Serif PagePlus Starter Edition
Serif PagePlus Starter Edition

Best desktop publishing software for home

Serif PagePlus Starter Edition is the scaled-down free version of the software company's popular line of Serif PagePlus products. This basic version is generally well-received by reviewers, who enjoy the variety of templates provided with the software, as well as the ability to work with tables and calendars. Reviewers also praise the drag-and-drop design functionality, and support for .jpg and .png image files. This product doesn't export projects to PDF files and there is a five-page limit for projects, meaning it won't replace professional design software, but it's fine for personal projects, such as scrapbooks and greeting cards.
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Serif PagePlus X5
Serif PagePlus X5

Best desktop publishing software for small businesses

According to reviews, Serif PagePlus X5 provides all the desktop publishing tools a small business needs, including a logo-creation tool. Users can prepare files for professional and home printing, or publish to a website or HTML newsletter. You can export files in PDF format and even match Pantone colors. Reviewers especially praise the tools for text effects and for handling graphics, the mainstays of desktop publishing design. Reviewers say the Cutout Studio, a tool for removing backgrounds, works especially well. The software is for PCs, but works on a Mac that's running Windows.
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Apple Pages '09
Apple Pages '09

Desktop publishing software for Mac

Apple Pages '09 is geared towards personal use, but also has features that benefit small businesses. Reviewers like the clean interface. Projects created with the software include brochures, flyers, lesson plans, magazines, newsletters and resumes. Dynamic tables and charts, photo-editing tools and 180 templates provide an array of options for desktop publishers. Apple offers a 30-day free trial of the iWork suite of products, which includes Apple Pages '09.
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Adobe InDesign CS5.5
Adobe InDesign CS5.5

Professional desktop publishing software

In review after review, critics praise Adobe InDesign as the best desktop publishing software for professional use. The software offers sophisticated tools for designing commercial projects such as magazines, newspapers and books. This latest version adds several features that save time. Adobe InDesign integrates well with other pro-level software from Adobe for editing photos and Flash movies and for publishing websites. Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium (*Est. $1,900) packages together several key Adobe products. The software packages are available in both Windows and Mac versions, with 30-day trial downloads. The only drawback, besides price, is the steep learning curve. Reviewers say Adobe InDesign CS5.5 is overkill for all but the most experienced graphic designers.
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*Est. $700 or $200 to upgrade Estimated Price
Scribus
Scribus

Best free desktop publishing software

Reviews say Scribus rivals Adobe InDesign CS5.5 for capability, with sophisticated text and layout tools. It runs on Linux as well as on Windows and Mac operating systems. Only a few templates are provided, but an extensive community of users provides an ever-evolving list of free templates, and technical support. Scribus integrates with GIMP, another open-source program, for editing graphics. Scribus is geared toward small-business use, and can export PDF files with good color management and color separations. The software gets mixed reviews for its interface and ease of use, and kudos for its integration with other types of freeware.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

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