22 Best Paid And Free Indesign Alternatives in 2024

Are you a graphic designer or a layout enthusiast looking for powerful design software that can rival Adobe InDesign? In this article, we will uncover the top paid and free alternatives to Adobe InDesign, the industry-leading software for desktop publishing.

Choosing the best desktop publishing software tool is crucial, considering the multitude of options available. Established tools like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress are renowned for their professional capabilities, while open-source free alternatives like LibreOffice Suite and Scribus offer cost-effective solutions.

In our analysis, we have considered factors such as cost, performance, ease of use, functionality, and technical features to help you make your choice. Let’s dive into the best Adobe Indesign alternatives.

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1. Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher 2 is a powerful Adobe InDesign alternative, offering an impressive set of features and a user-friendly interface. Its page layout designer has undergone significant recent improvements, making document design a breeze.

Time-saving tools, such as easy footnote creation and object manipulation options, help enhance the efficiency of designers working against the clock.

One standout feature is ‘StudioLink,’ which allows seamless photo editing and vector drawing without switching programs, provided you have Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer installed.

Affinity Publisher also supports importing InDesign files, easing the transition for users. With a one-time purchase and compatibility with Windows, Mac, and iPad, Affinity Publisher delivers a cost-effective solution for desktop publishing needs.

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Familiar and user-friendly interface

Small icons and labels on pixel-dense displays

Efficient page layout software

Not as comprehensive as Adobe InDesign

StudioLink feature for integrated editing

No iPad version available yet

Our Take – Affinity Publisher 2 is one of the best Indesign alternative because it provides a similar interface and can handle most of the tasks that InDesign offers. It allows you to create impressive page layouts, work with color schemes, and utilize pre-designed templates.

Affinity Publisher also offers a 90-day free trial, which is longer than usual, and when you register for the trial key, you also receive extended trial keys for Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer.

Cost – You can get started on Windows or Mac for a one-off payment of $69.99, or on iPad for $18.49.

2. Viva Designer

VivaDesigner is a versatile typesetting and layout application that serves as a commendable alternative to Adobe InDesign. Whether you’re working on web or desktop projects, this program enhances your workflow and document management.

It offers an array of layouts and the ability to import files from Microsoft Word and Excel. It also excels in handling tasks typically associated with InDesign and seamlessly integrates with Adobe software due to its native file import capability.

With its straightforward interface and powerful features like change tracking, character inspectors, and multilingual text editing, VivaDesigner empowers you to create professionally styled print documents effortlessly.



Available for Linux

Lacking online community

Affordable pricing

Challenging for beginners

Multilingual options

Limited learning resources

Our Take – Viva Designer stands out with its unique ability to track changes made to documents. This feature is especially valuable for remote teams collaborating on the same file simultaneously.

Additionally, the availability of a free demo version allows users from Windows and Mac platforms to explore and familiarize themselves with the software.

Cost – Free demo version is available. After that, cost ranges between $89 – $399 depending on the number of users.

3. Xara Page & Layout Designer 11

Xara Page & Layout Designer combines the essential text editing and page layout tools found in word processors and other desktop publishing software, along with unique features developed by Xara.

It provides a range of impressive features, including dynamic “snap lines,” a toolkit for 3D object work, a professional set of color schemes, and a built-in spell check. It also offers powerful illustration and image editing capabilities, making it a flexible and integrated solution for desktop publishing.

However, it does not have the same breadth of features as InDesign, limiting its appeal to professional designers.



Very stable

Lacks pro features

Easy to use

Available for Windows only

Affordable price tag

Limited feature compared to InDesign

Our Take – As an alternative to Adobe InDesign, Xara Page & Layout Designer 11 is an appealing option, especially for those concerned about the price. Priced at $89.99 / £49.99, it provides excellent value for the features it offers.

Cost – Offers a 7 day free trial post which you can purchase lifetime license for $299.

4. QuarkXpress

QuarkXPress, with its long history in the desktop publishing industry, continues to provide a reliable platform for content design and automation. While it may have faced competition from Adobe InDesign, many advertising companies still rely on QuarkXPress due to built-in editorial systems.

Its stability and compatibility with other software file types make it a valuable asset. Moreover, QuarkXPress integrates seamlessly with Quark Publishing Platform and Docurated, enhancing its content management capabilities.



Compatible with InDesign file format

Expensive cost

Commonly used among professionals

Missing some key features that Adobe Indesign has

User-friendly for beginners

Requires additional plugins for full feature utilization

Our Take – Not only does it offer a wide range of features, including content design, automation, and intelligence, but it also supports InDesign shortcuts, allowing users to transition smoothly from one software to the other.

With its ability to produce stunning page layouts, enhance images, and support digital publishing, QuarkXPress provides a comprehensive solution for designers seeking an alternative to InDesign.

Cost – Offers a 7 day free trial post which you can purchase lifetime license for $474.

5. Scribus

Scribus is an exceptional open-source free InDesign alternative, offering a range of powerful features and a familiar interface.

With support for CMYK color and high-quality PDF production, Scribus enables users to create professional-looking documents, including leaflets, books, posters, and even interactive PDFs.

The software boasts a dedicated developer community, ensuring stability and regular updates, along with comprehensive features like OpenType font support and ICC color management.

While Scribus lacks certain functionalities such as Pantone color matching and a built-in spell checker, it compensates with versatile drawing tools and a wide selection of templates. It is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.



CMYK color support

Slow functioning

Easy to navigate and use

Steep learning curve

Free software

No Pantone color matching

Our Take – Scribus offers a robust set of features that rival paid software, making it an excellent choice for indie publishing or personal projects. While it may not match the power and features of InDesign, it serves as a reliable and capable alternative, especially for those seeking a free DTP package.

Cost – Free

6. Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is a user-friendly page layout and desktop publishing tool exclusively available for Mac users. Packed with over 500 professionally designed templates, it offers a wide range of options for print projects, from simple labels to complete brochures.

Although it may not be as well-known as other best Indesign alternatives, Swift Publisher remains a top choice for many Mac users due to its polished features, despite its slightly outdated overall interface.

With advanced features like double-page spreads, unlimited layers, master pages, customizable grids, rich-text tools, and the ability to print in RGB or CMYK, Swift Publisher provides ample options for layout design. Exporting to various file formats such as PNG, TIFF, JPEG, EPS, and PDF further enhances its versatility.



Extensive collection of templates

Limited font choices

Abundance of clipart images

Slightly outdated interface

Advanced layout features

Requires a separate image editing program

Our take – At a price point of $19.99, Swift Publisher stands out as a budget-friendly option for those seeking an InDesign alternative. Its extensive template library, including bi-fold and tri-fold brochures, catalogues, business cards, and more, is a major advantage. Additionally, the software offers 2D and 3D heading presets, 2,000 clipart images, and 100 image masks.

Cost – Offers a 14 day free trial post which you can purchase the lifetime license for $19.99.

7. LucidPress

Lucidpress is a cloud-based desktop publishing software that provides a user-friendly platform for creating templates and customizing marketing materials. It offers a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those who want to quickly create basic designs without the need for extensive DTP skills.

One of the standout features of Lucidpress is its integration with various online services like Google Docs, YouTube, Dropbox, and Facebook. This allows for easy importation of existing content, online publishing, embedding designs, and sharing on social media platforms.

Additionally, the software provides a vast collection of ready-made templates, both free and paid, enabling users to get started swiftly with print or digital content.



Cloud-based platform with browser access

Lacks advanced features and sophistication

User-friendly drag-and-drop interface

Limited functionality in free version

Integration with various online services

Not suitable for complex professional workflows

Our take – While Lucidpress may not offer the same level of sophistication and feature-richness as other alternatives or InDesign itself, it serves its purpose as an accessible entry point for beginners. It offers a limited free account, which functions more like a trial, and unlocks additional features with its Pro, Team, and Business monthly subscription plans.

Cost – Offers a free version. The paid version costs $10 per month.

8. Coreldraw

CorelDRAW is a powerful vector-based illustration program that has gained popularity among graphic designers. It combines the functionalities of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign into a single application, making it a versatile alternative to Adobe’s design suite.

As a user of CorelDRAW, I appreciate its ease of use and extensive set of professional features. The software is available for both Windows and Mac systems, catering to a wide range of users. Its seamless integration with other Corel products ensures a smooth workflow, and the recent addition of multipage view enhances organization and asset movement.

While the price may seem steep, CorelDRAW offers a comprehensive design package that is worth considering for professionals in the field.



Combines functionality of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign

Higher price compared to other alternatives

Seamless integration with other Corel products

One-time purchase does not include future updates

Powerful features for both illustration and publishing

Additional fee for Corel software maintenance tied to business licenses

Our take – CorelDRAW Graphics Suite stands as a complete illustration and design package, providing a comprehensive set of tools for creative professionals. It offers an all-in-one solution for designing print and web content with bespoke illustrations.

Cost – Offers a 15 day free trial post which you can purchase the lifetime license for $249.

9. VistaCreate

VistaCreate, formerly known as Crello, is a fantastic alternative to Adobe InDesign. Joining the Vista group in October 2021, the platform operates similarly to Canva, making it easy to navigate if you have prior experience with Canva.

As a web-based platform, VistaCreate caters to various content creation needs, including videos, print documents, animations, graphics, and even websites. The highlight of VistaCreate is its vast collection of 50,000 editable templates, designed by professionals.

With such a wide selection, you can quickly find the perfect template and create your desired content in just minutes. Notably, the background removal feature further enhances the editing capabilities of the platform.



Web-based platform with a user-friendly interface

Limited advanced design features compared to Adobe InDesign

Extensive collection of 50,000 editable templates

The platform may not be as feature-rich as other professional design software

Affordable solution for marketers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers

Lack of robust integration with other design tools or cloud services

Our take – VistaCreate is a free alternative particularly beneficial for marketers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and bloggers who require frequent content creation. However, it’s worth noting that VistaCreate may lack advanced design features compared to Adobe InDesign, and its integration capabilities with other design tools or cloud services may be limited.

Cost – Offers a free version. The paid version costs $10 per month.

10. Venngage

Venngage is an excellent alternative to Adobe InDesign, especially for those seeking to create engaging and informative infographics. With over 100 infographic templates, Venngage empowers users to craft visually captivating charts and visuals.

Additionally, this web-based tool offers customizable templates for presentations, reports, and social media visuals. Its accessibility from any device with a web browser makes it convenient to use.

While Venngage may not cater specifically to professional designers, it shines as a platform for B2B communication. Non-designers in the business world can effortlessly enhance the visual appeal of their reports and business offers using Venngage’s user-friendly interface and customizable features.



Intuitive UI and free present templates

Limited range of features

Web-based platform

Not tailored specifically for professional designers

Conforms to your style guide

Room for improvement in customer service

Our take – Venngage stands out as an exceptional tool for creating visually striking infographics and enhancing B2B communication. However, if your focus lies primarily in print or web publication design or if you require advanced design options, you may find Venngage’s features somewhat limited.

Cost – Offers a free version. The paid version costs $16 per month.

11. iStudio Publisher

iStudio Publisher is a fantastic alternative to Adobe InDesign, especially for Mac users seeking an intuitive and powerful desktop publishing solution.

One notable feature is its ability to export color-managed PDF files, making it ideal for professional print jobs. It also supports industry-standard file formats like EPUB, PDF, and RTF, making it versatile for digital publications and e-books.

With iStudio Publisher, you can effortlessly design a wide range of documents, from newsletters and brochures to invitations and posters. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer, iStudio Publisher offers a user-friendly interface and provides helpful video tutorials and guides to get you started.



User-friendly interface

Limited to Mac operating system

Abundant video tutorials available

Lacks certain advanced features

Extensive range of export options

Not a direct InDesign competitor

Our take – iStudio Publisher is exclusively available for Mac users, limiting its accessibility for users on other platforms. While it may not offer the same breadth of features as Adobe InDesign, iStudio Publisher still provides a robust set of tools for creating beautiful layouts and printed materials.

Cost – Free

12. LibreOffice Suite

LibreOffice Suite is an exceptional open-source alternative to Adobe InDesign. With its cloud-based functionality, it’s effortless to download and start using on your computer. Since its inception in 2010, LibreOffice Write has gained a loyal user base, providing a compelling alternative to industry leaders like Microsoft Word.

The suite comprises several programs, including LibreOffice Draw, which although not specifically designed for professionals, is great for creating simple visuals. With its wide range of features, users can achieve impressive graphic results.



Open-source and free to use.

Not specifically designed for professional use.

Offers a comprehensive suite of programs for various tasks.

May lack some advanced features found in Adobe InDesign.

Includes publishing and drawing tools

User interface and design may not be as polished as commercial software.

Our take – It’s a brilliant choice for exploring print basics with free software. The suite’s main products include Draw for diagrams, Calc for spreadsheets, Write for word processing, and Impress for presentations. It also offers additional tools like Base for database creation, Math for formula editing, and chart creation features.

Whether you’re working on brochures, newsletters, or posters, LibreOffice Suite’s publishing and drawing tools ensure a consistent and streamlined workflow.

Cost – Free

13. PageStream

PageStream is a versatile alternative to Adobe InDesign, ideal for designing business cards, newsletters, brochures, print documents, flyers, and billboards. While the interface may appear slightly outdated, the app provides all the necessary tools for creating visually stunning designs in desktop publishing projects.

Its intuitive customization features, combined with PageStream’s smooth graphics capabilities, allow for interactive and creative design projects that incorporate images, text, drawings, and other visuals.



Comprehensive tools for designing a wide range of print materials.

Outdated user interface compared to more modern design software.

Intuitive customization features for interactive design projects.

May lack some of the latest features found in Adobe InDesign.

Excellent organizational features and advanced printing settings.

Limited support and updates, potentially affecting long-term compatibility and performance.

Although it may not have the latest features, PageStream covers the essential print needs of most designers. Its range of excellent tools, customizable options, organizational features, and advanced printing settings make it a reliable choice for various design projects.

Cost – Offers a 14 day free trial post which you can purchase the lifetime license for $99.99.

14. Canva

Canva is an excellent alternative to Adobe InDesign, particularly for marketers, social media specialists, and designers. It empowers individuals without design experience to edit images and create visually appealing graphics.

One drawback is the limitation in file-saving options, as you can’t save files as transparent PNGs and SVGs. However, the extensive collection of customizable templates, ranging from social media posts to professional prints, provides a quick start and serves as inspiration.

Canva’s drag-and-drop interface, along with features like text addition, graph creation, and photo enhancement, adds to the overall design experience.



User-friendly interface for design novices

Limited file-saving options

Extensive collection of customizable templates

Not suitable for traditional layout design

Drag-and-drop interface for easy editing

Not all templates and elements are available in the free version

Our take – Unlike traditional layout tools, Canva encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking through its easy editing interface. The Canva Brand Kit is a particularly useful tool for maintaining brand consistency across multiple documents. While not all elements are available for free, Canva still provides a generous selection of free resources.

Cost – Offers a free version. The paid version costs $5.99 per month.

15. PDFelement

PDFelement, developed by Wondershare, is a powerful PDF editing tool that serves as a compelling alternative to Adobe InDesign. As someone who values simplicity and efficiency, I appreciate how PDFelement prioritizes user-friendly features without compromising on functionality.

The software excels in various areas, including PDF editing, file conversion, and document organization. Its OCR capabilities are impressive, allowing for accurate text extraction from scanned documents. I particularly enjoy the ability to add comments and annotations to facilitate collaboration.

With advanced security features and the option to store files in the cloud, PDFelement provides a comprehensive solution for creating, editing, and securing PDF files.



User-friendly interface and emphasis on simplicity

Limited formatting options compared to InDesign

Powerful OCR capabilities for accurate text extraction

Some advanced features require a subscription or perpetual license

Comprehensive tools for PDF editing and conversion

May not have the same level of design precision as InDesign

Our take – While PDFelement may have some limitations in terms of formatting options compared to InDesign, it compensates with its ease of use and comprehensive toolset. Keep in mind that certain advanced features may require a subscription or perpetual license.

Cost – Offers free plan. Paid subscription starts at $79.99 per year.

16. Microsoft Office Publisher

Microsoft Office Publisher is a reliable alternative to Adobe InDesign, offering a user-friendly interface and a range of useful features. As someone who values convenience and accessibility, I appreciate how Publisher seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications.

The extensive collection of top-rated templates allows for easy customization and professional layouts. While it may lack some of the advanced features of InDesign, Publisher excels in simplicity and straightforwardness.

It is an excellent choice for design beginners or small businesses in need of marketing materials. With Microsoft Publisher, you can effortlessly create polished documents without the need for extensive technical skills.



User-friendly interface and seamless Microsoft Office integration

Limited formatting options compared to InDesign

Powerful OCR capabilities for accurate text extraction

Some advanced features require a subscription or perpetual license

Comprehensive tools for PDF editing and conversion

May not have the same level of design precision as InDesign

Cost – Offers a 30 day free trial post which you can purchase subscription for $129.99 per month.

17. Serif Pageplus

Serif PagePlus is an outstanding desktop publishing software that I highly recommend as an alternative to Adobe InDesign. It caters perfectly to individuals and small businesses, offering an efficient and user-friendly experience.

Despite its longevity, PagePlus maintains a fresh and modern look, while boasting a plethora of features. The straightforward interface ensures easy navigation, and locating items in the menu is a breeze.

One of its standout features is the extensive collection of high-quality templates, which are conveniently organized by document types for quick accessibility. The graphic design tools are top-notch, allowing for the creation of stunning layouts using intuitive shape-drawing controls.

Additionally, the Dynamic Guides function simplifies object alignment without the need for manual guides. Overall, PagePlus is a powerful tool that delivers exceptional results.



Extensive collection of high-quality templates

Some users may find the software feature-rich, overwhelming and more suited for drawing.

User-friendly interface with easy navigation

Limited availability for platforms other than Windows

Impressive graphic design tools

Limited compatibility with other file formats

Our take – The graphic design tools are impressive, providing the necessary tools for creating stunning layouts. However, some users may find the software overwhelming due to its rich feature set. Additionally, PagePlus is limited to Windows, which may be a drawback for users on other platforms.

Cost – Free

18. Spring Publisher

Spring Publisher provides an ideal platform for creating and printing high-quality documents. With its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, you can effortlessly add images, text, logos, and vector shapes to create stunning layouts with just a few clicks.

The software generates high-resolution artwork and makes printing a breeze. One of its standout features is the extensive collection of pre-designed templates that cater to various messages, and it even offers access to online template stores for added convenience.

Additionally, Spring Publisher provides a range of image effects, allowing for easy customization and adjustment. Changing the canvas size and background color is also a seamless process.



User-friendly interface with a sophisticated look

Limited advanced features compared to Adobe InDesign

Extensive collection of pre-designed templates

Limited compatibility with other file formats

Easy customization of images with various effects

Limited availability for platforms other than Windows

Our take – When compared to Adobe InDesign, Spring Publisher lacks advanced features and may have limited compatibility with other file formats. Additionally, it is primarily available for Windows, which may limit accessibility for users on other platforms. Despite these limitations, Spring Publisher remains an excellent choice for creating and printing high-quality documents with ease.

Cost – Free

19. PDFrizator

PDFrizator is a fantastic desktop publishing tool that offers a cost-effective alternative to Adobe InDesign. As a freeware application, it empowers users to create visually captivating PDF presentations with ease.

One of its standout features is the ability to incorporate background music, adding an extra layer of interest to your layouts. The user-friendly interface ensures a seamless experience, allowing easy access to all the essential features without any hassle.



Supports background music

Limited advanced editing capabilities

Multilingual support

Limited file conversion options

Wide range of image formats supported

Lack of comprehensive customer support

Cost – Free

20. Conga Composer

Conga Composer is a web-based tool that serves as a cloud-based document management system. It offers a range of functionalities for creating business-to-business (B2B) documentation, including documents, presentations, and more.

With Conga Composer, you can efficiently manage employee contracts, automate billing, order management, and promotions, handle aspects of digital commerce, and create, alter, and share documents. It is part of the Salesforce Suite and supports various formats such as PDF, Excel, HTML, and PowerPoint.



Multiple document formats supported

Lack of guidance and documentation

Multiple e-Sign tools

Poorly designed layout

Bulk automation capabilities

Lacks advanced design features

Our take – It’s all-in-one software that combines word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database tools, making it useful for business purposes. It even automates document processing tasks to simplify your workflow. While not specifically developed for designers, it can still be a valuable tool to have.

Cost – Offers a 30 day free trial post which you can purchase a subscription for $20 per month.

21. KOFAX Power PDF

As an alternative to Adobe PDF programs, Kofax stands out as an excellent solution for creating, editing, and converting PDF files.

One of the notable features of Kofax is its ability to monitor and control access to sensitive content. Additionally, its integration with Microsoft productivity apps enables seamless conversion of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files to PDF and further facilitates online publishing.



Real time collaboration features

Features are limited

Support for multiple file formats

License stops working if you change computer

Great UI makes it easy to use


Our take – While Kofax may not be the top choice for designers, it serves as a perfect fit for individuals seeking administrative functionalities such as merging, editing, and signing PDFs.

Cost – Offers a 15 day free trial post which you can purchase an annual subscription for $129.99 per annum.

22. DesignCap

Similar to Canva, DesignCap primarily targets marketers and freelancers, although its features can also cater to designers.

The implementation of a drag-and-drop system, coupled with a diverse range of templates and extensive customization options, creates a seamless and intuitive workflow.

DesignCap has proven to be a fast and reliable design solution suitable for both personal and business use. The sign-up process is quick, and users can start working with the app within seconds.



No design skills required

No video or animation options

Web-based drag and drop UI

Choice of font is limited

Wide range of templates

Limited features in the free version

Our take – If your work primarily involves designing and publishing documents, DesignCap is an invaluable tool to have. The app enables the creation of versatile infographics, graphs, and charts that can be used across various platforms, from Instagram stories to YouTube channel art.

Cost – Offers a free version. The paid version costs $5.99 per month.

End Note

The world of graphic design and content creation is evolving rapidly, and there are now several free alternatives that can match Adobe’s capabilities. From the intuitive user interface of Canva to the robust editing tools of GIMP and the collaborative features of Inkscape, these alternatives provide an array of options for designers, photographers, and creative professionals.

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