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Top Desktop Publishing Software for Windows

Industry-Standard and Most Used Professional Page Layout Software


These are the top desktop publishing software programs for Windows users that define desktop publishing. Ease of use, time-saving features, or industry-wide acceptance are some of the key attributes, although not every desktop publishing software program has them all to the same degree. These programs are the major players in desktop publishing and graphic design for in-house, small business, and freelance designers.

Adobe InDesign

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

It's getting better with every release for both Mac and Windows users. Many readers of this site feel that InDesign is the clear leader of the pack and that it may have reached the "Quark Killer" status envisioned when first released.

InDesign is the successor to PageMaker, theoriginal desktop publishing softwareprogram. It is apage layout softwareprogram 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 CS3 came out in mid-2007 with a minor 3.5 upgrade in 2008. InDesign CS4 became available in October 2008. CS5 followed but in 2012 Adobe released CS6)

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


QuarkXPress 8 Image courtesy of PriceGrabber
QuarkXPress 8 Image courtesy of PriceGrabber

In the late 80s and 90s Quark usurped the desktop publishing community's first love, PageMaker, with QuarkXPress. Once the undisputed king of desktop publishing software applications for both Mac and Windows users, Quark's premiere product - QuarkXPress - is still a powerhouse publishing platform.QuarkXPress 8was released in August 2008 and 9 followed in 2011.

QuarkXPress 9 for Windows and Mac.

Serif PagePlus

2010 Winner: Serif PagePlus
About.com / Serif, Inc.

Aimed at both novice and professional users, Serif PagePlus combines ease-of-use and professional output options, including PDF, with word processing, drawing, and advanced layout and typesetting. It's a strong competitor for Windows users wishing to step away from Microsoft Publisher and since PagePlus X3 in 2008, it's been on a par with industry leaders Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress.

It is the page layout application that readers chose as the best for graphic design, business use, and personal projects in the2010 About.com Reader's Choice Awards. There's a free edition that you can download to see how you like it or buy Version 9 at a greatly reducted price, either one is great for very basic needs but for professional use you'll want to step up to the newer versions.

Serif PagePlus X6 for Windows

Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe FrameMaker 9 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.
Adobe FrameMaker 9 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.

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. Perhaps overkill for individuals and small businesses, but for in-house, big business publishing it's a top choice.

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

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Office 2010 Screenshot by J. Bear
Microsoft Office 2010 Screenshot by J. Bear

The primary desktop publishing application in the Office suite is Publisher. It is popular with individuals, small businesses, and schools.

Publisher 2010 for Windows. It is available in the Professional Plus, Professional, and Standard editions of Office 2010 as well as standalone.

New Features in Publisher 2010(About.com Desktop Publishing)

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