Adobe InDesign is a well-known page layout design and desktop publishing software among graphic design pros. Although it has decent features, it’s quite complex for non-professionals, which is why people often look for an InDesign alternative.
The learning curve, complicated interface, and expensive subscription-based use make for a difficult platform to adhere to.
New users who just need a simple design interface are left with a confusing array of features that further delay the design process.
In this article, we’ll talk about the ideal InDesign alternative, as well as some other options that you can use.
Let’s dive right in.
What’s the Best InDesign Alternative?
The best Adobe InDesign alternative in the market right now is Pixelied due to its wide variety of features and accessibility. You can find ready-made templates, extensive stock photo libraries, icon libraries, and various editing and design options.
The best thing about Pixelied is that it requires no training. It’s easy to use, has brand presets, and is an online tool that’s readily available. That means you don’t have to worry about downloads, plugins, and integrations.
Usually, page design and page layout can take a lot of time. However, with Pixelied, all you have to do is open the editor and start the design process. You can set up the dimensions manually if you have a custom page design.
Furthermore, you can add photos, illustrations, vectors, text, elements, and more without any limitations.
If you’re looking for a professional page design and layout service, they would offer their services through InDesign. However, those services will be extremely expensive. And if you hire someone to use InDesign directly, it would still prove to be costly.
Alternatively, you can use an easy-to-learn online tool like Pixelied. Even marketers can easily learn how to create page designs and layouts on Pixelied.
That’s why it provides to be an ideal InDesign alternative for small businesses, casual users, small website owners, and blog owners.
In short, InDesign is made for technical graphic designers who have years of experience. It’s not ideal for users who want to create good designs in a matter of minutes. Not to mention InDesign’s price is pretty high for most people.
On the other hand, Pixelied offers a free plan, is easy to use for non-tech designers, and provides high-quality designs in minutes.
Pixelied’s Features and Tools
InDesign was one of the first desktop publishing software (DTP). It was followed by Microsoft Office Publisher, Scribus, QuarkXPress, Swift Publisher, and LucidPress, among others.
However, all these software haven’t been updated with a user interface for common users. They usually require the input of a graphic design expert. Today, users need a design tool that can quickly create page designs and page layouts.
And one that can work on any OS (operating system) or device, whether it’s Windows, Apple Mac OS, Linux, or even an iPad, iPhone, or Android (since there are desktop publishing apps too).
That’s why Pixelied works best under such circumstances because it can work on any device or OS, while offering most features and tools, including the following.
- Ready-Made Templates – There are hundreds of pre-made templates for various designs, posts, and pages. You can choose any template and edit it according to your requirements.
- Stock Photos – With various third-party integrations, you have access to thousands of stock photos. The best thing is that you get easy access to all stock photos regardless of their parent site.
- Icons – This option allows you to add social media and other icons to your page design, business cards, and more.
- My Files – You can actively upload, store, and export designs.
- Illustrations – If you want, you can add custom vector graphics and illustrations to your page designs.
- Elements – You can also add shapes, arrows, speech bubbles, and other elements.
- Brandify – This allows you to create brand presets with fonts, logos, and colors.
- Blend – This option lets you create custom color blends.
Other than that, you can run multiple projects simultaneously using various workspaces. And you can control things like layers, opacity, alignment, borders, and shadows.
How to Use Pixelied for Editing
If you’re looking to quickly edit page designs, photos, and more, here’s how you can do it using Pixelied.
- Open Pixelied’s editor on your computer’s browser. When you do, you’ll see the following window. You can use the prompt at the bottom if you want to use the light version instead of the dark version.
- If you want to upload a file, click on My Files in the left panel. You’ll see the following window popup.
- You can use the drag-and-drop option or click on Browse and manually choose the files from the file browser.
- Once you’ve selected the files, start the import process.
- Once uploaded, you can access those files at any time.
- After that, you can start your page design using a template or you can work on a blank canvas.
If you want to remove a file from the editor, right-click on it and click Delete.
Once you are done with your page design, you can download it by clicking the Download button in the top-right corner.
Additional Adobe InDesign Alternatives You Can Use
InDesign is designed for technical graphic designers, there’s no denying that. Not to mention it’s quite expensive. That’s why a lot of casual users and small business owners tend to look for a free InDesign alternative.
Adobe does provide some benefits, such as the Creative Cloud. Other than that, there are easy integrations with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. That also means you get some of the benefits of those design software, including CMYK color management, custom typesetting, typography, photo editing, and multiple file formats.
However, that’s only useful if you have someone that understands these settings.
Therefore, a steep learning curve, high pricing, minimal tutorials, and the lack of a free version are just some of the reasons people opt for an InDesign alternative.
It’s the same with other Adobe software; for example, users often look for a Lightroom alternative because it’s expensive and hard to learn.
In any case, it’s better to use an InDesign alternative like Pixelied that meets the industry standard. However, if you want more options, the following are some of the best InDesign alternatives today.
The first on our list is Crello, a multi-purpose graphic design application. Most people use it to create social media images and web graphics. The templates and numerous formats help people quickly develop designs, posts, and even videos.
It has a collection of more than 500,000 photos that you can use. However, the best part about Crello is that you can make images, videos, and animations.
Other than that, you can make presentations, stories, and even printout designs.
It’s pretty easy to use compared to InDesign but it lacks several crucial features like PDF files support and color correction. If it is not what you’re looking for, then you can always explore more easy-to-use and fast sites like Crello.
You can check out Crello here.
Second on our list is Canva – an interactive design tool that offers everything from image editing features to page design functionality.
It’s used to create presentations, logos, business cards, and more. The tool also lets you create excellent data visualization graphics.
You’ll find a lot of templates to help with your designs. Other than that, you can add text, embed graphs, include speech bubbles, and add photo enhancements. However, the best thing about Canva is that you can directly publish, share, and download your designs.
While Canva is used by massive companies like Amazon for various reasons, not many companies use it for page design. It’s a good InDesign alternative but not good for a professional due to a lack of features. If you’re looking for more creative freedom and customization, then there are many sites like Canva that you can explore.
You can check out Canva here.
3. Affinity Publisher
Affinity Publisher is the page design version of Affinity Photo, the image editor (owned by Serif). It’s one of the strongest InDesign alternatives because it has a similar interface, provides most of InDesign’s features, and is slightly faster.
It’s available on PC and Mac, including Windows and Linux. It can be used to creates page designs, brochures, posters, magazines, and even books.
You’ll find intelligent scaling options, linking capabilities, customized table formatting, and various text styles. You can also make use of the curves, artistic effects, and grids.
While there is no subscription fee, you still have to pay a one-time fee for the full version.
You can find Affinity Publisher here.
Lucidpress is a relatively simple cloud desktop publishing software. It’s ideal for making marketing templates for your brand, including posters, posts, and cards.
It allows you to create basic to advanced templates from scratch. Furthermore, you can choose specific image elements, use brand logos, fonts, colors, and more.
There are smart fields (similar to Excel) to keep track of your templates and designs. And you can share them with coworkers online since it’s on the cloud. There’s also print support if you want to directly print your designs.
However, it doesn’t offer much flexibility in the editing side of things.
You can check out Lucidpress here.
VivaDesigner is a dedicated layout and typesetting application that’s available as a web and desktop application. Its primary features include excellent document management and workspace enhancement.
You can use it on all platforms and devices. With numerous layouts and various editing functions and options, it proves to be a worthy InDesign alternative.
Furthermore, it offers direct importing capabilities from Microsoft Excel and Word.
However, that’s the bulk of its features; the software doesn’t offer many editing, designing, and automation options.
You can check out VivaDesigner here.
Next on our list is DesignEvo, a free custom logo maker and design tool. Since it’s dedicated to the creation of logos, you’ll find plenty of templates for them.
You can create professional logos, customize designs, and make endless edits on the spot. It offers a ton of icons, elements, and fonts of all kinds. You can search for specific fonts, such as minimalist fonts.
Other than that, you can use it online without the need for downloading any software or plugin.
However, most of its design capabilities are geared towards logo making.
You can check out DesignEvo here.
Desygner is an online web-based editor that allows users to make various designs for websites and social media. You can use it on your computer, tablet, and phone (Android and iOS).
It allows you to work with all forms of images (regardless of whether it’s RAW, JPEG, PNG). You can add effects, layers, and work with multiple page files. Furthermore, it has a wide variety of templates for each purpose.
Desygner also provides direct sharing on your social media handles with automatic resizing. That allows you to quickly develop and distribute marketing material.
Compared to InDesign, it has fewer editing options but it’s faster, more efficient, and relatively easy to use.
You can check out Desygner here.
8. Conga Composer
Conga Composer is a desktop publishing software that provides a quick way to create and distribute documents, pages, and more. You can create template documents, add template elements, and start the automatic distribution process.
You can also automate and simplify presentations, reports, and graphs. Integrating it with your CRM allows for greater efficiency. Furthermore, it allows you to store and collect files directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, and more.
Meanwhile, you can set up an automatic digital documents distribution system through Salesforce.
Compared to InDesign, it offers little to no editing options. However, it works great as a desktop publishing and document management software.
You can check out Conga Composer here.
Choosing the Ideal InDesign Alternative
There is no open-source desktop publishing software in the market. Most of them are paid and the free ones are limited in their functionality. It’s important to have a free version to make the user understand a software before paying for it.
That is why a lot of people think before opting for Adobe InDesign. They know it requires expertise, and that requires even more investment in an expert who knows how to use it.
That’s why most small businesses, website owners, and casual users look for an InDesign alternative.
With Pixelied, you get templates, various design options, and distribution functionality in an online tool, making it the best InDesign alternative in the market today.