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Best DTP software 2019: top apps for desktop publishing

Welcome to our selection of the best DTP software in 2019. With DTP software (desktop publishing) you can quickly and easily create attractive publications such as newsletters.

The best DTP software offers more layout, graphics and font tools than standard word processing software such as Microsoft Word, so you can create a number of really eye-catching designs.

The DTP software in this list gives you options for editing and formatting text and images and gives you control over how your pages are arranged. The best DTP software also comes with a good selection of templates to help you get started and get inspired.

Moreover, with the best DTP software you can create professional-looking documents quickly and easily.

In this list we have ranked the best paid and free DTP software that you can now purchase in 2019.

Visual credit: Adobe

If you want to make serious publications and marketing material, you want the software that most professionals use: Adobe InDesign. This software is our choice for the best DTP software for professionals and is therefore a reason why so many companies use it. It is practically unrivaled when it comes to functions, and offers you all the tools you need to create traditional print media, as well as interactive digital media. If you purchase it as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud, you also get access to Adobe Stock, giving you professional stock photos to really make your publications stand out.

Scribus

Credit image: TechRadar

If you really want real desktop publishing power, then nothing can compete with Scribus, and it is our choice for the best free DTP software. It is an open source application, which means that it is completely free for everyone and you do not need a license to use it as a company. The program is packed with professional functions – CMYK and spot colors, ICC color management, direct editing of vector drawings, extensive PDF support and more – and offers everything you need to produce leaflets, brochures, newspapers, books and more.

All this power, however, takes quite some time to master, and although the developers have tried to help (and there is enough documentation to steer you in the right direction), you will have to be patient: the huge number of functions means there is still an important learning curve.

Credit balance: Quark

Although Adobe InDesign is the undisputed champion when it comes to DTP software, it has strong competition from one of the most popular alternatives: QuarkXPress. It comes with a large number of functions that compete with InDesign, and it is even compatible with InDesign files. Quark is serious about winning Adobe customers and it has resulted in an excellent, fully featured DTP application. It is especially impressive when it comes to typography, with OpenType controls, support for color fonts in SVG, SBIX and COLR format, and it will help you to make some amazing-looking publications. It is not whole as fully equipped as InDesign, but it comes very close.

Credit balance: Magix

If you are a beginner when it comes to desktop publishing, the software above may seem a little overwhelming at first. That is why Xara Page & Layout Designer 11 is our choice for the best DTP software for beginners. It does not throw a staggering amount of functions at you, and it has a simple but attractive interface that is easy to understand. Best of all, it is very affordable compared to InDesign and QuarkXPress, but that does not mean light on functions. You will even find a large number of tools to help you create professional-looking publications.

Credit image: TechRadar

Microsoft Publisher has been around for a long time and offers many people an easy way to get into desktop publishing. It is often part of Microsoft Office packages – including Microsoft's Office 365 subscription service – so if you already have a Microsoft Office package, you may see that Publisher is already installed. It can also be purchased and installed separately as Publisher 2019. The interface is familiar to anyone who has used other Microsoft Office apps such as Word and Excel, and it is easy for beginners to get a grip. There is a decent collection of templates to get started with and the results are good, but not as professional as InDesign. Yet it is a great – and affordable – DTP software package for beginners.

  • Best Microsoft Office alternatives in 2019
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