Top 8 Desktop Publishing Software for Mac

Swift Publisher icon.

Swift Publisher

Price: $19.99

Swift Publisher fans prefer to work with the program using one of its 500+ templates. It is easy to accomplish any design project using pre-made sample customization (for instance, adding images and text). As for the photos, Swift Publisher offers 100 image masks and 2,000 clip art images to customize your design. If you would like to achieve even more fonts and photos, you can purchase 40,000 breathtaking images and 100 fonts from the developer for just $9.99.

Beautiful Swift Publisher for Mac interface.


  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • CMYK support, mail merge and other professional DTP software capabilities
  • Built-in templates


  • Small ruler tick marks
  • Limited design tools and fonts
  • Lacks the pro publishing features of Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress
According to the Capterra users reviews and MacHow2 review
iStudio Publisher icon

iStudio Publisher

Price: $29.99

iStudio Publisher may be very suitable for first-time users offering a set of basic but functional features like text customization functions (e.g., wrapping option), alignment, adding color shades and information styling, etc. For more experienced designers, the program offers more advanced capabilities, including drawing shapes, custom page sizes and others. With over 60 templates, iStudio Publisher is a convenient platform to start a project and individualize it in multiple ways.

iStudio Publisher for Mac screenshot.


  • Intuitive
  • Versatile–ideal for designing a wide range of document types
  • Ease of use
  • Support is easy to access


  • Outdated graphics and tools
  • Price
According to G2 user reviews
Publisher Lite icon

Publisher Lite

Price: Free (contains in-app purchases)

Publisher Lite offers over 40 different templates for creating documents like multipage booklets, colorful newsletters and more. Publisher also includes tools for text and images manipulation, making it a great choice for beginners.

More sophisticated Publisher Plus for $19.99 benefits from CMYK color mode, advanced typography and design tools, bigger amount of templates compared to Publisher Lite. In general Publisher Plus is designed for users who require more advanced software. Publisher Plus is available for both Windows and macOS.

Publisher Lite for Mac screenshot.


  • Ease of use
  • Templates
  • Free


  • The same features can be provided by Word or Pages
  • Basic features compared with other software
According to Mac App Store user reviews
InDesign icon

Adobe InDesign

Price: $20.99/month

If you need a professional app to create and publish physical or digital documents, Adobe InDesign CC is the best choice. Whether you’re looking to publish a book, magazine, poster or a simple PDF report, InDesign can take on the task.

InDesign software for Mac screenshot.


  • Powerful layout and typography tools
  • Time-saving features with layers
  • Print-ready output
  • Efficient workflow and integration
  • Versatility


  • Steep learning curve
  • Cost
  • Performance issues
According to Software Advice user reviews
Affinity Publisher icon.

Affinity Publisher

Price for Mac: $69.99
Price for iPad: $19.99

Affinity Publisher is professional desktop publishing software that offers a range of tools and features for creating print and digital publications. It has a customizable workspace, typography tools, seamless integration with other Affinity apps and supports a range of file formats (PDF, PSD, AI, EPS, SVG, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, DOCX, RTF, TXT). However, it may require a learning curve, and its community is only starting to develop. Despite these potential drawbacks, Affinity Publisher is a great choice for professional designers and casual users who want to create high-quality publications for Macs, iPads and Windows devices.

Affinity Publisher screenshot with a magazine template.


  • Fast and stable
  • Full-featured
  • Integration with other Affinity apps


  • Learning curve
  • Lack of some professional features
  • No cloud functionality
According to Software Advice user reviews
QuarkXPress icon.


Subscription: $259/year
Perpetual License: $559

QuarkXPress is powerful desktop publishing software that has been in use since 1987. It provides advanced typography tools, including professional OpenType controls (allowing users to adjust the tracking, kerning and spacing of text). It also supports ligatures, small caps and other advanced OpenType features and has a customizable interface and flexible output options (such as print-ready PDFs, HTML5 publications, ePubs and more) to create print and digital publications. With collaborative features, QuarkXPress is suitable for professional designers and design teams. However, its steep learning curve may make it less suitable for beginners or casual users. Overall, QuarkXPress is a versatile tool that can assist enterprise users with the creation of a wide range of professional publications.

Quarkxpress screenshot.


  • Ready-made templates
  • Bulk files conversion
  • Customer support
  • The ability to open legacy QuarkXPress files


  • Steep learning curve
  • Performance issues
  • Price
  • Can’t open INDD extension files
According to Software Advice users reviews
Apple Pages icon.

Apple Pages

Price: Free

Apple Pages is a user-friendly word processing and page layout app that is part of the iWork productivity suite developed by Apple Inc. It provides users with a range of templates and themes to create professional-looking documents quickly, and its collaboration and iCloud integration features make it a great choice for teams working on documents together. While it may not be as feature-rich as some other software options, Pages is a versatile tool that can be a great choice for casual users and those who need to create good-looking documents quickly.

Apple Pages screenshot.


  • Basic desktop publishing solution
  • Works on Mac, iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • User-friendly interface


  • Fewer features than Adobe InDesign
  • The files created in Pages can’t be opened in other apps
  • No mail-merge or multi-chapter support
According to TechRadar and PCMag reviews
Scribus icon.


Price: Free

Scribus is free and open-source desktop publishing software that allows users to create versatile documents, including newsletters, brochures, posters and more. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. While it may have a steeper learning curve than some other software options, it is highly customizable and extensible, allowing users to create and add their own scripts and plugins. Scribus may not have all of the features of some of the more well-known desktop publishing software options, but it is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used for a variety of design projects. As of now, Scribus does not have a version specifically designed for M1 Macs and only runs on Intel-based Macs. This may change in the future as Scribus continues to update their software to be compatible with the latest hardware.

Scribus publisher interface screenshot.


  • Free and open source
  • Offers many professional features, such as CMYK support, image packaging, PDF export feature
  • Versatile drawing tools
  • Supports most common file formats such as EPS, GIF, JPEG, PSD, PDF, PNG, TIFF, BMP, XPM


  • Steep learning curve
  • The interface is not user-friendly
  • Can’t open other DTP software’s native file formats
  • Sometimes images aren’t displayed correctly
  • Somewhat slow exporting process
According to TechRadar review
Revised: February 2024

There are many DTP software programs on the market.

But, if you want to start creating your DTP project right now—Swift Publisher for Mac offers a free trial.