Free desktop publishing software for Mac

  1. Free does not mean a second course. This Mac software gets the job done.
  2. Pages on Mac
  3. Pages
  4. scribe
  5. Apache OpenOffice Productivity Suite
  6. Publisher Lite
  7. inkscape

Free does not mean a second course. This Mac software gets the job done.

There are many options for desktop publishing software, and many of them, while very powerful, also come with a hefty price tag. If you want to publish something to your computer, but don’t want to go all in on expensive commercial software, there are great options on Mac that are free to download.

Pages on Mac

Mac computers come with the Pages word processing application installed, which is part of Apple’s desktop publishing and office software suite (Numbers and Keynote are Apple’s spreadsheet and presentation programs, respectively).

Many other free desktop publishing programs available for Mac are dedicated utilities. They are suitable for specific work, such as labels or business cards, but they cannot be page design tools that cover all aspects of a publishing project.

However, there are several free programs with full desktop publishing capabilities. Here are some of the best options.


Apple Pages, included with all Mac computers, is a powerful word processor that can be used as a document publishing program. If you need basic business documents, envelopes and business cards, this program can handle them with ease.

Pages comes with a set of templates that help you create professional-looking documents quickly and easily. You can also work from a blank page, add fonts, customize text styles, and add graphics and photos to enhance your document.

Export pages to PDF and Microsoft Word formats and also import Word documents.


Scribus is an open source desktop publishing software available for multiple platforms including Mac. Scribus provides support for the CMYK color model, font embedding and customization, PDF creation, EPS import/export, basic drawing tools, and other professional features.

Scribus works similarly to Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress with text frames, floating palettes, drop-down menus, and has the features of professional packages, but without the high price tag.

However, Scribus may not be the best choice if you don’t have the time or interest in dedicating yourself to tackling the learning curve associated with high-quality, professional software.

Apache OpenOffice Productivity Suite

OpenOffice offers fully integrated tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and databases in an open source software package. Among its many features you will find export to PDF and SWF (Flash), improved support for the Microsoft Office format and several languages.

If your desktop publishing needs are simple, but you also need a full suite of office tools, try the Apache OpenOffice Productivity Suite. However, for more complex desktop publishing tasks, you should use Scribus or one of the Mac printing programs.

Publisher Lite

Publisher Lite by PearlMountain Technology is a free desktop publishing and page layout application for business and home. Available on the Mac App Store, this free software comes with over 45 professional templates and hundreds of images and backgrounds. Additional templates for brochures, flyers, newsletters, posters, business cards, invitations and menus are available as in-app purchases at an affordable price of $0.99 each.


Inkscape, a popular free and open source vector drawing program, uses the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Use Inkscape to create text and image compositions, including business cards, book covers, flyers, and advertisements. Inkscape is similar in features to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Although it is a graphics program, it is quite capable of performing certain layout tasks.

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