The best desktop publishing software for Mac makes it simple to create both printed and digital publications, ranging from newspapers and magazines to ebooks and e-zines, as well as marketing materials such as brochures and flyers.
There’s best desktop publishing software for Mac for everyone, whether you’re a professional designer or an enthusiastic amateur – or somewhere in between. But which option is best desktop publishing software for Mac for your needs and budget?
We’ve compiled a list of the best desktop publishing software for Mac available today in this article. We go over what each tool has to offer, how it differs from the others, and all the details you’ll need to make a decision.
If you’re already set on InDesign, the current industry standard, take a look at our Adobe Creative Cloud discount page or our InDesign download guide. Meanwhile, continue reading to learn about the other the best desktop publishing software for Mac options available.
9 Best Desktop Publishing Software For Mac
Here we have listed down top 9 the best desktop publishing software for Mac for you in 2022. Take a look please:
QuarkXPress was the market leader in best desktop publishing software for Mac in the 1990s. That was before Adobe cut the price of InDesign in half, and publishers voted with their wallets. However, Quark, as it’s known, is still used in a lot of businesses. If you don’t want to pay monthly, InDesign may be worth considering now that it’s subscription-only.
QuarkXPress, which was first released in 1987 and is still being updated on an annual basis, is a very capable, high-end publishing software for both print and digital media. It’s available for PC and Mac, and it can import InDesign files as well as design working web pages and even iOS apps. It’s still not cheap, but if you’re looking for a one-time purchase, it’s a good choice.
Serif’s Affinity suite of best desktop publishing software for Mac openly promotes itself as a low-cost, subscription-free alternative to Adobe products. They include many of the same features as Adobe’s software, as well as some of their own unique features. As a result, Affinity Designer is a close match for Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Photo for Photoshop, and Affinity Publisher, which was released in 2019, is a direct competitor to Adobe InDesign.
The feature set of Affinity Publisher does not quite match that of InDesign. For example, it doesn’t come with document setup presets out of the box (though third-party templates are available elsewhere), and the way it handles layers may take some getting used to if you’ve been using InDesign for a long time.
But, in all honesty, the differences are minor, and if you haven’t worked with InDesign for a long time, you won’t notice them. Importantly, Affinity Publisher supports Adobe file formats, including the ability to import IMDL files, which are InDesign documents. The best desktop publishing software for Mac works on Windows too, and all three Affinity apps are interoperable, allowing for a seamless workflow.
While there isn’t an iPad version of Publisher yet, the other two Affinity apps can open, edit, and export Publisher documents. It’s definitely worth a look. Given the low cost, it may be worthwhile to purchase it and use it alongside InDesign, as many designers claim that it is faster and more efficient for specific tasks.
LucidPress is a browser-based best desktop publishing software for Mac that you can use on any of your devices without having to download or install anything. This user-friendly desktop publishing software is compatible with all major web browsers and is an excellent choice for non-designers looking to create and share marketing assets such as flyers, brochures, business cards, invitations, leaflets, newsletters, magazines, and photobooks, among other things.
You don’t have to start from scratch with LucidPress because it comes with both free and paid templates. It integrates with Google Docs, YouTube, Dropbox, Flickr, Facebook, and Unsplash to make importing text and images a breeze. It’s also simple to share assets on social media, download them as print-ready files, or send them directly to the LucidPress print shop once you’re finished.
There is a free version, but it only allows you to create three documents of up to three pages per month and lacks many of the most useful features. The monthly subscriptions start at $10/£8.
Microsoft’s desktop publishing tool is the best desktop publishing software for Mac, which was first released in 1991, focuses more on page layout and design than Microsoft Word, which is solely focused on text composition and proofing. Despite this, Microsoft Publisher has received a lot of attention in recent years. As a result, it is falling behind its competitors.
However, if you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you already have this software, as well as Word, Excel, and other Microsoft products, so it’s worth a shot (as long as you have Windows; there’s no Mac or Linux version, and no mobile apps). Despite its lack of professional features, it has a lot to offer, including some useful templates and preloaded colour presets.
Are you a Linux user? Then, as the best desktop publishing software for Mac for the platform, we recommend VivaDesigner. This little-known German software has a surprising number of features and can be used on both the desktop and the web. There’s a free version that’s quite capable, but the paid version adds more advanced features like preflight settings, font embedding, smart guides, bullets, and numbering, as well as a wider range of file formats for import and export.
This is the closest thing to InDesign that runs on Linux, but at such a low price, it’s worth considering for other platforms as well, especially since the full software comes with a free demo version so you can see exactly what you’re getting.
Xara Page & Layout Designer
Xara Page & Layout Designer is a good choice for newcomers to best desktop publishing software for Mac because of its low one-time cost and simple interface. There are also some excellent tutorials available to help you learn the ropes. It also has a good selection of royalty-free templates for letterheads, brochures, business cards, and other common designs.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t full-featured professional desktop publishing software, but it’s also not aimed solely at amateurs. It sits in the middle, allowing you to create single-page and multi-page documents. The ‘Snap Lines’ tool lets you attach elements to existing objects, and the Page and Layer Gallery lets you see how everything is coming together.
However, because there are no best desktop publishing software for Mac for creating tables or graphs, you’ll have to design them by hand and then import them into your documents. Overall, while Xara Page & Layout Designer lacks some features found in other apps, the interface is less cluttered, resulting in a quicker learning curve.
If you’re in the media or publishing industry, you’re probably already familiar with Adobe InDesign. Whether you’re laying out pages, designing a brochure, or creating a poster, it’s the undisputed industry standard for desktop publishing. It’s ideal for any design project that necessitates the use of both images and text.
For more than a decade, InDesign has been the go-to best desktop publishing software for Mac for print professionals. Adobe has added a slew of useful digital publishing tools in recent years, making it a great choice for e-zines, e-books, and pretty much anything else with a ‘e-‘. The software is fully integrated into the Creative Cloud, making it simple to import Adobe Fonts, Adobe Stock images, and work created in other Adobe apps like Illustrator or Photoshop.
The one major drawback to InDesign is that it requires a monthly subscription, either for the individual app or as part of a Creative Cloud All-Apps subscription. Of course, if your company pays for it, there’s no problem. However, if you’re self-employed, you might want to look into some of the other best desktop publishing software for Mac on this list before making a decision.
Swift Publisher is another best desktop publishing software for Mac option worth considering, especially for beginners, if you’re looking for inexpensive desktop publishing software for the Mac. It’s not free, but at $19.99, it’s a bargain for a user-friendly platform. This isn’t a professional tool, but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to desktop publishing and need some help.
It includes over 200 templates and 2,000 clip art images to help you create designs quickly. If that’s not enough, a ‘Extras Pack’ with over 40,000 royalty-free clipart images and 100 Open Type fonts is available. Flyers, booklets, newsletters, posters, brochures, CD and DVD labels, business cards, menus, facing pages, and Facebook/Twitter covers are just a few of the printed or digital assets that can be designed with it. Swift Publisher is probably not for you if clip art isn’t your thing, but if you need a helping hand, this is a nice package.
If you’re short on cash, Scribus might be the answer. It’s open source and completely free, and it has a lot of functionality. Scribus, which is best desktop publishing software for Mac and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, uses frames and layers in a similar way to InDesign and includes some professional-level tools.
It can handle CMYK and spot colours, create PostScript and PDF files directly from documents, and perform pre-flight checks to ensure your files are ready for printing. The drawing tools are surprisingly versatile, and the templates are also quite good. The main disadvantage is that files created in other apps, such as InDesign or QuarkXPress, cannot be imported.
Most people will be willing to make that trade-off for nothing. Overall, this is a fantastic option for anyone who cannot afford to pay for desktop publishing software. Scribus has an active community because it has been around since 2001, so it’s easy to find help and tutorials if you get stuck.