Top Free Desktop Publishing Software

Check out our list of free Desktop Publishing Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Desktop Publishing Software to ensure you get the right product.

Results: 10
(2,732)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:0 Forever!

Canva empowers users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop user interface and a vast library of templates and design ingredients such as fonts, illustrations, stock photography, video and audio content, and the power to include content from the web such as Giphy and Google Maps, anyone can take an idea and create something beautiful. Canva is available on the web, iOS and Android. Learn more about your secret design we

JAGDEEP S.
JS
It is a really pretty user friendly and provides a huge amount of options to make beautiful graphics for social media. You ought not essentially to... Read review
VR
Everything is extremely simple and understandable, I quickly figured it out. I love services where, even without designing skills, you can create... Read review
(246)3.9 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$395 1 User

QuarkXPress 2020 is a leading Digital Publishing platform. Designers, artists, and even novices use QuarkXPress 2020 to create and publish rich, compelling materials for print, the Web, e-readers, tablets, and other digital media. With QuarkXPress 2020, you can focus on what you love the most. Walking into the Digital.

Kelley K.
KK
I like that I can do weekly newsletter with ease because of text styles. It is possible to put text on curves. I love that I can edit images ... Read review
Fatih E.
FE
Ease of use considering the tools and it is fast even on an older computer. Read review
(186)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:Free Single user

Lucidpress is a design & brand templating platform that empowers non-designers in your company to create and distribute marketing collateral all on their own (without going off brand). Lockable templates protect your brand while allowing colleagues to make small design tweaks and customizations, easing the workload off your creative team. Say goodbye to rogue branding forever with Lucidpress --the brand templating platform trusted by over 8 million users worldwide.

Yonggi Gray A.
YA
The guideline is easy to understand. And I really like their templates. Read review
Jennifer T.
JT
Lucidpress is such a valuable tool for my business! I have used Canva, Microsoft Publisher... and attempted to use Adobe InDesign, but Lucidpress... Read review
(485)4.5 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:20+ Licenses Contact Sales

PDFelement is the easiest way to create, edit, convert and sign PDF documents on Windows and Mac. This leading alternative to Adobe® Acrobat® offers enterprise-grade PDF functionalities and perpetual licensing at a fraction of the price.   Sold globally in 9 different languages, PDFelement is the all-in-one PDF solution for users of all types, and the only complete PDF solution next to Adobe® Acrobat® available on Windows, Mac, iOS, & Android.

Genesis B.
GB
The PDFelement editor is simple and easy to use for anyone, even without computer skills. It's great for adding comments or highlighting PDF files,... Read review
Julie M.
JM
Higher value when compared with other platforms. Easy to use in conjunction with traditional forms of films and blogs that the business sends. I... Read review
(223)4.4 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$1,799 USD

Designed for advanced topic-based authoring, single-source publishing and content management (CMS), MadCap Flare is more than a help authoring tool. Create self-service support and online Help sites, documentation portals, learning centers, training guides, knowledge bases, policy & procedure manuals, and more – all while maximizing content reuse and leveraging multi-channel publishing capabilities.

Jen W.
JW
My Favorite Things: Starter templates that get you going from the moment you begin a new project The execution of reusable elements such as... Read review
IC
The versatility of the tool is great. You can publish the same content in multiple ways without having to do much work if you set it up correctly. Read review
(82)4.5 out of 5

Crello is an online tool for easily creating videos and graphic designs, for social media, print, or any other web-based graphics by using a huge collection of already designed templates and video/photo content. Start with one of 25,000 pre-loaded modern templates, add your texts, images, and brand elements. Upload your own photos, videos or use free stock images, backgrounds, and clipart. With Crello anyone can become a creator with no special training.

Agapi M.
AM
It is very easy to use and the animations work seamlessly. A source of inspiration even on the free version- plus pricing is excellent value for... Read review
FM
I like the wide variety of dimensions that Crello has to create my designs, for example for social networks, logos, banners, business cards,... Read review
(59)4.6 out of 5

Tell your story & present your data with beautiful infographics. Venngage empowers you to easily create infographics, presentations, social media posts and other visual designs with thousands of customizable templates, charts, icons and design elements. With a few clicks, anyone can create beautiful visuals for their business, organization or school. Venngage's mission is to make design accessible and to change the way the world communicates. We cater specifically to your unique design ne

Chike I.
CI
Venngage allows us to access tons of templates that allow us to design flyers for events, put presentations together within a few hours. Read review
Misti A.
MA
Vennage is very easy to use and has so many available options to spruce up your data visualizations in a beautiful way. I tested out multiple... Read review
(15)4.3 out of 5

iStudio Publisher is a powerful and intuitive page layout application for desktop publishing on Mac computers. It's ideal for designing a wide range of document types, including newsletters, brochures, adverts, flyers, booklets, invitations, menus, reports, posters, greetings cards, and yearbooks. Start with a professionally designed template or blank document of any size and produce beautiful, professional quality documents with ease. Export finished documents as PDF files or print them out. P

UA
Ease of use and user interface. Full-featured and very cost effective Read review
UH
Without great computer knowledge this program is so easy to use and has been a great asset to our business. Read review
(13)4.2 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$800 10 user - lifetime

Kotobee Author is a comprehensive ebook creator and EPUB editor, suitable for education, training, and publishing. Kotobee Author is a winner of the Academics' Choice 2016 Smart Media Award. With Kotobee Author, you may easily create interactive ebooks rich with video, audio, 3D, book widgets, questions, and more. Customize the look and feel of your ebook apps, and emulate the result on different platforms and devices. Export your ebook to many different formats, such as web apps, desktop app

Matt D.
MD
Kotobee is always releasing new and highly useful functionality. Every time we see an update, it seems to include something great that we hadn’t... Read review
AE
User-friendly authoring tools for multimedia material building. Read review
(2)4.8 out of 5

Publitas helps you inspire shoppers by publishing catalogs online. Shoppers can browse your catalogs from any device and purchase the products they like. Over 1500 leading retailers such as IKEA, Aldi, Carrefour and Staples publish their catalogs online with Publitas.

Eric B.
EB
la simplicité d'utilisation du back office, la possibilité de recharger un nouveau pdf sans changer l'adresse url et le graphisme final des books Read review
Rob V.
RV
Everything is made with the user in mind. It's easy to use and simple to understand what each function or button does. Even hotkeys from your... Read review

Top 10 Free Desktop Publishing Software in 2021

  • Canva for Enterprise
  • QuarkXPress
  • Lucidpress
  • PDFelement
  • MadCap Flare

Learn More About Desktop Publishing Software

What is Desktop Publishing Software?

Desktop publishing tools allow users to create and publish page designs and printable materials in a polished, professional style. Digital creations comprise text and graphics and can be made for print and online viewing. Additionally, materials can be exported in a variety of different formats. Desktop publishing tools often come with premade templates that require little to no editing, so the software is ideal for inexperienced users. For expert designers and experienced users, the tool also comes with many editing and design features that facilitate the creation of custom layouts for specific use cases.

Key Benefits of Desktop Publishing Software

  • Provides prebuilt templates for page designs
  • Lets users edit and design page layouts
  • Allows users to export and share high-quality designs in a variety of formats

Why Use Desktop Publishing Software?

Desktop publishing software is ideal for all types of businesses that create and publish distributed content, whether it’s internal or consumer-facing.

Flyers — Flyers are typically created for advertising purposes. They are one-page handouts that are often colorful and designed to be eye-catching. Marketing and advertising teams can use desktop publishing software to design flyers for distribution.

Newsletters — Newsletters are bulletin-style prints that are created to showcase news, events, and other notable activities related to the distributor. Desktop publishing software makes it easy for businesses to create memorable newsletters for internal or client-facing updates.

Articles — Articles typically have specific layouts that include columns and unique line spacing. Desktop publishing software often comes with prebuilt article templates to make creating these specific layouts easier for businesses.

Posters — Desktop publishing software also includes ways to create engaging posters for larger designs. Despite the size, desktop publishing tools ensure image quality is retained throughout the printing process.

Who Uses Desktop Publishing Software?

The approachable design features of desktop publishing software makes it easy for any business to implement without much training beyond the commonly included platform tutorials. Writers, designers, and marketers commonly use desktop publishing software for creating and distributing published materials.

Writers— Newsletters, articles, blogs, and other published content can be easily created using desktop publishing software. Writers and editors can write within the platform and design the layout using prebuilt templates or their own design.

Designers — Designers can use desktop publishing software to create and edit new and existing page layouts for businesses. For example, a business may request a custom newsletter template for internal distribution. Designers can create a template for businesses and export it into an editable format for that business. Additionally, designers can also design article templates for writers and editors.

Marketers — Marketers typically benefit from the poster and flyer design capabilities of desktop publishing software. This tool comes with templates and stock image repositories for efficient material creation.

Desktop Publishing Software Features

Desktop publishing tools come with a wide variety of design-focused features that are straightforward and easy to use. Additionally, these tools also offer supplementary features that help users share and export their designed materials.

Layout editor — The overall layout editor encompasses a variety of design capabilities, including editing images, text, borders, and more.

Prebuilt templates — Prebuilt templates come with fully formed material designs and are organized by material type. Prebuilt newsletters, articles, and other types of materials can be chosen and edited further by the user.

Publishing formats — Created designs can be easily exported and shared within the desktop publishing platform. In addition to the digital exporting features, designs can also be optimized for printing. Print optimization takes size into account to ensure the designs retain their quality during the printing process.

Layout adaptation — Layout adaptation automatically formats images and content to fit perfectly into blank areas of available space. For example, a column within a newsletter that has an area suited for an image will automatically scale the image to fit the area, so the user does not have to spend time resizing the image.

Saved preferences — For designers who often work with a specific layout, desktop publishing software can save specific preferences, such as the template and export type, automatically. This lets the designer create and distribute the layout multiple times without starting from scratch.

Potential Issues with Desktop Publishing Software

Printing issues — Digital materials have more robust color availability compared to printed materials. Most ink printers are only capable of using the RGB color mode (red, green, and blue). In some cases, ink colors can be expanded, but it still would not compare to the vast color schemes available digitally. Laser printers can be used in place of ink printers to print particularly colorful materials, but they are often expensive.