InDesign and QuarkXPress may get the most attention from Mac designers but there are hundreds of programs used in desktop publishing. This list focuses on the Mac programs that best fit the page layout category for professional, business, and consumer use as well as specialty programs for business cards, greeting cards, and more. 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. Although in the past Windows had a lot more of the less expensive consumer and small business programs, there's a surprising array of Mac also and Mac only apps out there now.
With the release of Adobe Creative Suite 5 in 2010 there are currently five versions of Creative Suite. Some are geared more toward print design while others focus on Web design or interactive media. 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 CS5 contains 4 core programs (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat) while the Master Collection contains 15 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 6 for Mac and Windows (Buy CS6)
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 9 for Mac and Windows. FrameMaker 9 is a part of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.5.
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 CS5 for Mac and Windows. It is part of the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and Master Collection editions of Adobe Creative Suite 5.
- Illustrator CS5 Win (Buy Direct)
- Illustrator CS5 Mac (Buy Direct)
- Illustrator Full/Upgrade/All Versions (Compare Prices)
Also see: More Vector Illustration Software for Mac
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 CS5 for Mac and Windows. It is part of the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and Master Collection editions of Adobe Creative Suite 5.
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
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 suites contain Photoshop Extended.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Windows and Mac
- Photoshop CS5 Standard (Compare Prices) Full (Buy Direct) | Upgrade (Buy Direct)
- Photoshop CS5 Extended (Compare Prices) Full (Buy Direct) | Upgrade (Buy Direct)
- Various editions of Adobe Photoshop (Compare Prices)
- See the Adobe Education Store (Buy Direct) for Student editions of Photoshop.
Similar to but less expensive is Photoshop Elements
Also see: More Photo Editors for Mac
Pages, the word processing component of the Apple iWork office suite, combines both word processing documents and page layout (including some graphics tools) in one program -- with different templates and windows depending on the type of document. It can also handle Microsoft Word files. iWork '09 was the 2010 About.com Reader's Choice Award Winner for Mac Office Suites and Pages '09 was first runner-up for Mac word processing. Do you use iWork? Write a review.
Pages '09 for Mac
- Apple iWork (Compare Prices)
Print Creations software contains multiple templates including a calendar design element with several layouts, photo editing tools, and print wizard. The software is a free download and then you purchase an activation code for each type of template you want to use. There are several monthly and yearly calendar formats. Other templates in the desktop software include greeting cards, scrapbook, and brochures.
Print Creations version 3.0 for Mac and Windows
- Print Creations (Calendar Page)
Design a photo calendar or several kinds of greeting cards. Add photos, personalized text, and mark special days on the calendar. There's a trial version too.
Print Creations - Cards & Calendars Bundle for Mac and Windows
From ArcSoft, Print Creations software contains multiple templates including a greeting card and a slimline card design element with several layouts, photo editing tools, and print wizard. The software is a free download and then you purchase an activation code for each type of template you want to use. Cards include holidays and occasions. Other templates are for calendars, scrapbooks, brochures, etc. Write a review of greeting card software.
Print Creations version 3.0 for Mac and Windows