Desktop Publishing Software for Mac Computers

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Professional Options

Finding the perfect desktop publishing application, one to handle all of your page layout and photo editing needs, can take a lot of time. There are paid programs as well as free. If choosing a paid program, the two below should be at the top of the list of options when deciding on desktop publishing software for Mac.

Adobe InDesign

Considered by some to be the number one go-software for desktop publishing professionals, InDesign, manufactured by Adobe, is an advanced, all-in-one application. Inseparable since the beginning of desktop publishing, Adobe products and Mac work very well together. InDesign has already begun to overshadow its siblings, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as it is the go software for the publishing of larger projects such as books and manuals.


It’s no surprise QuarkXPress is next on the list of top desktop publishing programs for Mac. For decades, Quark has been meeting the needs of desktop users of all levels. Quark is available for personal use and larger corporations.

Don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on desktop publishing software, or maybe you have a small one-time project to complete? Listed below are your options of free desktop publishing software for Mac.

Free Programs


An open source program, Scribus is page layout software. Very new to the desktop publishing scene, this software offers its users a clean and easy to use interface. Scribus has all the features professionals look for in desktop publishing software.


Similar to Microsoft Office Suite, OpenOffice handles all word processing and desktop publishing needs ranging from spreadsheets to presentations. A key advantage to this software is that there is a built in converter allowing you to access your project with other popular office applications as well. OpenOffice is used heavily by businesses, educational institutions, and even the government.


Gimp, an image editing software, has many features. Its user-friendly interface makes it possible for the beginner to carry out some of the most complicated tasks associated with image editing. Gimp allows you to edit multiple images in one session, and provides add-ons to help expand your application and allow you to perform the actions needed. With a large selection of brushes, layer capabilities, and scripting utilities, Gimp performs just as well as the other more popular desktop publishing programs for Mac.


Inkscape, comparable to Adobe Illustrator, is a vector graphics editor. Inkscape is also used on the professional level, as it provides a sleek interface and makes editing very easy. This software allows you to edit graphics in detail and offers an abundance of functions and capabilities, quite impressive for a program that costs nothing.

Whether you choose a paid or free desktop publishing program for Mac, all of these programs can definitely get the job done.

This post is part of the series: Understanding Desktop Publishing

Confused about what desktop publishing is and what it’s used for? These articles gives users a better idea and more concrete understanding of desktop publishing, DTP software, and its many uses in the DTP field today.

  1. Desktop Publishing Explained
  2. Desktop Publishing Rules and Standards
  3. Most Common Uses of DTP Software
  4. Top Desktop Publishing Programs for Windows
  5. Desktop Publishing Extensions for the Mac