PagePlus: A better and cheaper DTP program than Publisher

Jan 21, 2009
Updated • Mar 2, 2011
Microsoft Office, Software, Windows

99% of home users will use Microsoft Publisher as their desktop publisher but will be unaware of a free superior package offered by Serif.

PagePlus is a 'budget' desktop publishing suite published by Serif. The latest version (PagePlus X3) costs £80 but an older version, PagePlus SE, is offered free-of-charge.

PagePlus SE contains many different paper sizes and when installing, it asks the user whether they are American or European (for paper sizes). PagePlus SE can be therefore be used to design everything from an envelope to a letter!

Most of PagePlus SE's features are also in Publisher but I feel that PagePlus SE is easier to use when designing something more than a greeting card etc. For example, instead of having to go through all sort of context menus to be able to specify an object's position, PagePlus SE bears a bar which allows the user to numerically enter information like the position, size and angle of objects. This is much easier than having to right click an item or guess-timate its position.

I also feel PagePlus SE is better with kerning, with this also being in the changebar as opposed to being hidden in a menu!

Some options in PagePlus SE are also more technical: it allows the user to state the rendering they want on screen and on print, for example. The user can also opt for grid lines. There's also a resource and text manager, where all images and text used inside the publication are listed to allow a quick summary.

Unfortunately, PagePlus SE cannot export into industry-standard formats like PDF and EPS.

Serif host a number of designs on their website which people can import int PagePlus to use.

It may not be Quark, but it's free and easily up to the same standard as its nearest competitor: Publisher. Unfortunately, like Publisher but unlike Quark, it is Windows-only.


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  1. Mc said on December 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I have been using pageplus for a couple of months and it is really quite easy to use and understand withouth spending a lot of time on the manual if ever! I sincerely believe it is good for small and home business users.

  2. Bob said on January 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    have been using this free serif for a long time. We have produced some really nice cards for Xmas, Birthday etc

    Quite easy to use and best of all free!

  3. jack said on January 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    scribus is my DTP of choice as well.

  4. HED854 said on January 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I favor Scribus too. It has a very nice community with a complete wiki for tips and tutorials.

  5. Stefan said on January 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I’ve been using Pageplus since I had my old 486, long before I started using Office. It’s a fantastic program and so easy to use that I used to do my school projects in it. Serif tends to take a back seat to the big boys like Adobe and M$, but they do have some gems in their software portfolio.

  6. Lux said on January 22, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Well it may not export to pdf, but the simple free workaround consists in installing something like pdfcreator and printing to that…

  7. MK said on January 22, 2009 at 6:11 am

    How’s PagePlus SE compare to Scribus?

  8. RogueSpear said on January 22, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I’ve always enjoyed using Scribus myself. Open sauce and cross platform.

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