Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing application from Microsoft, differing from Microsoft Word in that the emphasis is placed on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing.
Publisher is included in higher-end editions of Microsoft Office, reflecting Microsoft’s emphasis on the application as an easy-to-use and less expensive alternative to the “heavyweights” with a focus on the small business market where firms do not have dedicated design professionals available to make marketing materials and other documents. However, it has a relatively small share of the desktop publishing market, which is dominated by Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress.
Despite being an entry-level desktop publishing application, it is still a proprietary product and priced quite high. So, here we present you with some free and open source MS Publisher alternatives.
Scribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application, released under the GNU General Public License as free software. It is based on the free Qt toolkit, therefore native versions are available for Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and OS/2. It has a number of page layout features and competes with leading commercial applications such as Adobe PageMaker, PagePlus, QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Publisher. It supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.
Scribus is designed for layout, typesetting and to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.
The latest version of Scribus is 1.5.2.
2) Lucidpress (Bonus)
Lucidpress includes 75 templates for creating paper or digital newsletters, brochures, annual reports, flyers, pamphlets, etc. Also included are collaboration features: document sharing, real-time chat. It can be used to create printed or digital campaigns. It is fully integrated with Google Drive and Google Apps. You can also import images from Flickr, Facebook and Dropbox.
3) SpringPublisher (Bonus)
SpringPublisher is an easy to use desktop publishing software. With its included various templates and online template store, powerful multi-layer editor, detailed help-files, it enables you to design and print business cards, flyers, postcards, letterheads, labels and other artworks within a few minutes.
The software has two versions – free version and paid pro version which costs about 24$ at this time. The free version lacks some features like high resolution output, micro perforated paper support and downloadable templates. Moreover, the free version is only available for non-commercial use.
The latest version of SpringPublisher is 5.0.