Whether you’re working on print or digital publications that involves foam board printing, reflective stickers, newsletter, flyers, and magazines, Adobe Indesign will probably be the first name that crosses your mind.
It is packed with powerful features that let you express your creativity into fine details on the design but is bound to set you back financially with its subscription fee. As such, you may want to consider some of the best free alternatives to Adobe InDesign.
Adobe Indesign At A Glance
The latest InDesign features a slew of new features on top of an intuitive user interface. Some of the key features that placed InDesign as the preferred choice of professional graphic designers are the support of endnotes, paragraph borders and the sharing of assets in the Adobe CC libraries.
InDesign leverages on Adobe Cloud and allows collaboration with Photoshop and Illustrator users to make the design process more efficient. Adobe collected the feedback from its community to constantly enhance the InDesign. Using InDesign for your project costs $19.99 per month. If you’re trying to keep expenses low, you can try getting free alternatives to Adobe InDesign.
6 Of The Best Free Alternatives To Adobe InDesign
If you’re trying to start a design with print or digital publications design but are looking for free alternatives to Adobe Indesign, here are some software that may just do the trick for you.
Scribus is arguably one of the best free alternatives to Adobe Indesign that is highly popular amongst graphic designers. It is an open-source project that was started in 2001 and has since evolved into a formidable desktop publishing application. You can install Scribus on major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
The success of Scribus is due to its team that is driven to develop the most powerful open-source publication software in the world. Its vision gained wide support from the graphic designer community and investors alike. The result is a stunning application that has been translated into 25 languages since its inception.
Scribus features a user-friendly interface backed with professional features that are mandatory in publishing software. This includes ICC color management, spot colors, CMYK colors and versatile PDF creation. The software supports major bitmap formats and boasts a wide range of page templates.
You’ll find that Scribus contains pleasant surprises with its powerful features like the rendering of color blindness, a huge range of file support and the ability to embed markup languages like Latex or Lilypond inside Scribus. If damaged files have caused you painful hours of redesign in the past, you’ll find that a damaged Scribus design file can be easily recovered with a text editor.
One of the hallmarks of Scribus is its reliability in producing PDF export that complies to industrial format for printing. In fact, it is the first desktop publishing program that supports the PDF/X-3 specification.
You’ve probably heard of Canva and wondered how it qualifies as one of the best free alternatives to Adobe Indesign. The fact is, Canva is never meant to be a conventional desktop publication software. It is, however, a useful tool for both beginners or professionals to quickly produce digital illustrations like posters, social media photos, e-book covers, and infographics.
The publishing industry has long gone digital and Canva is one of the leading solutions for graphic designers in that respect. The cloud-based graphic design tool is founded by Melanie Perkins as she realized the difficulties of some students in picking up graphic design programs.
In 2013, Canva was launch to as a tool that enables professionals and beginners across all industry to create stunning graphics without a steep learning curve. The intuitive user interface layout and the drag and drop features are what make Canva an attractive platform for the online community.
Canva has a vast collection of resources you could work with. It has galleries of ready-templates for almost any type of designs you work on. It also features a huge collection of images that are royalty-free or at a relatively low cost. The number of font types constantly increases as Canva undergone enhancement.
Canva offers subscription plans that require monthly commitment, but the free subscription offers you enough features to create stunning graphics. The fact that it’s an online tool means that you can work on your design on different machines, as long as you have an internet connection. Canva is not the best for larger projects like elevator wraps or semi truck wraps because you cannot export your files in high quality.
You can read this post to learn about tools every graphic designer need.
3. Viva Designer
Viva Designer is no pushover when it comes to alternatives for Adobe InDesign. In fact, it is a powerful layout program that gives InDesign a good run for the money. If you’re starting a publishing project that demands a superb typography tool, Viva Designer is worth your consideration.
This professional layout application is developed by Viva, a German company specializing in print publication software in the publishing industry. It is the first typesetting program that is available for both desktop and browser. While most of its plan requires payment, a desktop version is available for free.
The free version of Viva Designer is still sufficient to for basic designs despite the limitation in editing features. You’ll find that it supports popular image formats, including EPS, TIFF, JPG, BMP, and PNG. In addition, it allows access to the RGB, CMYK, HSV color model in the free version.
You may feel that the features are pretty limited compared to the paid versions. For instance, you can’t export the design to PDF format. But the free license allows you to use the software for both personal and commercial purposes. You can save full-size images for printing on foam board signs, custom packaging, and Trade Show Displays.
Viva Designer is a great fit for designs involving lengthy text. It is rich in a layout at the same time typography tools that are accessible from a user-friendly interface. The software allows you to organize the pages systematically while making allowing editing on individual pages.
LucidPress is another great, free alternative publishing tool for graphic designers. It runs from the web and doesn’t require any installations. It offers a vast range of tools that gear towards creating newsletters, brochures, and magazines. Since its inception, LucidPress has attracted over 5 million users.
Contrary to InDesign, LucidPress is built with simplicity in mind. This means that you don’t have to browse through hundreds of pages of user manual just to complete your first design. Besides, the drag-and-drop interface will endear beginners. This doesn’t mean that LucidPress is strictly for beginners only.
You can access professional features by paying for the premium version of LucidPress. The free subscription entitled you to 3 pages of design and a maximum of 25 MB of storage capacity. While you have no problem in saving your design, you can’t generate print-quality PDF with the free account.
You can collaborate with other graphic designers on LucidPress within the limit of the free account. You can easily get feedback from other graphic designers within the LucidPress platform. It also features a historical tracking of the changes you made to your design. You can revert unwanted changes easily without losing your work.
Some graphic designers prefer desktop based publishing software as they are concerned with the security of the designs saved online. LucidPress ensures that the security of design files with the AES-256 encryption and SSL connection. Multiple backups across various servers are made to mitigate the slim chances of data corruption.
5. Spring Publisher
Spring Publisher deservingly earn a spot as one of the best free alternatives to Adobe Indesign. It is a neat-looking desktop publishing software that works on Windows. As with most publishing software, the free version limits you to a maximum of 180 DPI output.
It may not be a powerhouse like InDesign, but it allows graphic designers to work on simple designs with its broad range of tools. You can add and arrange objects like text, images, QR Code, and vector shapes on the design.
The software also provides basic image editing features like opacity, shadows adjustments and a range of filters. Editing the image is as simple as clicking on any area of the canvas. This will immediately bring up the available options that you can configure.
You don’t have to start your design from scratch with Spring Publisher since you can use some of the available templates. It is flexible enough to allow easy modification of the templates to fit your requirements.
Amongst free publishing software that comes along with paid version, Spring Publisher at the same time has the most complete features in its free version. It’s definitely worth checking out if it is sufficient for your next design project.
Have you tried any of these free alternatives to Adobe InDesign? What works best for you? Or have we missed out a name-worthy publishing software that cost nothing? Share your thoughts with us in the comment below.