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What is the Best Desktop Publishing Software for the Windows Platform?

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/6/2009

Need a new desktop publishing software program, but not sure which one will work best for your Windows PC? Then, look no further. Find the best program for you and your Windows platform.

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    Desktop Publishing Software for Windows

    Once, and not too long ago, creating books, brochures and flyers involved a printing press, fresh ink and moveable, block type. Publishing was an arduous process that didn't allow for mistakes. If there was a mistake in printing, a typesetter couldn't go and just backspace to get rid of the misspelling or extra character. They would have to redo the whole frame. That's why there were so many errors in daily newspapers.

    Now, you very seldom find newspaper agencies that use the old typesetting methods, probably only those people that make paste-ups for nostalgia purposes. Desktop publishing is a much easier way to create those same documents. Desktop publishing uses the computer and software programs to produce everything from newspapers, newsletters and many other types of publications.

    There are two main types of desktop publishing software: those that are best suited for documents with a lot of text, like books, and those that use both text and graphics.

    While there are only two main types of software, there are all different brands of desktop publishing software out there. But, certain programs work better on the Windows platform than others.

    Most people are familiar with Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 ($100 to $200 retail) and Adobe PageMaker 7 ($400 to $600 retail). Both of these programs are easy to use. PageMaker is much more expensive than Publisher is. Both of these are ideal for business professionals who use the Windows platform.

    For serious designers, Adobe InDesign CS3 ($1,300 retail) and QuarkXPress 8 ($600 to $1,000 retail) are the stand out choice. Both deliver amazing graphic quality and beautiful documents. These, however, are not for the non-technical amateur for they are more complicated to use and much more costly.

    But, if these programs are a little out of your price range, there are some free programs available for Windows. Scribus Desktop Publishing allows you to create PDF documents and provides you with some rudimentary drawing tools.

    Serif PagePlus SE provides you with the opportunity to make professional documents for free. The company allows you to download, at no cost to you, the earlier versions of their software. The current versions are not free. OpenOffice.org has been purported to be better than Microsoft Office. OpenOffice allows users to obtain some basic desktop publishing tools.

    Whether you are looking to publish your next book or create a PR campaign for your employer, there are many desktop publishing software choices for your Windows PC.