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Desktop Publishing Software A-Z

The Really Big List of Desktop Publishing Software

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InDesign, Publisher, QuarkXPress, and PagePlus may get the most attention but there are hundreds of programs used in desktop publishing. This list focuses on the programs that best fit the page layout category for professional, business, and consumer use along with desktop publishing programs designed for producing specific documents such as business cards or calendars. Some are generally classified as office suites or graphics software but they are all used for a variety of page layout tasks by professional graphic designers, businesses, and consumers. Software is listed alphabetically by publisher. 

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Design Standard CS6 Logo
© Adobe

With the release of Adobe Creative Suite 6 in 2012 there are currently four versions of Creative Suite plus the Creative Cloud. Most of the individual components of the suite are also available as standalone products so you can build your own custom collection. The Design Standard Edition of CS6 contains 4 core programs (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat) while the Master Collection contains over 10 programs (plus additional apps and services) including Flash and Dreamweaver. Here's a suite comparison chart showing what comes in each edition.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and 6 for Mac and Windows

CS5.5 Suites:
Compare Prices Design Standard (Mac | PC
Compare Prices Design Premium Mac | PC
Compare Prices Web Premium Mac | PC
Compare Prices Print Production Premium Mac | PC
Compare Prices Master Collection Mac | PC

CS6 Suites:
Compare Prices Design Standard Mac | PC
Compare Prices Design & Web Premium Mac | PC
Compare Prices Production Premium Mac | PC
Compare Prices Master Collection Mac | PC
Learn more about and sign up for the Creative Cloud

CS6, What's in the Box: Adobe Creative Suite 6

Adobe FrameMaker

FrameMaker 10
FrameMaker 10 image courtesy of PriceGrabber

Adobe FrameMaker is powerhouse desktop publishing/XML Editing software for corporations and others producing technical writing or complex documents for Web, print, and other distribution methods.

FrameMaker 10 for Mac and Windows. FrameMaker 10 is also a part of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3.5.

Compare Prices Adobe FrameMaker Full/Upgrade/All Versions

Compare Prices Adobe Technical Communication Suite Full/Upgrade/All Versions

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator CS6 image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Adobe Illustrator CS6 image courtesy of PriceGrabber

Illustrator is graphics software for vector drawing. Illustrator can also be used for some page layout tasks including business cards and ads. It is available as part of some of the Adobe Creative Suites or as a standalone application. 

Illustrator CS6 for Mac and Windows. Illustrator CS5 (compare prices) is part of the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and Master Collection editions of Adobe Creative Suite 5 and part of all the CS6 suites.

Compare Prices Illustrator CS6 Mac | PC

Also see: More Vector Illustration Software for Mac and Vector Illustration Software for Windows

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign CS6 image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Adobe InDesign CS6 image courtesy of PriceGrabber

InDesign is the successor to PageMaker, the original desktop publishing software program. It is a page layout software program available as a standalone package or in some of the editions of the Adobe Creative Suite. Have you used or do you currently use Adobe InDesign? Write a review.

InDesign CS6 for Mac and Windows. It is part of all but the Production Premium suites of the Adobe Creative Suite 6.

Compare Prices InDesign CS6 Mac
Compare Prices InDesign CS6 PC

Adobe PageMaker

Adobe PageMaker 7 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.
Adobe PageMaker 7 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.

Adobe PageMaker 7 is a professional-level page layout application marketed as a small business/enterprise publishing solution. No longer in development, it is still a popular choice and PageMaker is the original desktop publishing software application. Have you used any version of PageMaker? Write a review.

PageMaker 7.0 for Mac and Windows.

Compare Prices PageMaker 7 Full/Upgrades/All Versions

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended image courtesy of PriceGrabber

The most widely-used professional image editing program has a hefty price tag but it's packed with features. Photoshop is almost a prerequisite for most professional design employment. Photoshop comes in Standard and Extended editions with the Extended version adding 3D and motion-based features. Photoshop is available as a standalone product and comes in all editions of the Adobe Creative Suite. Except for Design Standard, the CS5 & CS6 suites contain Photoshop Extended.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Windows and Mac

Compare Prices Photoshop CS6 Standard/Extended/Student/All Versions

Similar to but less expensive is Photoshop Elements.

Also see: More Photo Editors for Windows and Photo Editors for Mac

Alchemy Mindworks: Calendar Wizard

Calendar Wizard Screenshots from Alchemy Mindworks
Calendar Wizard Screenshots from Alchemy Mindworks

Create basic personalized calendars. Import your own images. Add dates. Create calendars for any year from 1583 to the present with this simple shareware program. 

 Calendar Wizard for Windows

Alchemy Mindworks has other desktop publishing and graphics software related titles as well including Graphic Workshop Professional, e-Paint, Font Wrangler.

AMS Software: Greeting Card Studio

Greeting Card Studio screen shot from AMS Software
Greeting Card Studio screen shot from AMS Software

This applications lets you put your personal photos into designer templates. You can also add backgrounds and other graphics to the mix.  Write a review of greeting card software.

 Greeting Card Studio for Windows

AMS Software: Photo Calendar Maker

Photo Calendar Maker screen shot from AMS Software
Photo Calendar Maker screen shot from AMS Software

This program from AMS Software lets you create monthly or yearly calendars in several formats and sizes. Add holidays, create a photo collage.

Photo Calendar Maker for Windows

AMS Software: Photo Collage Creator

Photo Collage Creator screen shot from AMS Software
Photo Collage Creator screen shot from AMS Software

AMS Software calls it "advanced digital scrapbooking and photo collage software that turns ordinary digital pictures and text into personalized works of art." There are templates, a wizard to arrange things which can fine-tune as you desire, special effects you can apply to your photos. They also offer the less advanced Photo Collage Maker.

Photo Collage Creator for Windows

Related Video
Basic Drawing in Illustrator

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