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In Design Last updated: September 11, 2023
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Designing stunning marketing materials on a low budget is now possible with these best desktop publishing software.

Desktop Publishing (DTP) uses specialized software to design high-quality design and layout visual content for digital media. This software enables individuals to design documents to combine text, images, charts, and other visual elements. For example, books, magazines, and other printed or electronic materials.  

Desktop Publishing has made publishing easier for those who want to design their marketing layouts without hiring a professional designer. Furthermore, desktop publishing software allows us to produce budget-friendly, high-quality documents in-house.

What is Desktop Publishing Software? 


With DTP software, individuals can seamlessly customize images, texts, and various visual elements according to their likes and dislikes. This software is used for customizing new visual content for digital media.

However, the printing and publishing industry usually uses this process to make eye-catching designs. Still, nowadays, businesses, organizations, and individuals use this technique to make their documents look professional. 

In addition to this, this software is pocket friendly. These programs offer various features, including advanced layouts and designing tools that can be exported via different formats.

However, these applications are mainly used by graphic designers and marketing professionals. Such software properly aligns text and images according to user preferences. Users can use premade templates or create pages from scratch using the available tools. 

How Desktop Publishing Software Helps an Individual? 


Now after knowing about this software, the question arises of how this desktop publishing software helps individuals. Customizing professional-looking documentaries is essential, making them easy to read and attractive.

Users can design an extraordinary and exclusive design representing their creativity quickly. The best part is that it is cost-effective and flexible. 

However, desktop publishing software can help people produce effective, high-quality materials for various purposes. Let’s check how it can help you.

  • For business – These software enables businesses to customize exclusive professional-looking marketing materials to attract customers. It can elevate the growth of your business. 
  • For educational purposes – These programs can help educators to design their study guide and study materials, which include posters, lesson plans, root maps, and all. 
  • For non-profit organizations – Desktop publishing software allows non-profit organizations to design informational and knowledgeable materials for their customers within seconds. 

However, apart from professional use, users can use this software for personal uses and design compelling materials such as invitations, greeting cards, albums, etc.

Why and when should desktop publishing software be used? 

Reasons to use desktop publishing software can vary from person to person based on their use. Here we highlight a few reasons to explain why and when one should use this software. 

  • For professional quality documents – Users can design their documents using advanced tools and features available in the software to customize their high-quality documents.
  • For saving time – Using its features, users can save time by automating repetitive tasks. 
  • For saving your money – To outsource designs, this software can be the best alternative. This software reduces the need for professional designers. 

In addition to all these features, the best feature of desktop publishing software is its flexibility. Due to this feature, users can control the design process and refine their designs until they feel satisfied. 

However, companies use this desktop publishing software for compelling ads, billboards, visiting cards, or to adjust documents and media files. Here we rounded out top desktop publishing software, highlighting their unique features, pros, and cons. So without any further delay, let’s embark on this journey. 

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is among the most common programs marketers, publishers, and designers use. However, Adobe InDesign is excellent for complex and lengthy documents to make them look professional. Moreover, this desktop publishing software is best known for its unrivaled features embedded in it.


In addition, its rich layout tool sets with other creative cloud applications like Photoshop and Illustrator make designing flexible and accessible. Whether you want to design digital brochures or company posters, this desktop publishing software is the ultimate layout for any creation.

You can use InDesign to speed up your company’s review process on a brand book, making it easy to share assets, add feedback, and collaborate with stakeholders.

Furthermore, its main features include vector graphics and interactive media with automatic resizing technology and multiple orientations. Users can output data in various forms available, including PDF and ePUB. 

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: US$20.99/month
  • Supporting System: Windows and Mac

Users can access their free trial, valid for 7 days, to gain experience. In short, in Adobe InDesign desktop publishing software, users can get everything they need wherever their imagination takes them. 


QuarkXPress was released in 1987, and it is the number one choice for translators who work on multiple projects simultaneously, providing them with many opportunities. Quark enables users to integrate with Microsoft Excel and XML to simplify data exporting and importing. Nowadays, Quark is also supporting eBooks and webpages. 

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This desktop publishing software allows users to have more control and be their decision-makers.

The main features of Quark include its ability to create web pages and Android applications along with the impressive OpenType controls and importing files from InDesign.

 Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: $474.00
  • Supporting System: Windows and Mac

Like Adobe InDesign, Quark users can have a free trial for up to 7 days. In short, Quark is an easy-to-use program for beginners with 37 languages. Plus, it offers a vast range of impressive features to give users media and graphics of high quality. 


SmartDraw desktop publishing software is designed keeping the requirements of beginners in mind. Advanced tools, features, and automation allow users to design independently using their thoughts.

However, SmartDraw software runs on any operating system with an internet connection. Plus, along with drawing, you can plan and organize any project you want to build.

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In addition, its powerful desktop publishing tools keep the software standing out from other desktop publishing software. This desktop publishing software is integrated with Jira, Trello, Confluence, Outlook, and more to streamline the work experience.

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: $9.95/monthly for single users and $5.95/monthly for multiple users
  • Supporting System: Windows and Mac OS
  • Free Trial: 7 day

Its intelligent formatting engine and high-quality professional results can elevate your desktop publishing process. Users can seamlessly share files with sharing apps like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and many more. 

Affinity Publisher 2 

Affinity Publisher 2 is an alternative to Adobe with an affordable price and a wide variety of unique templates. This desktop publishing software is designed to provide accessibility to work with multiple file and document types. Plus, this software integrates well with Affinity applications.

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Furthermore, Affinity Publisher 2 contains advanced typography tools and a wide range of customization abilities so that users can seamlessly customize their visual content. Thus, due to the cheaper rates, this is accessible for small businesses. This software suits you if you’re an amateur user and want to start your journey. Nevertheless, it is a fully-featured application. 

Its specification includes the following:

  • Pricing: $54.99/month
  • Supporting System: Windows and Mac

Affinity Publisher 2 offers free trial usage for up to 90 days, along with these outstanding features. In short, it is one of the best choices you can make, enabling users to create exclusive designs using the available features.


So the following desktop publishing Software is Marq, formerly Lucidpress, which users can use without using any penny. Thus, it is a free desktop publishing software released in 2013.

However, customizing stunning posters, pamphlets, brochures, and other creations with Marq is free and easy. This desktop publishing software is designed to drag and drop onto the canvas and design.  

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Moreover, you can use its built-in templates, making the process quicker and easier. You can store all your brand assets in one place. With this web-based program and advanced data automation feature, you can save much of your time. Desktop publishing and design have always been more user-friendly. 

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: Free to begin or $3/month
  • Supporting System: Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu

In short, Marq enables users to propel their organization forward while seamlessly working with their team. This desktop publishing software also allows users to export content through digital and print channels. 

Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher was designed specially to be a page layout for Mac, available at affordable rates. Upto 500+ professional templates are available for diverse print projects.

It can leave InDesign behind in the best desktop publishing software race via its diverse array of rich clipart collections. Moreover, Swift Publisher offers 2000+ free clipart images and 40,000 images with its pro version for just $9.99.

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In addition, if users want to create their text styles, they can do so using its advanced tools. Plus, master pages are also available for creating exclusive content. However, users can easily access their albums from Apple Photos, iTunes library, or any folder. 

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: $19.99
  • Supporting System: Mac OS
  • Free trial period: Upto 14 days

With Swift Publisher, creating an interactive narrative to publish and share has become more accessible. So just using a drag-and-drop editor, you can create an agile creation of yours. 

iStudio Publisher

If you want an easy and comprehensive option for your desktop publishing process, iStudio Publisher, created in 2009, is available. This desktop publishing software is user-friendly and enjoyable; the designer can access many exporting file methods. You can learn from online video tutorials if you are a beginner and want to know how to use iStudio Publisher for desktop publishing.


In addition, with iStudio, you can export color management PDF files suitable for your prepress print jobs. However, users can export files in EPUB, PDF, or PTF format.

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: Free to use
  • Supporting System: Mac OS

However, the accessible version of this software program is available with a paid one for pro-level features. Overall, iStudio Publisher desktop publishing software allows users to design smooth vector-based layouts and is free and easy to use. 


Pagination allows users to collect data from any source, such as Excel, SQL, Prestashop, and more, to convert it into professional documents. This tool made it easier for customers to create up-to-date, high-quality commercial documents. 

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However, users seeking customized pricing with volume discounts can choose Pagination desktop publishing software. Complete customization options and other advanced features attract users. However, the software is designed for only some users as it is challenging.

Its specifications include the following:

  • Pricing: $550/annum
  • Supporting System: Most browser-based systems
  • Free trial: Not available

In short, the software is a superb substitute for InDesign with the extra benefits of cloud-based software. Plus, within minutes, you can create designs that look like they took hours. You can also edit the ready-to-use design packs for a unique output. 


In a nutshell, desktop publishing software has revolutionized how we design and publish visual content for digital media. A plethora of software available can assist you in customizing an exclusive design for your digital media.

If you are still trying to decide the one suitable for you, we have listed a few of our best desktop publishing software suggestions that you can use seamlessly. Last but not least, as technology advances, users are still looking for better versions, features, and more innovative techniques to ease the desktop publishing process. 

You may also explore some open source software for web and graphic designers.

  • Dhruv Parmar
    Dhruv is a senior content writer at Geekflare with proficiency in every niche. He mainly focuses on technology, product reviews, crypto, blockchain, and how-to articles. Other than these niches, he also likes to write about freelancing,… read more
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