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Desktop publishing software

Popularity of printed media may be shrinking due to the rise and rise of the internet, but there are times and occasions when only a printed brochure, business card, letter or menu will do. What do you choose when you want to create professional-looking print materials without buying high-end professional software? You choose one of these desktop publishing packages.

Desktop publishing software comparison chart for 2017

Rank 1 2 3
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
Serif PagePlus X9 has been awarded best buy Product image of serif pageplus x9 Product image of xara page & layout designer 11 Product image of microsoft publisher
 
 
 
Ratings
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Overall
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of five  overall xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of five  overall microsoft publisher has a rating of four  overall
Templates & Layout
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of four  templates & layout xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of three  templates & layout microsoft publisher has a rating of four  templates & layout
Graphic design
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of five  graphic design xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of five  graphic design microsoft publisher has a rating of four  graphic design
Typography
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of four  typography xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of four  typography microsoft publisher has a rating of three  typography
Publishing
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of four  publishing xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of four  publishing microsoft publisher has a rating of three  publishing
Ease of use
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of four  ease of use xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of three  ease of use microsoft publisher has a rating of three  ease of use
Help & support
serif pageplus x9 has a rating of four  help & support xara page & layout designer 11 has a rating of four  help & support microsoft publisher has a rating of four  help & support
Templates & Layout
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Included templates
serif pageplus x9  included templates xara page & layout designer 11  included templates microsoft publisher  included templates
Royalty free/license free templates
serif pageplus x9  royalty free/license free templates xara page & layout designer 11  royalty free/license free templates microsoft publisher  royalty free/license free templates
Included stock photos
serif pageplus x9  included stock photos xara page & layout designer 11  included stock photos microsoft publisher  included stock photos
Included vector clipart
serif pageplus x9  included vector clipart xara page & layout designer 11  included vector clipart microsoft publisher  included vector clipart
Master pages
serif pageplus x9  master pages xara page & layout designer 11  master pages microsoft publisher  master pages
Guides
serif pageplus x9  guides xara page & layout designer 11  guides microsoft publisher  guides
Frames
serif pageplus x9  frames xara page & layout designer 11  frames microsoft publisher  frames
Graphic design
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Photo correction tools
serif pageplus x9  photo correction tools xara page & layout designer 11  photo correction tools microsoft publisher  photo correction tools
Vector editor
serif pageplus x9  vector editor xara page & layout designer 11  vector editor microsoft publisher  vector editor
3D Effects
serif pageplus x9  3d effects xara page & layout designer 11  3d effects microsoft publisher  3d effects
Bevel & Emboss
serif pageplus x9  bevel & emboss xara page & layout designer 11  bevel & emboss microsoft publisher  bevel & emboss
Filters
serif pageplus x9  filters xara page & layout designer 11  filters microsoft publisher  filters
Brightness
serif pageplus x9  brightness xara page & layout designer 11  brightness microsoft publisher  brightness
Contrast
serif pageplus x9  contrast xara page & layout designer 11  contrast microsoft publisher  contrast
CMYK optimization
serif pageplus x9  cmyk optimization xara page & layout designer 11  cmyk optimization microsoft publisher  cmyk optimization
CMYK, HSV, or Pantone color systems
serif pageplus x9  cmyk, hsv, or pantone color systems xara page & layout designer 11  cmyk, hsv, or pantone color systems microsoft publisher  cmyk, hsv, or pantone color systems
Typography
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Includes fonts
serif pageplus x9  includes fonts xara page & layout designer 11  includes fonts microsoft publisher  includes fonts
Flow text around objects
serif pageplus x9  flow text around objects xara page & layout designer 11  flow text around objects microsoft publisher  flow text around objects
Adjust line height
serif pageplus x9  adjust line height xara page & layout designer 11  adjust line height microsoft publisher  adjust line height
Adjust line spacing/kerning
serif pageplus x9  adjust line spacing/kerning xara page & layout designer 11  adjust line spacing/kerning microsoft publisher  adjust line spacing/kerning
Hyphenation
serif pageplus x9  hyphenation xara page & layout designer 11  hyphenation microsoft publisher  hyphenation
OpenType
serif pageplus x9  opentype xara page & layout designer 11  opentype microsoft publisher  opentype
Spellchecker
serif pageplus x9  spellchecker xara page & layout designer 11  spellchecker microsoft publisher  spellchecker
Abbreviation conversion
serif pageplus x9  abbreviation conversion xara page & layout designer 11  abbreviation conversion microsoft publisher  abbreviation conversion
Available templates
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Banners
serif pageplus x9  banners xara page & layout designer 11  banners microsoft publisher  banners
Brochures
serif pageplus x9  brochures xara page & layout designer 11  brochures microsoft publisher  brochures
Business cards
serif pageplus x9  business cards xara page & layout designer 11  business cards microsoft publisher  business cards
Calendars
serif pageplus x9  calendars xara page & layout designer 11  calendars microsoft publisher  calendars
Flyers
serif pageplus x9  flyers xara page & layout designer 11  flyers microsoft publisher  flyers
Greeting cards
serif pageplus x9  greeting cards xara page & layout designer 11  greeting cards microsoft publisher  greeting cards
Letterheads
serif pageplus x9  letterheads xara page & layout designer 11  letterheads microsoft publisher  letterheads
Labels
serif pageplus x9  labels xara page & layout designer 11  labels microsoft publisher  labels
Letterheads
serif pageplus x9  letterheads xara page & layout designer 11  letterheads microsoft publisher  letterheads
Magazines
serif pageplus x9  magazines xara page & layout designer 11  magazines microsoft publisher  magazines
Menus
serif pageplus x9  menus xara page & layout designer 11  menus microsoft publisher  menus
Newsletters
serif pageplus x9  newsletters xara page & layout designer 11  newsletters microsoft publisher  newsletters
Posters
serif pageplus x9  posters xara page & layout designer 11  posters microsoft publisher  posters
Signs
serif pageplus x9  signs xara page & layout designer 11  signs microsoft publisher  signs
Operating System
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Windows 10
serif pageplus x9  windows 10 xara page & layout designer 11  windows 10 microsoft publisher  windows 10
Windows 8
serif pageplus x9  windows 8 xara page & layout designer 11  windows 8 microsoft publisher  windows 8
Windows 7
serif pageplus x9  windows 7 xara page & layout designer 11  windows 7 microsoft publisher  windows 7
Windows XP
serif pageplus x9  windows xp xara page & layout designer 11  windows xp microsoft publisher  windows xp
Help & support
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Phone
serif pageplus x9  phone serif pageplus x9  phone xara page & layout designer 11  phone xara page & layout designer 11  phone microsoft publisher  phone
Email
microsoft publisher  email
Live chat
serif pageplus x9  live chat xara page & layout designer 11  live chat microsoft publisher  live chat
Forums
serif pageplus x9  forums xara page & layout designer 11  forums microsoft publisher  forums
FAQ
serif pageplus x9  faq xara page & layout designer 11  faq microsoft publisher  faq
Tutorials
serif pageplus x9  tutorials xara page & layout designer 11  tutorials microsoft publisher  tutorials

Desktop publishing software explained

Desktop publishing or page layout software may seem to be made with either professional journalists and designers in mind, or for families and home users – but there is a third category. Professional packages are full of features but they are expensive and confusing. Home use packages are packed with templates but don’t provide that professional polish.

When you want to create professional-looking publications but you don’t want to shell out for a professional package, and you don’t have any design skills, this selection of software is the alternative to Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress. These three desktop publishing programs are entry-level but pack an enormous amount of functionality within them. Create superior marketing materials, printed publications, brochures, documents, letters and reports. You may have to spend a little time learning how to get the best from this type of software, but nothing like the time you’d have to spend on InDesign or QuarkXpress.

Desktop publishing packages have many advantages for non-professional users. You don’t need to spend money outsourcing your printed materials to designers when you can create them yourself and you can also retain full control over the process. Using these software programs you can mix text and images in a way that’s just not possible with word processing software like Word. Plus, it’s fun – the control you achieve over your own layout and design is highly satisfying.

Using desktop publishing software you can easily create page layouts for a variety of different document types, for example brochures, menus, flyers, resumes, and more. Using pre-designed templates or working from scratch on your own design you use columns, text and image boxes to position elements on the page. Text can be enabled to flow between these boxes and around cutout objects. You have a lot more control over typography than you do with a traditional word processing program – for example, you can adjust the spacing between letters and between lines, set advanced margin specifications and create a page bleed for easier printing. Good quality desktop publishing packages also give you the chance to edit images and enhance your documents with photos, drawings, graphs, tables, and photo backgrounds.

Create all your marketing material with one program, and set it all to your home printer or alternatively to a professional printer or to the internet in electronic format. Desktop publishing packages are ideal for office workers, teachers, charity workers, club owners, students, small business owners and any non-designers who want more control over their own print publications. You don’t need any design or layout experience to use these programs.



Rank
Serif PagePlus X9
Xara Page & Layout Designer 11
Microsoft Publisher