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Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign

Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign

Affinity Publisher and Adobe InDesign are two industry-leading programs to design posters, flyers, covers, and more. But learning both is time-consuming because of their complex nature. So, which one should you use? This is the Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign battle to help you decide.

Quick overview

Creating a Poster in InDesign

Both Affinity Publisher and Adobe InDesign are visual designing apps to create infographics, covers, posters, and more. Affinity Publisher is easier to use because of the reduced options, whereas InDesign is a bit complex and will suit professionals more.

Offered options

Affinity Publisher Overview

This is a comparison, so we can expect similar tools in both. In both programs, you find:

  • Shape tools (rectangle, ellipse, and polygon)
  • Text tools
  • Two selection tools
  • Snapping
  • Pen tool
  • Table tool

In terms of the shapes, Affinity Publisher comes with more options. In InDesign, we find three, while Affinity Publisher comes with 21 shapes, including diamond, start, and cog tools.

Overall, Adobe InDesign offers more tools than its opponent. Some of the options that we only see in InDesign include:

  • Note tool
  • page tool
  • Content collector
  • Color theme tool
  • Shape frame tool
  • Line tool

Related: Canva vs. Adobe InDesign

Keyboard shortcuts and features

Shapes

When you create a rectangle or an ellipse shape, Affinity Publisher already fills a color to help you select the shape easily. Adobe InDesign creates a blank shape, so you must click on the shape’s edge to select it.

Alt and shift

Both duplicate the shape when you drag it while the alt key is pressed. Adobe InDesign also supports the alt key option to create an in-place shape that sets the started point as the shape’s center point.

You can use the shift key to create an equal dimension circle, square and other shapes.

Tables

Adding Tables in Affinity Publisher and InDesign

The table tool of both is a bit different. Affinity Publisher does not come with table settings. You drag on the canvas with the mouse button clicked to insert a table. As you draw, you see the total columns and rows. Once the table is inserted, you can adjust its size.

Adobe InDesign asks for the total columns and rows before inserting the table. It also asks for total headers and footer columns.

Stock content

Both programs offer something for designers, but Affinity Publisher has an edge. The program is integrated with Pexels, a free stock photo, and video platform. Adobe InDesign is integrated with Adobe Stock which offers free content, but most of the content you find is premium.

Text

Text on Path in InDesign
Text on Path in InDesign

Adobe Stock offers a type-on-path tool that follows pencil, pen, or brush paths. The program also supports adding hyperlinks, whereas the option is missing from Affinity Publisher.

Presets and templates

Both programs offer presets with pre-made page layouts and margins. We find more presets on Affinity Publisher. While creating a new document, you find six preset options:

  • Print
  • Press Ready
  • Photo
  • Devices
  • Architectural

Under each, we find several presets. Adobe InDesign, in comparison, comes with:

  • Print
  • Web
  • Mobile

Under each section, we have many presets. Both support templates as well. As mentioned, Adobe Stock is integrated with InDesign, and under each section, you find free templates from Adobe Stock.

Some third-party websites also offer free and premium templates.

In terms of templates, Affinity Publisher is not integrated with any service, but third-party services offer free and premium templates to import into the program.

Related: Figma vs. Adobe Illustrator

Affinity Publisher vs. InDesign: Ease of use

Workspaces in InDesign
Workspaces in InDesign

Using Affinity Publisher is easier than InDesign. Its interface is less crowded, and you get colored icons to help you navigate the tool.

However, Adobe InDesign has the power of workspaces. Workspaces are layouts that only display the required components on the interface. Here is the list of a few workspaces in InDesign:

  • Advanced: Offers more tools and is suitable for pros.
  • Book: For book covers and images.
  • Digital Publishing: For digital publishing of designs.
  • Essentials: Shows the important panels.
  • Essential Classic: Most of the essential options are on the interface.
  • Review: For reviewing your or someone else’s work.

Both programs are customizable, enabling you to move panels’ size and location.

Platforms

Both are available on Windows and macOS computers. Adobe InDesign offers Adobe Digital Publishing Suite technology to view designs on your mobile phone, but the InDesign app is not available on phones yet.

Exporting

Exporting Menu of Affinity Publisher
Exporting Menu of Affinity Publisher

You find plenty of file formats to export your designs, but Affinity Publisher takes the cake, as it supports a couple more than its competitor. The common file formats are:

  • PNG
  • JPG
  • PDF
  • EPS
  • EXR
  • HDR
  • TGA

Affinity Publisher on its own supports GIF, TIFF, PSD, SVG, and WMF formats. Adobe InDesign also supports a few unique formats:

  • Adobe PDF (interactive)
  • EPS
  • EPUB (Reflowable)
  • HTML
  • DML
  • XML

Integrations

This round of Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign goes to the latter. Adobe InDesign has plenty of plugins, including:

  • QR Code Maker Pro
  • Shutterstock
  • Asana
  • GoProof
  • Actual Print Size

In total, you find about 520 plugins, of which about 240 plugins are free to install and use.

Pricing

Pricing changes many things because Adobe has taken the SaaS approach where you pay as long as you use it. Adobe InDesign offers three structures:

  • $31.49 per month (no-contract)
  • $20.99 per month (paid monthly on an annual contract)
  • $239.88 per year

The app is also offered in the Creative Cloud package costing $54.99 per month on the annual contract.

Affinity Publisher costs a one-time fee of $54.99. One thing that Adobe InDesign offers is that you can use it on any supported device.

Affinity Publisher comes with a platform-specific license, so you only get the license for the selected platform. To use on both platforms, you need two licenses.

Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign: Links

Conclusion

If you are new to visual designing, I recommend Affinity Publisher. It’s a great tool with many editing options. If you already know a few things about designing and want more, Adobe InDesign is a complete package.

This is the end of the Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign article. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions. I hope to see you here or on my YouTube channel.