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What is the Best Desktop Publishing Software?

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Question: What is the Best Desktop Publishing Software?
There is no single best desktop publishing software program. There are, however, specific programs that are better suited for certain tasks than others. But if you insist, I'll drop a few names down below.
Answer: Few desktop publishers rely on a single program to do it all. You'll also want to look at the variety of tools that are all part of desktop publishing. This list of the four types of software used in desktop publishing describes the kinds of software, with examples.

But, if you still just want a quick list of the best desktop publishing software in a few different categories:

  • Top Desktop Publishing Software for Professional Use: Windows | Mac
    If I had to choose just one I'd go with Adobe InDesign.

  • Best Free Desktop Publishing Software for General Use: Windows | Mac
    The top of the freebies is Scribus unless your needs are very basic then Windows users might want to go with Serif PagePlus Starter Edition.

  • Best Desktop Publishing / Print Creativity Software for scrapbooks, calendars, iron-on transfers.
    PrintMaster used to be a top choice but I can't recommend the 2.0/2011/2012 editions. Serif PagePlus and Microsoft Publisher are good all-around choices with Xara Software being very popular as well. And don't overlook titles from Nova Development such as Print Artist, a former top choice that could benefit from Broderbund's missteps with PrintMaster and The Print Shop.

  • Best Graphics Software for use in desktop publishing.
    If you can't afford Photoshop then the top contenders are Photoshop Elements, the GIMP (free!), and Inkscape (free, and good for page layout too.)
Our readers aren't shy about proclaiming the BEST desktop publishing software. See what they choose.

How Will You Use Your Software?

Before you start comparing products to each other, analyze how you plan to use your desktop publishing software. Your planned use and your current desktop publishing and design knowledge can help you find the software with just the right combination of features. The best desktop publishing software program is the one (or more) that does what you want and need it to do.

Get More Advice and Recommendations on Choosing and Using Desktop Publishing Software and the Best Design Software for print or Web use.

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