFs, newspapers, presentations, and more. The downside? You have to pay a monthly subscription.

Publisher is a less expensive answer to InDesign by Microsoft. Designed originally to be for someone who is not a trainer graphic designer. Publisher is meant to be used for simple design projects using pre-set Microsoft Office templates. Companies who have limited budgets sometimes use Publisher. And because the menu and functionality is similar to MS Word, you can easily get right into the job. With that in mind, here are some differences, and answers to what you can use the products for.

  • Publisher can be used for creating inkjet or laser print out. InDesign does the same, but at a much higher price. Budget clients do not ask preparation for offset or high volume on-demand printing. For those tasks, Publisher is more than enough.
  • Publisher has a simple interface that makes it easy to use and inclusive for people without knowledge of graphic design. InDesign, on the other hand, is a very type minded. Every typographical setting/option you can think of is available.
  • InDesign can give you many output options, allowing you to create instantly publishable documents or other file formats. You can export it as PDF, or choose a different eBook format. This allows users to create anything from a newsletter, to a magazine. Publisher, on the other hand, does not provide that much output options. Yes, you can also export as PDF, but no format for eBook directly from the platform.
  • While InDesign is the industry standard, Publisher is much more widespread. Regular users usually have the full MS office packet, which includes Publisher. The same cannot be said for InDesign, as not many people buy an application they do not use. With Publisher, you can exchange files with many more people.
  • One of the biggest advantages of InDesign is precision. If you need precision of up to 0.001 degrees, only InDesign allows it. As a bonus, InDesign allows you to produce a table of contents and an Index that automatically update whenever you make changes to the file

Edit InDesign and Publisher Files with PDFelement

While both InDesign and Publisher can export the file to PDF, they are not primarily a PDF software tool. Which means, they both come with their own limitations when it comes to creating interactive and professional looking PDF files. For that purpose, you need a robust and powerful PDF software. One such software we want to present to you is PDFelement.

What is PDFelement? Simply put, it is a powerful PDF tool that makes working with PDF files easy, simple, and allows you to produce great and professional looking PDF documents and forms. Use it as a cheaper, and easier to use alternative to Adobe Acrobat. With PDFelement, you can easily convert Publisher to InDesign free, or export Publisher to InDesign thanks to the conversion feature.

quarkxpress vs indesign

Here are some features of the software tool:

  • Open, print, and markup PDF documents
  • Secure PDF documents with password protection
  • Convert PDF documents to other file formats
  • Create interactive form fields and fill them easily
  • Extract data from PDF forms and export in CSV format
  • Edit text and images within the PDF file
  • Insert page numbers and page elements
  • Add annotation tools like notes and comments

With that in mind, here is a quick guide on how to edit PDF documents and convert them to other file formats.

Step 1. Import File

Start by importing the file into PDFelement either by drag and drop, or using the "Open File" option and then locating the wanted file.

indesign vs publisher

Step 2. Edit PDF

To edit the text, click on "Edit" button in the left upper corner, click the desired text, and then select either "Line Mode" or "Paragraph Mode". The former allows you to edit one by one lines, and the latter selects the entire paragraph for editing.

You can also click "Edit", and then select an image to edit by rotating, cropping, resizing, and more.

how to open a publisher file in indesign

Step 3. Convert PDF

To convert a PDF file into other format, click "Home" > "To Other" button. A new dialog box will open, and you can choose the format you want to convert to, as well as the output location. After the conversion is over, go to the output folder to open your new and converted file.

indesign to publisher import

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Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

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Elise Williams

chief Editor

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