Is there affordable layout/design software for home use?
March 7, 2013 9:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for PC-based layout/design software that runs less than $500 that works better than MS Publisher.

I am taking over responsibilities for putting together our HOA newsletter so that we don't have to out-source to the guys down the road who will do it for free but load it with advertising that we can't choose ourselves.

Our first newsletter chair made do with MS Publisher, which we've all agreed isn't viable. Our current chair who is stepping down uses Adobe InDesign CS4 for Mac. I looked at pricing for the current version of Adobe InDesign and it exceeds what the HOA is willing to pay. Now my job is to find something that has decent functionality for a more reasonable price. We don't have stringent requirements and we don't require fancy features.
posted by PuppyCat to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Scribus is your open source alternative to InDesign.
posted by COD at 9:51 AM on March 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thank you! Checking it out now...
posted by PuppyCat at 9:55 AM on March 7, 2013

There is also Serif Page Plus. It costs between Publisher and InDesign
posted by crowbar_of_irony at 10:25 AM on March 7, 2013

If you're a non-profit, you can get cheap software through TechSoup.
posted by Magnakai at 10:26 AM on March 7, 2013

I'm not a fan of it, but "buying" InDesign CS6 as an Adobe Cloud app is at most $30/mo. Is that too much? Or were you looking at standalone software prices?

Do check with your printer to make sure what kind of output files they accept.
posted by fontophilic at 10:39 AM on March 7, 2013

Adobe has made their CS2 apps available for free. InDesign CS2 is plenty good for your needs.
posted by zsazsa at 11:31 AM on March 7, 2013

The CS2 apps are not free. Right at the top of that page in red text it says "the serial numbers below should only be used by customers who legitimately purchased CS2 or Acrobat 7 and need to maintain their current use of these products." No, the FBI is not very likely to come kick in your door if you download and use them without a license, but it is not legal, and I really doubt it's a position an HOA wants to put themselves into to save a few hundred bucks.
posted by primethyme at 11:34 AM on March 7, 2013

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