10 Best InDesign Alternatives for Mac You Should Try

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Indesign Alternative

When it comes to creating print media, posters, and publications, one can only think of Adobe InDesign.

It is a well-known typesetting and desktop publishing software for all, including production artists and professional graphic designers. This tool helps you a lot if you are running image-related ventures.

Adobe InDesign enables users to create works like posters, flyers, newspapers, presentations, brochures, magazines, books, and other things.

However, if you are looking for the best InDesign alternative, we have got your back. In this article, you will get to know about the top free InDesign alternatives along with their detailed description, including pros and cons.

So, let’s get started with our list of the ten best InDesign alternatives for Windows & Mac!

PS: If you would like to know how to insert images in InDesign and resize an image in InDesign, this is just for you.

Top 10 InDesign Alternatives for Windows & Mac

Some of the best InDesign alternatives for Mac are listed as follows!

1. Scribus


Scribus is a publishing application for desktops. It is designed especially for producing flexible layouts to prepare files. This tool allows users to create interactive PDFs and animations. All of these striking features make Scribus an InDesign alternative for Mac.

Scribus features an easy-to-use interface. It has impressive features like bitmap formats, flexible page templates, ICC color management, PDF creation, spot colors, and CMYK colors. This tool even supports markup languages like Lilypond and Latex.


  • Available for free
  • Supports bitmap formats
  • User-friendly interface


  • No support for INDD files and Pantone colors
  • No print feature
  • Needs scripts for performing several functions

Compatibility: Linux, Mac, and Windows

2. PDFelement


PDFelement is the best InDesign alternative for Mac. This converter tool was designed specially to deliver a premium PDF experience. It even works perfectly with macOS 13 version. What makes PDFelement incredible is its superb features.

This PDF Page Remover tool’s amazing features help users produce professional PDF files. Some of its features include the OCR functions and various editing tools. It can even convert, extract, protect, and share files.


  • User-friendly and simple interface
  • Improved OCR experience to convert scanned PDFs to searchable and editable text
  • Product and turn PDFs into other formats
  • Annotate and edit PDFs like word processors
  • Protect PDFs with digital signatures, permissions, redaction, and passwords
  • 24/7 customer support, along with an online forum
  • It can convert PDF files and add text to PDF


  • Noted no cons so far

Compatibility: Up to macOS 13 and Windows 11

3. VivaDesigner


VivaDesigner is another powerful InDesign alternative. It comprises all the striking features that you get with InDesign. Undoubtedly, this tool is really powerful than InDesign. The best part is that VivaDesigner is so simple and easy to use.

This application offers amazing features like CMYK and master page optimization. This makes the printing and assembling of documents a lot easier. With the integrated word processor of VivaDesigner, you can edit and write articles directly.


  • Intuitive user interface
  • Enhanced collaboration among users


  • Expensive InDesign alternative

Compatibility: Mac

4. QuarkXPress


It is another great InDesign alternative. QuarkXPress is designed especially for editing and developing complex files. It even works perfectly in a WYSIWYG setting with intricate files. With this tool, you can create editable PDF files.

The most recent version of QuarkXPress allows you to publish in 36 different languages other than English. It enables users to enjoy control over shapes, text, opacity, images, and shapes.

QuarkXPress works great with a wide variety of file formats. The tool helps you in producing advertisements, magazines, brochures, catalogs, books, newspapers, mobile apps, flipbooks, etc.


  • Supports almost all devices
  • Available for use in WYSIWYG environments


  • Advanced user-interface
  • Expensive InDesign alternative

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

5. Canva


Canva is a very popular graphic design application for non-designers and beginners. This InDesign alternative comes with a user-friendly interface.

Here, users can select from a wide range of graphics, design visuals, document templates, and fonts. It enables users to produce a web-ready version of any design product.

This platform features various adders and icons. The amazing thing about this tool is that it is available for free. However, there are in-app purchases for layouts, templates, and photographs. Otherwise, this tool works fine without even paying a penny.


  • Drag-and-drop and simple interface
  • Available for free
  • Advanced features available
  • Comes with lots of features


  • The problem persists while billing

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

6. Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher comes with a revolutionized desktop publishing. This InDesign alternative comprises a lot of exciting features.

Some of these features include photo editing tools and altered graphic design. It works on both Windows and Mac systems.

With Affinity Publisher, it is really easy to update spreads, master pages, and contents. The “Sections” tab allows you to allocate material pages and control design in an intuitive way.

One can simply edit the master layer on a single page with this tool. Its editing styles are really easy to control and work similarly to MS Word.


  • Easy to navigate and intuitive interface
  • Offers various templates
  • Comprises all the InDesign functions


  • Inadequate typography tools
  • Only available for beta users

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

Also read: InDesign vs. Publisher – Which is The Best?

7. Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is a desktop publishing and plain page layout software. This InDesign alternative comes with impressive features. One can use these amazing features for creating professional documents like catalogs and brochures.

The template gallery of Swift Publisher offers more than 300 options for advertisements, flyers, restaurant menus, and catalogs. Using the section “Electronic Media,” you can even design Twitter and Facebook covers.

To manage multipage documents, you can use several options present on the window, including layout tools and a toolbar.


  • Comes with 300 templates for various desktop publishing requirements
  • Affordable tool
  • Really easy and simple to use


  • Not available for Windows
  • These are just key tools for importing and creating graphics files

Compatibility: Mac

8. PageStream


PageStream is a great desktop publishing tool. This InDesign alternative was launched initially under the tag “Publishing Partner,” which made its way into the market in 1986. PageStream works exactly like InDesign on Mac systems. Users can easily manage their work using the interesting features of this software.

The tool enables users to incorporate powerful and smooth graphics features into projects. Hence, you do not have to switch between tools to attain that illustration appeal. There are lots of tools available for promoting flexibility and speed in the design parameters.


  • Inexpensive InDesign alternative
  • Works across several operating systems
  • Easy-to-use interface


  • Bad customer support
  • No OCR feature

Compatibility: Linux, Mac, Amiga OS, and Windows

9. SpringPublisher


It is a free desktop publishing tool that helps in creating posters, brochures, flyers, books, magazines, presentations, newsletters, etc.

This InDesign alternative is really easy and simple to use, which makes it perfect for beginners. One can use this tool for creating simple designs and adding text, codes, and vector shapes.

With SpringPublisher, you can even work with layers and layouts. It even works great for editing images using a wide variety of available templates. Using its free version, you can save designs with a maximum of 180 DPI output.


  • Lots of amazing templates and layouts
  • Available for free
  • Great for beginners


  • No premium version is available

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

10. Lucidpress


Lucidpress is a tool that users use to create and design various document layouts. This web-based software is great for print. It even carries out dynamic work when it comes to working with digital formats. The incredible features of this software make it the best InDesign alternative.

Lucidpress comes with a lot of amazing features, which are really easy to manage. Using these features, users can seamlessly work without facing any issues. It works efficiently as a graphic design application. Just register on the application and start working on your documents.


  • Works perfectly with all browsers
  • No need to download any app
  • Protected with SSI through AES-25bit encryption


  • Its free version allows publishing to just three pages
  • Complex user-interface

Compatibility: Mac

Also, click to learn how to wrap text in InDesign and learn more about the architecture cover letter sample and tips.


1. Is it possible to import InDesign files into these alternatives?

The compatibility of InDesign files with alternative software varies. Some alternatives offer import options for InDesign files, but there may be limitations in terms of formatting and functionality. It’s advisable to check the documentation and features of each alternative to determine the level of compatibility.

2. Can these alternatives handle complex typography and advanced layout design?

Yes, many of these alternatives provide advanced typography options and layout control similar to InDesign. However, the specific features and capabilities may vary. It’s recommended to explore each alternative’s feature set to ensure it meets your specific requirements.

3. Are these alternatives suitable for both print and digital publishing?

Most of the mentioned alternatives are designed to handle both print and digital publishing. They offer features like PDF export, support for various file formats, and compatibility with online publishing platforms. However, it’s essential to review the capabilities of each alternative to ensure they align with your intended publishing medium.

4. Can I try these alternatives before purchasing?

Many of the mentioned alternatives offer free trials or free versions with limited features. It’s recommended to take advantage of these trial options to evaluate the software and determine if it suits your needs before making a purchase.

5. How do these alternatives compare in terms of pricing?

The pricing of these alternatives varies depending on the software and licensing model. Some alternatives offer one-time purchase options, while others follow a subscription-based model. It’s advisable to visit the official websites of each alternative to obtain accurate and up-to-date pricing information.


Here ends our list of the best ten alternatives to InDesign. All of these applications come with several pros and cons. Here, each and every application comes with its own amazing features.

If you are looking for the best alternative to InDesign, you need to consider the tools mentioned above. Check out the features, pros, and cons of every InDesign alternative before settling on a tool.

So, you can go with the desired InDesign alternative based on your needs and requirements. Choose any of the applications from the options given above and download the best InDesign alternative to get rid of the complex interface of InDesign!


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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