4 Layout and Desktop Publishing Softwares You Should Know

4 Layout and Desktop Publishing Softwares You Should Know

by Mohd Shahrukh August 16, 2021

Desktop publishing software (or DTP) is a tool used for creating business cards, menus and brochures, and even complex editorial projects like books, magazines, catalogues. The primary function of a DTP is the layout of texts, images and graphics to create the desired document.

Yielded in the 1980s to create print and PDF publications, desktop publishing software is also used to create electronic media, such as e-books.

Many software are available, and here is a non-exhaustive list of the most popular DTP software:

1. InDesign

For decades, InDesign has been the gold standard for print professionals – if you’re in the media or publishing industry, you’ve got to know Adobe InDesign CC. This is the industry standard – whether you are laying out a magazine or book, designing a brochure or creating a poster, it is suitable for any design that combines images and text.

In recent years, Adobe has added many useful features to it, making it an ideal choice for e-zines, e-books, and just about anything with an “e” prefix.

Integrated with Creative Cloud, you can easily integrate Adobe fonts, Adobe Stock images, and work created in other Adobe applications, such as Illustrator or Photoshop.

The only big downside to InDesign is the need to pay a monthly subscription, either for the app alone or as part of a Creative Cloud membership. Suppose your business pays for it, no problem, of course. But if you have to pay out of pocket, you should read on.


2. DesignCap

DesignCap is an easy-to-use DTP tool right in your browser. It offers many resources, allowing you to create professional-looking images or graphics like infographics, reports, business cards, social media illustrations, etc.

It has thousands of templates for different themes and provides you with countless quality stock images and icons. You can, of course, upload your photos and import data from a spreadsheet. The layout can be easily customized with different elements like text, module, background etc.


3. Affinity Publisher

The Affinity line offers a low-cost (and no-subscription) alternative to Adobe tools while taking most of their functionality and including some of their tools.

Affinity Publisher is, therefore, a direct competitor of Adobe InDesign. Launched in 2019, the tool doesn’t quite live up to InDesign in terms of full functionality: not yet say.

If the differences are small enough, and you haven’t spent your life in InDesign, they probably won’t matter to you. The bottom line is that Affinity Publisher allows you to work with Adobe file types, including importing documents created in InDesign.

It works on Mac and Windows, and the interoperability between the three Affinity apps also helps streamline workflow.

If there is (not yet) an iPad version, you can open, edit, and export Publisher documents in the iPad version of the other two Affinity apps available.

All in all, Affinity Publisher is worth a try, especially with the generous 90-day free trial period on offer. And given its low price, it might well be worth it – many designers say they find it faster and more efficient for specific tasks.


4. QuarkXpress

Better known to users as Quark, it was the market leader in desktop publishing software in the 1990s. Until Adobe launched InDesign (for about half the price), and publishers have chosen their wallets.

However, Quark is still used by many companies, and now that InDesign is only available by subscription, it may well find a new lease of life.

Quark remains a high-end, high-performance software, whether you create print media, digital publications, or a little of both. And yes, it can import InDesign files. Available for PC or Mac, it continues to be updated every year.

But why choose it over other desktop publishing software? First of all, there is no subscription, so if you prefer to buy something all at once, this is a good option, although it is not cheap.

In addition, to being suitable for print and digital publications, it is now able to design functional web pages and even iOS applications!


And you, what desktop publishing software do you use?

Do you prefer to entrust the layout of your communication media to a professional? Contact my team of professional graphic designers at ufound!

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