15 Best Microsoft Publisher Alternatives 2023

Microsoft Publisher is seen as a versatile desktop publishing software. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and therefore, it integrates well with other products from the same manufacturer.

The program offers a wide variety of features, making it a great choice for those who want to create professional-looking publications.

Microsoft Publisher is also popular for its ease of use. However, some users find the interface to be too basic and not very user-friendly. Additionally, the software is only available for Windows and it is not compatible with Macs.

Also, Microsoft Publisher does not have a free browser-based version like some of its competitors. For these reasons, you might be looking for an alternative to Microsoft Publisher.

In this article, we will share with you the best Microsoft Publisher alternatives.

Best Microsoft Publisher Alternatives

1. Adobe InDesign

If you use a Mac, you might be familiar with Adobe InDesign- it’s a popular design program used by professionals in the publishing industry.

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing software that allows users to create professional-looking publications such as brochures, newsletters, and flyers.

While InDesign is more complex than Publisher, it also has more features and flexibility.

For example, InDesign supports multiple pages and layers, which can make your publications look more professional. It also has built-in tools for creating interactive content, such as hyperlinks and buttons.

It offers many features that are not found in Microsoft Publisher, such as the ability to create multi-page documents, use master pages, and create complex layouts.

InDesign also offers a wide variety of built-in templates, which can make it easier to create high-quality publications.

Plus, InDesign integrates well with other Adobe products, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, which can be helpful if you need to use those programs for your project.

InDesign is also a subscription-based software, which means you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to use it, unlike Publisher which is a one-time purchase.

Discover more tools like Adobe Indesign in this post.

2. Canva

Canva is a free online design platform that’s beloved by users for its simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

With a library of built-in templates and easy access to millions of free and premium images, it’s no wonder that Canva is one of the most popular alternatives to Microsoft Publisher.

While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Publisher, Canva more than makes up for it with its ease of use. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to create professional-looking designs, even if you’re not a designer.

For users who need more than what the free version offers, there’s a low-cost monthly subscription that gives you access to additional features and templates.

With Canva, you can generate content for social media, marketing collateral, presentations, and more.

Unlike Microsoft Publisher, which is only available for Windows, Canva can be used on any device, including Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.

To get started, all you need is an email address.

Then straight away you can start designing using one of the many templates available or create a design from scratch.

You can export your designs as PDFs, JPGs, or PNGs.

Find out apps like Canva for Android in this post.

3. Scribus

Scribus is a great alternative to Microsoft Publisher. It offers many of the same features, such as the ability to create professional-looking publications.

Scribus also has a few advantages over Publisher, such as the ability to create PDF files and open source code.

It is an open-source program that is available for free, so it is a great option for those on a budget.

You can use Scribus to create outstanding publications such as newsletters, brochures, and flyers.

The platform comes with a ton of templates to give you a jump start and takes care of the technical aspects of design so that you can focus on the content.

Like Microsoft Publisher, the Scribus interface is not the most user-friendly, but it is not difficult to learn with a little practice.

The solution seldomly gets upgraded since it is free and only managed by volunteers.

However, unlike Publisher, Mac users can also use Scribus. In fact, it’s one of the most popular open-source desktop publishing programs available for Mac as you will not find a freer or more comprehensive solution for Mac.

4. Lucidpress

Lucidpress is a web-based desktop publishing software that is easy to use and has many features that rival Microsoft Publisher.

With Lucidpress, you can create professional-looking publications such as brochures, newsletters, and flyers. You can also create custom shapes and designs, and add photos and videos.

Frankly, Lucidpress has all the features of MS Publisher but is easier to use without all the confusing bells and whistles. Even beginners can use Lucidpress straight out of the box without watching any tutorial on how to do so.

Also unlike Microsoft Publisher, you are not restricted to only Windows platforms. Lucidpress works on all major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Lucidpress also offers a wide range of templates and users can create professional-looking publications, collaborate with other team members, and track changes in real-time.

5. Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is an attractive and intuitive layout program for Mac that offers a wide variety of templates for different types of publications. It also has good photo-editing tools and support for vector illustrations.

One of the best parts about it is its UI, which is designed to be as user-friendly as possible.

Getting started with Swift Publisher is quick and easy, even if you’re a first-time user. You would need little to no assistance as the steps are pretty much logical.

However, Swift also has video tutorials should you ever hit a brick wall.

The software comes with over 500 professionally-designed templates for a wide variety of publications including newsletters, brochures, flyers, and more.

There’s also a good selection of clipart and photos that you can use in your projects.

One thing to keep in mind is that Swift Publisher only works on macOS, which makes it a direct alternative to Microsoft Publisher for Mac users.

6. Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher is a fairly new kid on the block but it’s quickly making a name for itself as a viable alternative to Adobe InDesign, which is the industry leader in desktop publishing software.

Affinity Publisher offers a wide range of features, including professional text handling, role-based workspaces, live preview, and alternate layout options, just to name a few.

It also comes with a host of features that make it easy to create custom layouts, manage color schemes, and output your publications in a variety of formats, making it easy to switch from another program if you’re looking for an alternative to Publisher.

You can create tables and indents, convert text to shapes, and even add video and audio objects to your publications.

Like Microsoft Publisher, Affinity Publisher offers a wide range of templates to choose from, making it easy to get started on your next publication.

Unlike Publisher, however, Affinity’s templates are fully customizable, so you can change the colors, fonts, and layout to match your brand or project requirements.

There’s also a section organizer that allows you to quickly find and rearrange content, making it easy to keep your publication organized and looking its best.

Affinity allows users to construct text frames, which can be used to flow text from one frame to another automatically.

This is a huge time-saver if you’re working on a large publication with lots of text.

Its opaque control allows you to alter the transparency of objects, and its live preview feature lets you see how changes will look before you commit to them, which is always handy.

Also Read: Canva vs Bannersnack

7. Pages

Apple’s Pages is a great replacement for Microsoft Publisher if you’re already familiar with the Mac ecosystem.

If you’re not, it might take some time to get used to the interface.

Pages comes with a wide variety of templates for different types of publications, making it easy to get started on your project.

It also offers a number of features that Publisher doesn’t, such as the ability to add comments, track changes, and export your publication as a PDF.

Documents created in Pages can also be exported to Microsoft Word, ePub, and plain text formats.

You can also password-protect your document, which is a great way to keep your work safe if you’re sharing it with others.

It has templates that are more modern-looking than Publisher’s, and it integrates with other Apple products like iWork and iCloud.

Pages have some features that are specifically geared towards print publications, such as bleed and crop marks.

It also offers a number of ways to customize the layout of your pages, including the ability to insert page numbers, headers, and footers.

8. LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice is a great free alternative to Microsoft Office, and its Draw program is a powerful tool for creating publications.

Draw offers a number of features that Publisher doesn’t, such as the ability to insert images from the web, create charts and diagrams, and work with layers.

It also supports many different file formats, so you can easily open and edit files created in other programs.

Draw is part of the LibreOffice suite, which also includes programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

This makes it a great option if you’re looking for an all-in-one office suite.

Projects created with Libre can be exported to all Microsoft file formats, as well as PDFs, so you can easily share them with others.

In fact, LibreOffice possesses the same features as the premium MS Office, but without the expensive price tag.

If you want to get the most out of it, you will be required to install a Java runtime environment.

That being said, regular users can skip this installation and still enjoy most of the features that LibreOffice has to offer.

The program is intuitive and easy to use, making it a great choice for first-time users or those who are not familiar with desktop publishing software.

9. QuarkXPress

If you’re looking for a professional-grade alternative to Publisher, QuarkXPress is a great option.

It is a WYSIWYG editor that supports both CMYK and RGB color models, making it suitable for print and web design projects.

This program is used by businesses and organizations all over the world to create high-quality publications.

QuarkXPress offers more features and flexibility than Publisher, making it a better choice for complex projects.

However, this comes at a price – QuarkXPress is a paid program, and it can be quite expensive.

If you’re serious about creating professional publications, QuarkXPress is definitely worth the investment.

Unlike Microsoft Publisher, QuarkXPress does not have a pre-designed layout function.

However, it does offer a wide variety of templates that you can use to create your own custom layouts.

It is also compatible with macOS which makes it a good choice for lovers of Publisher who own an Apple computer.

10. Print Artist 25 Platinum

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use alternative to Publisher, Print Artist 25 Platinum is a good option.

Print Artist 25 Platinum has a layout function that allows you to easily create custom layouts for your publications.

While Microsoft Publisher is a more comprehensive program, Print Artist 25 is more user-friendly and has a simpler interface.

It is low-cost compared to other similar programs and has a wide range of templates to choose from.

Print Artist 25 Platinum also has a photo editing tool that lets you edit photos directly from the program.

The program’s clean assortment of features and its user-friendly interface makes it a good choice for those who are new to desktop publishing.

You can create magazines, greeting cards, calendars, and more with Print Artist 25 Platinum.

11. VivaDesigner

If you are a Linux user, then you might want to check out VivaDesigner. It is a vector drawing and page layout program with support for PDF, EPS, and SVG file formats.

VivaDesigner is a professional design and page layout software that supports vector and raster graphics.

VivaDesigner has a wide variety of features, including support for master pages, variables, and conditional text flow.

It also features CMYK color management, spot colors, ICC color profiles, and print preview.

VivaDesigner supports dynamic text flow, making it a great choice for creating newsletters, brochures, and flyers.

The software has a free version and a paid version. The free version has some limitations, such as the number of pages you can create and export.

The paid version has advanced features, such as support for custom colors and bleed marks.

Also, features such as preflight checking and barcode support are only available in the paid version.

These features and more makes VivaDesigner the closest software to InDesign which runs on Linux, and definitely one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Publisher at a reasonable price point.

There’s a free demo available, so you can try it before you buy it.

12. Xara Page & Layout Designer

A powerful yet easy-to-use alternative to Publisher, Xara Page & Layout Designer is perfect for creating professional-looking publications such as newsletters, flyers, and brochures.

It comes with a wide range of features and templates to get you started, and its intuitive interface makes it easy to use even if you’ve never used a desktop publishing program before.

The program is also relatively cheap and can be purchased with a one-off payment.

It has some great tutorials to help you get started too, even though it doesn’t take much to figure out.

You will also have access to some royalty-free templates that you can use to create your publications.

It’s safe to say that Xara Page is not a full-blown professional software, but it is also not an amateur one.

That leaves it in the sweet spot somewhere in the middle for people who want to make professional-looking publications without spending a lot of money or time on learning how to use complex software.

One of its features, the snap line tool, makes it easy to line up objects on your page.

You can also easily add numbering and bullets to lists, which is great for creating newsletters or flyers.

Unlike Publisher, Xara Page is a SaaS, which means it can only be used online.

That could be a dealbreaker for some people, but it also means that you can access your documents from anywhere and share them easily with others.

13. Pagination

Pagination is a cloud-based alternative to Microsoft Publisher that offers a wide range of features and templates for users to create professional-looking publications.

It’s easy to use and has a drag-and-drop interface that makes creating publications quick and easy.

One of the best things about Pagination is that it offers a wide range of templates for users to choose from, so they can create publications that look exactly the way they want.

It also has a wide range of customization options, so users can really make their publications their own.

Ironically, Pagination is also a process in Microsoft Publisher, but it’s not nearly as customizable as the Pagination program.

You can even simply upload images and layouts to create and download a custom publication from scratch.

Although it is significantly more expensive than Publisher, it is worth the investment for those looking for more control and customization options.

14. Venngage

Venngage is a desktop publishing software that allows users to create professional-looking publications such as brochures, newsletters, and flyers.

It has many of the same features as Microsoft Publisher but also offers some unique features that make it stand out from Publisher.

For example, Venngage offers a library of templates that are specifically designed for Venngage users.

This means that you can get started on your publication quickly and easily, without having to worry about design details or having to start from scratch.

There’s also a built-in library of photos, illustrations, and icons that you can use in your design, and you can easily upload your own images as well.

Venngage also offers a wide range of customization options, so you can make your publication look exactly the way you want it to. And if you need any help, the Venngage team is always available to answer your questions.

15. iStudio Publisher

IStudio Publisher is a desktop publishing software that comes with plenty of features to create professional publications.

It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started with, and there are plenty of templates available to help you get the look you want.

One of the great things about iStudio Publisher is that it supports export to PDF, so you can easily share your documents with others.

In contrast to Microsoft Publisher which is only available for Windows, iStudio Publisher can be used only on Mac.


In conclusion, Microsoft Publisher is a great desktop publishing software with many features. However, there are some alternative programs that might better fit your needs depending on what you’re looking for.

If you need more design flexibility, InDesign or Scribus might be a better option. For an easier-to-use interface, Canva could be a good choice. And if you’re looking for a free program, LibreOffice Draw is a good option.

Ultimately, the best software for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

About Author

Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.