Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop Publishing Software Overview

Desktop Publishing (DTP) Software helps create and publish page designs and printed materials. It combines text and images to produce aesthetically pleasing, professional work that can be deployed online, electronically distributed, or printed.

For designers and knowledgeable users, its features support the creation of custom layouts. The software offers pre-built templates that promote productivity without the need for users to have design experience.

DTP software provides multi-channel previews that depict how content will be seen in a variety of publishing endpoints such as print, PDF, HTML5, Web XML, tablets, and mobile apps. It supports the import and export of materials in a variety of formats such as raster images made of bitmap pixels and vector images produced by software. It allows switching between the RGB and CMYK color systems to support publishing on video displays vs. print. Stock libraries of fonts, images, and photos are included.

This software is used to create books and eBooks, magazines, newspapers, business cards, stationery, annual reports, greeting cards, envelopes, labels, articles, blogs, social media posts, newsletters, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, posters, flyers, menus, interactive PDFs, and website designs. DTP is used by graphic designers, illustrators, writers, editors, and marketers.

Desktop Publishing Software overlaps with Digital Content Creation Platforms that are used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography and with Office Suites Software that provides and integrates word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and email functions.

Top Rated Desktop Publishing Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Desktop Publishing Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Desktop Publishing Products

(1-25 of 28) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Canva

Canva

Customer Verified
Top Rated

Canva is a popular, simple online graphic design tool. Users can import images, use templates to design banners and logos, or pay to use Canva's premium stock images/paid templates (elements starting at $1).

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign supports creating digital and print documents such as flyers, stationary, posters, and other types of media, with rich graphics, images, and more. Adobe InDesign is available standalone or as part of the Adobe Creative Suite collection of media management and creation…

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

Corel Corporation, headquartered in Ottawa, offers the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, a graphic design studio and library of tools.

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing application available with an Office 365 subscription, or as a standalone download.

Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher replaces the former PagePlus desktop publishing application, from Serif Europe headquartered in Nottingham.

QuarkXPress

QuarkXPress from Quark Software headquartered in Denver introduces modern responsive web design with Flex Layouts, reimagined Tables, and productivity-boosting design features.

Venngage

Venngage is an infographics creation platform. Users can create inforgraphics for their marketing team from scratch or from a template.

MadCap Software

MadCap Software, headquartered in La Jolla, offers MadCap Flare, a help authoring and technical writing tool featuring onboarding and support from MadCap, and a set of modules for designing advanced guides, aids, and web or application help aids.

Infogram

Infogram is an online tool for creating infographics, charts, dashboards, and interactive reports. Users can upload spreadsheets containing the data they want to visualize, or set up a live integration from another data source using the Infogram API. From a graphics and layout perspective,…

VistaCreate (formerly Crello)

What is VistaCreate (ex-Crello)?VistaCreate is an online visual editing tool for creating videos, animations, graphic designs for social media, print, websites, or virtually any kind of static and animated design for commercial, business, or personal needs. On October 27, 2021 Crello…

Quark Publishing Platform

The Quark Publishing Platform from Quark Software headquartered in Denver is a publishing tool and document generation workflow featuring collaborative tools, quick content reuse tools, and structured authoring aids.

Displayr

Displayr is a survey data discovery and visualization tool, with free tools for publishing dashboards, reports and infographics (e.g. charts, and graphs) to the web or other repositories for sharing and demonstration, as well as support for analysis of large datasets (more than 1,…

Scribus

Scribus is open source desktop publishing software.

easel.ly

easel.ly is a template driven infographic presentation and publishing toolset, from the small company of the same name in Gig Harbor.

PageStream

PageStream (formerly Publishing Partner) is an open source desktop publishing application developed by GrasshopperLLC.

Shorthand

Shorthand enables the user to create interactive multimedia stories for any online audience — all with no code. The vendor boasts that Shorthand is used by hundreds of publishers, brands, non-profits, and more — including the BBC, Honda, Business Insider, and Doctors Without Borders.…

Xara Designer Pro

Xara, headquartered in Berlin, offers Designer Pro, a desktop publishing application.

Publitas

Publitas helps users inspire shoppers by publishing catalogs online. Shoppers can browse catalogs from any device and purchase the products they like. The vendor states over 1500 leading retailers such as IKEA, Aldi, Carrefour and Staples publish their catalogs online with Publitas.…

vjoon K4

vjoon K4 is a crossmedia editorial system with an integrated workflow management system from the Hamburg-based company vjoon GmbH. vjoon K4 enables small teams and large business units with thousands of users to deliver more quality content faster and across multiple digital channels…

Magazine Manager

The Magazine Manager is a magazine publishing software solution which the vendor states serves over 16,000 publications worldwide. Launched in 2002, it was a web-based CRM specifically built for publishers. In one unified platform, the Magazine Manager provides publishers with features…

MagHub

MagHub is a CRM/ERP and publishing workflow tool that aims to help users improve a media business whether print or digital. Based in the cloud, MagHub is described by the vendor as easy to deploy, use, and manage. MagHub is designed to be the only media publication CRM/ERP and publishing…

FlippingBook

FlippingBook is software and cloud service for creating professional digital flipbooks. The tool converts PDFs into interactive ebooks, catalogs, brochures, annual reports, magazines, and sales collateral. Users can share these documents as links or embed them into a website. Collect…

SDL XPP

SDL XPP allows users to develop and publish acontent in digital, PDF, and print formats, with an XML Professional Publisher. Built for demanding publishing environments, users can produce newsletters, books, magazines, loose-leaf manuals, catalogs, and electronic documents in more…

HelpNDoc

HelpNDoc is a single-source multi-channel help authoring tool which can generate multiple documentation formats including fully responsive HTML web-sites, Word and PDF documents, CHM and Qt help files, ePub and Kindle eBooks as well as Markdown documents. The vendor presents it as…

Substack

Substack is a subscription-based newsletter publishing platform.

Learn More About Desktop Publishing Software

What is Desktop Publishing Software?

Desktop Publishing (DTP) Software helps create and publish page designs and printed materials. It combines text and images to produce aesthetically pleasing, professional work that can be deployed online, electronically distributed, or printed.

For designers and knowledgeable users, its features support the creation of custom layouts. The software offers pre-built templates that promote productivity without the need for users to have design experience.

DTP software provides multi-channel previews that depict how content will be seen in a variety of publishing endpoints such as print, PDF, HTML5, Web XML, tablets, and mobile apps. It supports the import and export of materials in a variety of formats such as raster images made of bitmap pixels and vector images produced by software. It allows switching between the RGB and CMYK color systems to support publishing on video displays vs. print. Stock libraries of fonts, images, and photos are included.

This software is used to create books and eBooks, magazines, newspapers, business cards, stationery, annual reports, greeting cards, envelopes, labels, articles, blogs, social media posts, newsletters, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, posters, flyers, menus, interactive PDFs, and website designs. DTP is used by graphic designers, illustrators, writers, editors, and marketers.

Desktop Publishing Software overlaps with Digital Content Creation Platforms that are used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography and with Office Suites Software that provides and integrates word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and email functions.

Desktop Publishing Software Features

Desktop Publishing Software will have many of these features.

  • Layout editor
  • Authoring tools
  • Text tools
  • Basic correction and editing tools for graphics, photos, images, and videos
  • Custom template design
  • Pre-built template library for different materials
  • Font library
  • Pantone color library
  • Support RGB and CMYK color formats
  • Import, export, and publish a variety of formats including PDF, EPS, JPEG, SVG, PSD, PNG, TIFF, GIF, HTML5, and Web XML.
  • Print optimization
  • Stock photo and image library
  • Integrate audio and video content
  • Drag and drop editing
  • Metadata content tagging
  • Spell checker
  • Multi-channel preview
  • Version control
  • Review and approval workflows
  • Security
  • Integrations with photo editing and graphics suites
  • Web, iOS, Android

Desktop Publishing Software Comparison

Consider the following when purchasing Desktop Publishing Software.

Standalone vs Suite: Desktop publishing software is available as a standalone purchase; however, it is commonly bundled with office suites such as Microsoft 365, or creative suites like Adobe Creative Cloud.

Platforms: Some products can only be deployed on specific platforms; for example, Microsoft Publisher is only available for PC. If your creative ecosystem is Mac-based, it will eliminate this option.

Use Case: Professional designers and publishers will benefit from feature-rich DTP software such as Adobe InDesign. Limited and free versions are more suitable for small businesses and home use.

Pricing Information

Desktop Publishing Software uses two pricing models: a monthly subscription which can range from $7 to $36 a month per user or a one-time perpetual license which ranges from $140 to over $700. Free versions with limited features and storage are available as is free open-source DTP software. Free trials are available.

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

What does desktop publishing software do?

Designers, writers, and editors use Desktop Publishing (DTP) Software to create and publish eBooks, magazines, newspapers, interactive PDFs, marketing and presentation materials, and website pages for electronic distribution or printing.

What are the benefits of using desktop publishing software?

Desktop publishing software lowers production and distribution costs, helps enforce brand consistency and publication-quality across channels, enhances customer engagement, and improves customer satisfaction.

How much does desktop publishing software cost?

Monthly subscriptions range from $7 to $36 a month per user. A one-time perpetual license ranges from $140 to over $700. Free versions and free trials are available.