Affinity Publisher vs InDesign… Will desktop publishing professionals use Serif’s app or stick with Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) app for DTP? In this article, Markzware reports on aspects and views of these two creative apps for designing page layouts to be published in print or online. As a bonus, Markzware also shows how to open InDesign files in Publisher, using IDMarkz. Check it out:
What Are Affinity Publisher & Adobe InDesign?
Per Serif, Affinity Publisher is “… the next generation of professional publishing software. From magazines, books, brochures, posters, reports and stationery to other creations, this incredibly smooth, intuitive app gives you the power to combine your images, graphics and text to make beautiful layouts ready for publication.” (Source: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/publisher/)
Per Adobe, “InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media.” (Source: https://www.adobe.com/products/indesign.html)
Is Publisher Better than InDesign?
Adobe InDesign is an extremely popular, feature-rich application for creating page layouts. Yet, on various web pages, Affinity Publisher has been considered an “InDesign killer”1, “competition for Adobe’s InDesign”2, “not a copy of InDesign – no massive fail”3, and “InDesign’s New Rival”4, alongside other references to Serif’s .AFPUB document creator.
1. Source: https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/creative-software/indesign-rival-affinity-publisher-is-officially-out-you-can-use-full-affinity-suite-in-app/
2. Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/affinity-publisher-creates-competition-for-adobes-indesign/
3. Source: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/65954-affinity-publisher-is-not-a-copy-of-indesign-no-massive-fail/
4. Source: https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/affinity-publisher-your-guide-to-indesigns-new-rival–cms-31787
Video: “Affinity Publisher to be the Desktop Publishing Application of Choice within 5 years”~ Pat Marchese
Compare Publisher Features & InDesign Features
Affinity Publisher Features Include:
• Page Layout Essentials (Import IDML, PDF, PSD, and AI; Easy Setup with New Document Dialog for Desktop; Spread Setup; Master Pages; Sections; Page Navigation and Viewing; Text Frame Setup; Placeholder Text; Adding Text to Text Frames; Artistic Text; Text-on-a-Path; Preview and Place Stock Imagery; Picture Frames; Tables; Pinned Objects; Text wrapping; Interactive links for digital publishing; Fields; Merge Publisher documents; Table of Contents; Index)
• Professional Typography
• Resource, Layer, and Font Management
• Design Aids (Snapping, Ruler, Guides, Grids, Constraints, Page Rotation, Assets & more)
• Supporting Vector Design Tools and Operations
• StudioLink for Designer and Photo Interworking
• Professional Color, Compatibility, and Output
• Live Blend Modes, Adjustments and Effects
• (and much more)
InDesign Features include:
• Copy Editor
• Review panel enhancement
• Share for review
• Auto-Activate Adobe Fonts
• Place video from a URL
• Stability and other enhancements
• SVG import
• Column rules
• Support for South-East Asian languages
• Variable fonts
• Reverse spell-check
• Enhanced data merge
• Adobe Asset linking
• Find similar images
• Onboarding resources
• Removal of Flash formats
• In-app troubleshooting support
• (and much more)
Is Affinity Publisher Any Good?
Adobe InDesign has been long established as a leading DTP app, but how do professional users rate Publisher? There are plenty of reviews that you can check out that give opinions on the Affinity Publisher app by Serif. For graphic designers in the book publishing industry, Publisher could be a powerful, affordable InDesign alternative, for efficient creation of book covers and print or digital layouts. (Source: “Affinity Publisher Review: An InDesign Alternative” https://blog.lulu.com/affinity-publisher-an-indesign-alternative/)
In a CreativePro article, Steve Caplin, writer, artist, designer, and author of several books, noted Publisher’s one-off purchase model, which could possibly lure users who wish to be free Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription model. Caplin further observed “… Publisher is a worthy rival to inDesign. The ability to edit images and vector graphics without leaving Publisher is a huge bonus, and the innovative toolset contains many compelling features.” (Source: “Review: Affinity Publisher – CreativePro.com” https://creativepro.com/review-affinity-publisher/)
Several individuals have given feedback about Publisher on the TrustRadius website. (Source: https://www.trustradius.com/compare-products/adobe-indesign-vs-affinity-publisher) If you want to see more about weighing Publisher and Adobe’s offerings, here are some videos that were posted on YouTube:
• Affinity Publisher Review – Can It Really Replace InDesign?
• Affinity Publisher: BIG Review – Worth the Money???
• Can You Ditch Adobe for Affinity
• 5 Ways Affinity Publisher beats Adobe InDesign
• Why I Left Adobe – Adobe CC Alternatives
• Why I Don’t Use Adobe Creative Cloud Anymore
Publisher & InDesign Pricing
• Perpetual app, one-off purchase: $49.99 (USD)
(Editor’s Note: When I was checking on Serif’s store for Publisher, a bonus font was also offered, at no charge.)
• Annual plan, paid monthly: $20.99 per month (USD)
• Annual plan, prepaid: $239.88 per year (USD)
• Monthly plan: $31.49 per month (USD)
Try Publisher & InDesign for Free!
Need to test out the apps, before you decide? There are free trial downloads, for both Affinity Publisher and Adobe InDesign, so you can better compare the apps, firsthand:
Free Trial Version of Affinity Publisher macOS:
Free Trial Version of InDesign:
How Can Affinity Publisher Be Used?
This video, found on the Affinity channel on YouTube, presents a tutorial about some of what you can do with Affinity Publisher:
Further details are given in this video on Serif’s “next generation of professional publishing software”:
Affinity Publisher Tips on Apple’s Mac App Store:
• So you can easily see what space you have left on a page, set up guides via View > Show Guides, when you start to create your Affinity Publisher project.
• If you want to change formatting on a specific format type, search for the format type via Text > Find, then change it.
• To add an asset, use Publisher’s StudioLink feature to switch to Designer or Photo, add the element, and return to Publisher.
Can InDesign Files Be Opened in Affinity Publisher?
Yes. Markzware develops preview, preflight, and file conversion software for printers, publishers, graphic designers, creative professionals, and the like. Markzware’s IDMarkz is a multi-featured application that processes Adobe InDesign files for use in numerous file formats on the macOS platform.
IDMarkz can help you to open Adobe InDesign (.indd) files in Serif’s Affinity Publisher application. This video demonstration walks you through the steps:
Video: IDMarkz Open in Publisher Feature Affinity Publisher
How to Open an InDesign File in Affinity Publisher:
• Drag & drop your files onto the IDMarkz window, in the “Drag and drop files here” section.
• With Affinity Publisher loaded, click on the “Publisher” icon in the top of the IDMarkz window.
• Click the “Open” button in the “PDF Options” window opened by Publisher, which will assign a profile.
IDMarkz Features include:
The versatile, multi-purpose IDMarkz app quickly processes InDesign files on a Mac, offers ease-of-use, and saves money on Creative Cloud subscriptions. With IDMarkz, you can:
• Open InDesign files in earlier InDesign versions or in QuarkXPress, Affinity Publisher, Acrobat, Illustrator, …
• Open InDesign files in Acrobat and Annotate the PDF
• Preview InDesign files & export .indd files as IDML, PDF, TIFF, PNG, JPEG, or GIF
“It was my pleasure to show off IDMarkz. It’s an essential piece in the puzzle for folks looking to get started with Publisher. IDML import is great, but it’s only half a bridge by itself ;)”
– Mike Rankin, Editor in Chief, CreativePro.com
How to Buy IDMarkz
You can use automation features, to open InDesign in Publisher or in another selected application, today! Buy Markzware’s low-cost IDMarkz Mac Subscription (including updates throughout your 12-month subscription term), via the IDMarkz page at:
Do you use Serif’s Affinity Publisher and/or Adobe’s InDesign? Which desktop publishing app do you use most often? Have you tried to open InDesign in Affinity Publisher or any other format? Come share your thoughts with Markzware on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and other websites.
Want more details on IDMarkz? Check out these two informative videos:
Video: InDesign to Affinity Publisher
Video: Adobe InDesign to Affinity Publisher at CreativePro Week
Affinity Publisher vs InDesign: Serif or Adobe CC App for DTP?