Adobe raised the price of its InDesign suite in countries including the UK, Brazil, and Sweden to reflect changes in foreign exchange rates. That is bad news for photographers, filmmakers and artists. For the cash-strapped creatives, there are some brilliant free alternatives to InDesigns key apps – some are so similar to their Adobe counterparts there’s virtually no learning curve.
These free programs cannot replace the premium software for professional creatives, but for hobbyists, they are ideal. You can use them together with a cloud storage service like DropBox and OneDrive. You will have access to your creations wherever you need it.
InDesign Key Features
InDesign is still great software for creating PDF’s and different types of content for webpages and print purposes.
You might need to search for software alternatives that can export designs and layout to more modern digital frameworks like QuarkXPress and its feature to export content to HTML 5 or Scribus and its support for making interactive PDF forms.
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Best Adobe InDesign Alternatives (2020)
1. Scribus – InDesign Alternative
Scribus is one of the best alternatives to Adobe InDesign. It is a desktop publishing application (DTP). Scribus is designed as a flexible layout and typesetting, the ability of Scribus to produce file formats for professional quality image setting equipment. By using Scribus, you can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. It is sturdy and contains in-depth features.
You can also make professional documents with the help of Scribus. Usability is a mixed thing, get ready to meet plenty of quirks and learn some hacks which really shouldn’t be necessary. Without going through any hassle of contracting someone for 10 minutes of work, you can use Scribus to edit your files.
In most cases, people don’t use InDesign because it is too much expensive. So, such people are recommended to use Scribus for their small tasks. However, InDesign has more features than Scribus, but still, it is a good alternative for those users who cannot afford InDesign.
- It is free and open-source.
- Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD e.t.c.
- You can use it for Desktop Publishing, Color management, Convert images to PDF and interactive PDF forms.
2. Canva- InDesign Alternative
Canva provides you with all those things that are needed to turn ideas into stunning and fabulous designs. You can use Canva to create designs for your website, or you can print blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, Flyers, Poster, Invitations and much more.
It also allows you to work fast, in your browser with professional skills. Canva has an easy to use interface, a lot of free photos, templates and fonts that help you to create an excellent design.
Canva is undoubtedly not an advanced design software, but for a home user on small-medium projects, it is an excellent alternative to Adobe InDesign.
No doubt, Canva is a great tool, but it is excellent only for making a single social media post or blog graphics. However, it is not an industry-standard design software competitor.
- Canva is Freemium.
- It is available for Web, iPhone, iPad only.
- It contains simple functions like you can create a design only by drag and drop.
- You can also export your design as a PNG.
3. Affinity Publisher – InDesign Alternative
Affinity Publisher is a publishing program that lets its users create a single or multi-page document. Publishing programs are suitable for creating layout-based media, which combines typography, graphics, and photos, such as magazines, brochures, flyers and books.
Affinity Publisher is ultra-fast with stunning power and completely stripped of bloat. Despite all of the features and excellent StudioLink integration, many professionals will never use Affinity Publisher and never could. That is because Affinity Publisher does not support INDD Files (InDesign Documents).
- Affinity Publishers is available for Windows 10 and Mac.
- It is faster, more intuitive and cheaper as well.
- You can use Affinity Publisher for Desktop Publishing, Print Brochure, e.t.c
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4. QuarkXPress – InDesign Alternative
QuarkXPress is a well-known desktop publishing software that is used for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) environment.
QuarkXPress or Quark is hugely popular with desktop publishers, having around 95% of the market share. Unfortunately, they lost many users when an upgrade did not support the Mac OSX operating system.
Users consider that QuarkXPress is two generations ahead then InDesign and it is available as a permanent purchase with no subscription. It converts all types of PDF files to native objects and outputs HTML 5 and iOS apps. In addition to this, you can also get industry-standard PDF format from QuarkXPress.
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- QuarkXPress is compatible with Windows and Mac devices.
- QuarkXPress is available in cheap rates that are easily affordable.
- By using QuarkXPress, you can export your document to HTML.
- You will be provided with aa built-in image editor, built-in PDF converter, Color Fonts Support, and much more.
5. Lucidpress – InDesign Alternative
Lucidpress is a web-based desktop publishing software application that is developed by Lucid Software. It is used to make brochures, flyers, newsletters and business graphics, e.t.c.
Lucidpress offers a free option along with three paid plans: Basic ($9.95/user/month), Pro ($19.95/user/month), and Team (starts at $42/month for 3 users).
- Lucidpress is freemium.
- Lucidpress also offers you with some advanced features like Cloud Sync, Google Drive Integration, Online Sharing, and export to PDF e.t.c.
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Q1. What can InDesign do?
InDesign is a desktop publishing software application that is mainly used for creating flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, and books. Projects created using InDesign can be shared in both digital and print file formats.
Q2. Is there a free version of InDesign?
No, free version of InDesign is not available. Yet you can use the alternatives to Adobe InDesign mentioned above.
Q3. Is InDesign difficult to learn?
For print designs, Adobe InDesign is hands down the leading software that is currently available on the internet. And, besides the “fearful reputation” that surrounds Adobe products, the reality is that it is actually not all that difficult to learn.
Q4. Which is better? InDesign or Illustrator?
When it comes to single page documents, especially print projects, Illustrator has the edge. Business cards and posters are ideal for illustrator because it manipulates image and text size
Q4. Is there a way to get Adobe InDesign for free?
Basically, yes. InDesign is a paid-for tool, but you can try it for free on both Windows and Mac. Then you’ll have access to all the latest updates to the page layout tool for the next seven days