Looking for the best Indesign alternative that is free or cheap? There are numerous publishing and typesetting apps that have the same features as InDesign and look very versatile.
I picked up some of the best alternatives to InDesign using which you can create unique posters, flyers, brochures, or eBooks without the professional designers’ help.
Despite the fact that for several years Adobe has been the leader on the market of raster and vector programs, it is worth noting that their products are not the cheapest ones. Often, Adobe offers powerful programs that are resource-intensive, which later leads to poor performance on weaker computers.
Most people do not notice that there are many alternatives to InDesign that are not worse. They can be cheaper offering exactly the same functionality, as well as working with various programs in a pair.
Even though Adobe InDesign has long been taking leading positions in ratings, I picked up top 10 softwares for publishing and typesetting.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
This is one of the best open source text processing software options. Scribus Adobe is an Indesign alternative that can boast of a number of powerful tools. The interface, which is classic for such programs, will be familiar to professionals, and will also allow beginners to learn it in no time.
Scribus supports CMYK colors, ICC color management, and universal PDF creation. In addition, the program will allow you to create a set of vector shapes using such tools as line by hand, straight line, Bezier curve, ellipses, polygons, etc., emulate color blindness, and also render markup languages.
A nice bonus is that the file format of this open source InDesign replacement is based on XML and, if the document is damaged, you can restore it with a simple graphical editor. Scribus offers a full support of fonts in Unicode, visible and hidden blocks with rounded corners, rotatable and scalable, manual kerning, linking, grouping, blocking, as well as resizing objects and more.
This InDesign alternative is perfect for preparing layouts for newsletters, posters, technical documentation, business cards, and other documents.
Price: FREE or $12.95/mouth
This Adobe InDesign alternative makes it possible to design, create, personalize, and share digital publications or content for printing in a simple way. Among the most striking program features is the availability of many formats for your writing.
Lucidpress has templates that are specifically designed for business and educational purposes, including multiple choice tests.
In addition, the text editor allows you to create digital journals with pictures and captions. If you need to create a photo album or book, then Lucidpress will also come in handy. With the help of the program, you can add not only text and pictures, but also sound and video to your projects.
This free alternative to InDesign works with the most common filetypes, including PDF, MOBI, and HTML. In addition, you will be surprised by the opportunity to work as a group, you can add comments, and there is also a chat where you can discuss and suggest changes.
Lucidpress protects your files with data encryption, has a history of changes and customizable permissions. The editor supports local backup and technical support. The disadvantage is that it only exists in the web version, you need a good Internet connection to work comfortably.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Web
Price: FREE or $240
If you do page layout professionally, then Vivadesigner could be your free alternative of InDesign. Vivadesigner will please you with functional master pages and CMYK optimization. With their help, you will greatly simplify text layout and printing.
In the program, you can use a built-in word processor, which allows you to edit and write articles directly in the ap. You will have access to various formatting styles, be able to customize kerning, create tables.
The main disadvantages of this InDesign alternative are the absence of most non-typographical tools and a small number of templates and fonts. The program has only nine templates — three brochures and six newsletter templates.
However, if you need a unique template, you can create it on your own. Therefore, this software is suitable for professional graphic designers who want to create documents from scratch. Vivadesigner is ideal for making newspapers and corporate newsletters.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS
Price: FREE Trial or $12.95
Canva is an app for graphic design, using which you can create beautiful posters, invitations, cards, website graphics, multi-page presentations, as well as layouts for various printed products.
The graphic editor gives access to the built-in library of templates, stock photos, illustrations, and fonts.
Creating images is based on dragging finished elements and using a range of variable templates. The main Canva difference is that you can easily edit publications, customizing your design to the desired size of a social network.
Whether it is Instagram Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn, simply select the template you need and with one click Canva cuts the design according to the social network requirements.
In addition, the program will allow you to animate objects. For this you do not need high-level animation skills, this InDesign alternative has several templates that will do everything for you.
If you work as a group, Canva has a shared design folder that will allow you to create content with your colleagues at the save time.
Platforms: Web, Android, iOS
Price: FREE or $6.95/mouth
Desygner is another pretty simple program that is convenient for making website designs, print and marketing materials, documents. You can use available tools to design headlines, web ads, blog images, email banners, flyers, posters, business cards, postcards, etc.
This free InDesign alternative offers you a large number of ready-made templates that you can customize. By interacting with Google or Flickr, you can also select from millions of pictures for your documents. Thanks to the stickers, different backgrounds, and fonts you will get a unique design that will be appreciated by people.
Desygner allows you to share documents in many different ways: via email, private links, even embedding it on a website. Like some InDesign alternatives, this app makes it possible to post documents on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, with the correct size for each social network.
Desygner supports the most common formats – PNG, JPG or PNG. You can edit them anywhere in the mobile application.
Price: FREE or $23.95
SpringPublisher is a great choice for the layout and printing of business cards, flyers, postcards and forms, and printouts of all sorts. If you use this InDesign alternative free of charge, capabilities will be limited. In the Pro version, you will also get access to additional templates, high-quality documents of 350 dpi, as well as the possibility to use documents for commercial purposes.
You can create templates on your own or choose pre-made ones. You can also change ready-made templates. This InDesign alternative will let you edit width and height, vertical and horizontal alignment, orientation, opacity and a number of other parameters.
If we talk about the possibilities of SpringPublisher, they include adding pictures, texts, maps, vector shapes, logos, QR codes (including artistic ones), bar codes, plus arranging everything to your taste.
You can also apply various effects: shadows, opacity adjustment, rotation, border effect, image filters, etc. Projects can be saved as project files or images in low, medium and high quality.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS
Price: FREE or $40
Affinity Publisher is suitable for Windows and Mac OS users. You can make one- or multiple-page documents. The software can handle creating layouts that combine typography, graphics, and photographs, such as magazines, brochures, flyers, and books. Prepare to do everything in the free beta version because among all the Adobe InDesign alternatives on my list this one has no full version yet.
A big plus is an integration with Affinity Photo and Designer. It helps quickly adjusting pictures before using them in Publisher layouts. The editor provides you with a large number of screen sizes, probably including all modern mass-market gadgets. The interface of this alternative to Indesign is intuitive and complies with the classical standard, the toolbar can be found on the left, and the most frequently used panels, including color, patterns, and strokes, are located rightward.
In the editor, you will find a large number of useful vector icons, all of them applicable to your templates. Using Affinity Publisher, you will get finer control over the distance between the letters and the fit of the text to non-rectangular borders.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS
Price: FREE or $79
With QuarkXpress you can create attractive documents for various purposes without having to learn codes or complex programming. The editor will please you with a convenient and functional interface.
You can customize color schemes, page sizes, keyboard commands, and more. The latest version of the program is equipped with a modern Xenon engine, which will make image processing faster and smoother.
With this free alternative to InDesign you can easily make up ordinary and multi-column pages with illustrations, encode images and adjust field sizes. Besides, you can create more complex graphics using Bezier curves and outlines, as well as frames with illustrations and text using various fonts and complex outlines.
The program has various templates with which you can start creating your document, and also includes powerful text management tools. QuarkXPress has customer support, which at any time is ready to answer all your questions or suggest a solution to the problem related to the program.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS
Price: FREE trial or $10/mouth
Microsoft Office Publisher is a simple editor for fast compilation of flyers, newsletters, posters, address labels, banners, etc. If you compare it with a similar program, then Office Publisher is among the simplest alternatives to InDesign, which is undoubtedly a plus. Despite the fact that Publisher has more advanced layouts, unlike Word, it is still inferior to its competitors.
The editor provides you with a large number of templates that you can use in your documents. Office Publisher offers several types of subscriptions. A basic subscription will provide designers with enough tools for complex layouts. This InDesign alternative offers you a large number of styles, various fields and fonts. The dialog boxes with pop-down menus assist in quickly and simply editing the layout.
In addition, the editor will allow you to use such functions as drop caps, text direction, syllabification rules, and image repainting. Even though Word and Exel have web and mobile apps, Publisher is deprived of this.
Price: FREE or $10/mouth
DesignBold online editor allows you to easily create various graphic designs for print or digital media. The main distinction is access to a huge resource of stock photos. You get about 40 million shares with DesignBold. Even if you have never used such editors, DesignBold interface is easy to master. The editor provides you with thousands of unique templates for your documents and social networks.
Mentioning templates separately, I want to say that they are fully customizable; you can drag and drop, or delete or modify templates in various ways. The program saves all your projects in the Cloud, so you can edit and change documents again.
The most important thing is that there are no project-creating restrictions; you can create, save, and store your projects as you need.
This InDesign alternative offers a variety of brushes for frames that add unique shapes to your photos, such as paint splashes and brush strokes. You can upload personal files and get up to 5MB space (free plan) and 20 MB (Pro, Team plans) for high-resolution design.
If you work in one of these softwares, make use of the following free textures. With their help, you can create a unique design for your ads, business cards, invitations or simply improve a photo.
This is a classic paper texture with a slight wear and tear, with its help you can create an exclusive invitation or a holiday card.
The texture is suitable to imitate a paper letter, but you can use it as you like.
Brick Wall Texture mimics a slightly old wall with cracked bricks. Use the free texture if you want to visualize a facade or wall.
Also, the texture will perfectly fit into various ads.
If you are looking for a festive texture or one to present the decorations, you can use this Glitter Texture.
This high-quality texture will add the mood to the document that you need. It can have a festive mood as well as a strict, expensive one.