top 5 free publishing software

The following free publishing software enable you to design and print your own professional looking newsletters, brochures, flyers, e-books, Menus, business cards, letter head and other similar projects. You may not get the full features commonly found in the professional publishing software such as Adobe InDesignPagePlus, but the programs listed here are still powerful and built in with basic publishing tools.

Unfortunately, unlike other groups of software, we find limited free desktop publishing software. These are Scribus and PagePlus Starter Edition. The others can be used to create simple graphics but are not built with necessary page layout and publication tools.

PagePlus Starter Edition

PagePlus Starter Edition is a free publishing software ideal for designing print documents. Using PagePlus you can create professional looking documents without hassle.

Main features of PagePlus Starter Edition

  • Has basic layout creation tools
  • Add text, images and effects
  • Easy drag and drop design method
  • Support guides for exact alignment of objects
  • Support for common image files including .JPG and .PNG
  • Has built in templates
  • Instant color schemes

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8

Website: PagePlus Starter Edition


Scribus is an open source and powerful free publishing software that works across multiple platforms. It helps you to create great looking publications of all kinds. All the basic features of page layout come with Scribus, in fact it has all the tools required for professional desktop publishing.

Key features of Scribus

  • Support Master pages and Page Palettes
  • Support layering
  • Support Object grouping, resizing, moving, etc.
  • Employs an XML-based file format
  • Import text filters such as ODT, SXW, HTML, MS Word, CSV
  • Support image formats including EPS,  GIF, JPEG, PNG, PSD, TIFF, BMP and XPM
  • Support several types of Vector formats including Adobe Illustrator
  • Has color swatches and creation of CMYK color PostScript separations
  • Include typography tools (Paragraph, text style, line spacing, hyphenation, etc.)
  • Has integrated text editor
  • Support Vector editing
  • Create PDF files, forms including all PDF fields

Compatibility: Windows 2000 or later, Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 or later

Website: Scribus Free desktop publishing software

Other related free publishing software but not as powerful as the above two programs include the following

Apache OpenOffic

Apache OpenOffice is a free and open productivity suite software. The software integrates word processor (Apache OpenOffice Writer), powerful spreadsheet, presentations, drawing, database, and mathematical equation editor in a single package. It works like Microsoft Office Suite, but it is free.

Apache OpenOffice Draw enables you to create graphics, posters and diagrams. It is more of graphics package than page layout program. Even though it lacks some of the features we find in other free publishing software, you can still use it to create simple document.

Some of the features of Apache draw include manipulate objects, arrange objects, dimensioning, import graphics types including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF and create Flash (.swf).

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac

Website: Apache OpenOffice Suite 


Libreoffice is also an open source, cross-platform and free full-featured office productivity suite. The package works similar to Microsoft Office, but the file format is Open Document Format (ODF). LibreOffice includes the following components:-

  • Word Processor called Writer (create letters, books, reports, newsletters brochures and other documents)
  • Spreadsheet called Calc (for analysis, charting, and decision making)
  • Presentations called Impress (for all common multimedia presentation tools such as animation, effects and drawing tools)
  • Vector Drawing called Draw (for creating diagrams, flowcharts and 3D artwork). It may not grouped into free publishing software, however, it can be used to create drawings and clip art.
  • Database called Base (for day-to-day database work)
  • Formula editor called Math (formula or education editor)

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8

Website: LibreOffice free productivity suite

Adobe Project ROME

Adobe Project ROME is a retired all in one content creation and publication software that can be downloaded for free.

Publisher’s Description

Project ROME is an all-in-one content creation and free publishing software that lets virtually anyone at work or home inject the power of graphics, photos, text, video, audio and animation into everyday projects. From printed materials and presentations to digital documents and websites, you can go from start to finish within the simple, creative Project ROME environment.

Project ROME is a Software-as-a-Service offering, and works as both an Adobe AIR® desktop application and as a browser-based web application, leveraging the power of Adobe® AIR® and Adobe Flash Player® technology.

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Website: Adobe Project ROME

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