Desktop Publishing on the Mac – OSX

SmarterGeek-Blog-DTPFor desktop publishing from a Mac and OSX there are several options. I’m asked this question frequently publishing an article is a little easier to share.


Canva is a pretty new, but it is a browser based (chrome, safari, firefox, etc) which means it will run on anything. Plus, they have a very well designed iPad app. While Canva doesn’t have the range of features that the desktop software types have, it allows even novices to create some gorgeous designs quickly and easily.
Best of all, it is free unless you use their pictures. I strongly suggest Canva, and I subscribe to their “work version” for collaboration with others.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe software is pretty much the gold standard in everything they do and InDesign is not different. With Adobe’s new subscription model, you can use Adobe products without the traditional high cost of software ownership. Plus the new Adobe Cloud features, such as sharing assets, is outstanding.

Quark Express

Quark Express has long been the leader in desktop publishing. However, it is not inexpensive software. Around $850, you need to be serious about desktop publishing. I’d argue that InDesign is a far superior deal.

iStudio Publisher

This is an app available on OSX via the app store. While fairly new the ratings and reviews are good and the price is definitely reasonable at $19.99.

Microsoft Publisher

Publisher has never been considered a “serious” desktop publishing application. However, with a little bit of skill and creativity, it can actually produce some very nice and slick publications. Since it is included in the MS Office Suite, and part of the subscription, it is a great value.
However, it will require Windows, so on OSX you need Parallels or Virtualbox installed with Windows. I also suggest running 8GBs RAM or more virtual Windows on the Mac.
Standalone Publisher 2013
Office 365 Suite


Scribus is an open source DTP (desktop publisher) available on OSX, Windows, and Linux. It is actually a very good choice and has come a long way in development. The best part is that it is actually FREE.