The 5 best Adobe InDesign alternatives

Adobe InDesign has established itself as the industry-standard layout design and desktop publishing software. Used to create flyers, presentations and ebooks, Adobe InDesign is trusted by graphic designers and creatives the world over.

The benefits of InDesign

Backed by the trusted Adobe brand, it can be difficult to step away from the familiarity and feature-rich user experience that InDesign provides. Suitable for both print and digital design, the app produces high-quality, professional-looking content. Adobe has built up a global community of innovators who share information and resources, ensuring the software is consistently updated to meet industry requirements. What's more, the support and integration capabilities make it an easy product to work with.

ResourceSpace allows you to import and export images and files directly from the application with the help of our Adobe plugin. This means you can streamline your workflows and further enhance your digital asset management processes.

Although InDesign (as well as all other Adobe apps) used to be available for a one-off fee, you now need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription at a cost of £30.34/mo. Before committing to this cost, you might like to compare InDesign with some other options, depending on your needs.

The great news is, other competitive alternatives do exist. We've compiled a list of them for you right here.

QuarkXPress


Quark-xpress

QuarkXpress was the industry standard for years before Adobe InDesign claimed top spot, but it's still worth considering if you're looking for a robust - but cheaper - alternative.

"Award-winning multi-channel digital platform to help you create, publish, and distribute professional grade designs to websites, social media, mobile apps, and more."

Advantages

  • One-time license payment
  • Feature-rich, including support for all PDF accessibility standards, responsive web design with Flex Layouts (a first in digital publishing), and enhanced control over formatting tables.
  • Great functions for page builder
  • Exceptional tools

Disadvantages

  • Upgrades are costly--although you don't have to upgrade to the latest version
  • Occasional bugs and crashes have been reported
  • Lacks intuitive UX
  • Limited layering modes

Pricing model

Can be bought under a 1, 2 or 3-year licencing model starting at $39.

Affinity Publisher 1.8


Affinity-publisher

"Affinity Publisher is the next generation of professional publishing software. From books, magazines and marketing materials, to social media templates, website mock-ups and more, this incredibly smooth, intuitive app gives you the power to combine your images, graphics and text to make beautiful layouts ready for publication."

Advantages

  • Low cost, one-off purchase
  • Suitable for non-professional users and in-house marketers
  • Offers interactive PDF designs
  • Robust, all-round software for all your creative needs
  • Can be used on iPad
  • Very similar features to Adobe's InDesign

Disadvantages

  • App-specific terminology
  • Tricky data merge
  • Imported Word files may have character issues
  • Limited tutorial material available online (but steadily growing)
  • Inability to export IDML or IDNN files

Pricing model

One-time fee of $49.99.

LucidPress


Lucidpress

"Make stunning posters, pamphlets, brochures, and other creations with Lucidpress's free desktop publishing software. It's available online, so you can access it from your desktop or tablet device."

Advantages

  • Affordable solution with a Freemium option to get users started
  • Web-based drag and drop tool
  • Integrates with other popular tools for easy import of existing content
  • Great for beginners
  • Can be used on any computer with a web browser
  • Supports video, image, and text formats
  • Basic and Pro plans available to help you scale

Disadvantages

  • Simplistic tool with minimal features
  • 25MB storage limit on free version
  • No document embedding and PDF printing on Free version

Pricing model

$10.00/mo to upgrade from Free version.

VivaDesigner

A significantly cheaper alternative to InDesign, VivaDesigner is particularly suited to existing ResourceSpace users.

Developers Viva created a ResourceSpace integration that comes as standard, making it easy to edit digital assets and upload them to your DAM on the fly.

"VivaDesigner is the first typesetting and layout program in the world for both desktop and Web. This economically priced high end DTP program is extremely powerful and still very easy to use. With its innovative concepts, you can decisively improve your working processes and document management."

Advantages

  • Good layout
  • Available in free and licensed packages
  • Neutral interface for web and desktop
  • Change tracking for transparent collaboration
  • Good customer support

Disadvantages

  • A little complex for standard users according to some reviewers

Pricing model

Demo and Free Edition available. After that, a one-off fee of £99. Upgrades available at additional cost.

Swift Publisher


Swift-publisher

"Swift Publisher is a super-intuitive, all-purpose page layout and desktop publishing app for Mac."

Advantages

  • Very low-cost solution
  • Easy-to-use templates
  • Lightweight page layout app for simple tasks

Disadvantages

  • Mac only
  • Not suitable for mid to high-end professional projects

Pricing model

Free trial available, $19.99 for a single user license. Upgrades and Extras available at additional cost.

The creative suite you choose will depend on your long term objectives. If you're consistently producing large volumes of content, you'll need to ensure that your branding is created and managed to the highest standards. This often relies on a streamlined relationship between your design tools and Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

Regardless of which desktop publishing platform you decide is best for your organisation, consider trying out ResourceSpace to help you store, manage and share InDesign projects and completed assets with your company's stakeholders.

For your free download, click here.