microsoft publisher alternatives on mac

Microsoft Publisher alternatives on Mac

Best Microsoft Publisher alternatives for macOS

Microsoft Publisher is an application in the Microsoft Office software suite. It allows its users to design printed documents, such as newsletters, advertisements, and certificates, as well as digital documents like simple websites. Though Microsoft Publisher is not the most capable publishing program out there, it is relatively cheap and easy to use. Unfortunately, it supports only Windows operating system. However, there are many alternatives that do run on Mac; many of them are significantly more powerful, too. Adobe InDesign, Affinity Publisher, and Swift Publisher are the most notable Microsoft Publisher alternatives on Mac. Read the article below to learn more about these programs.

adobe indesign: microsoft publisher alternative for mac

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is, without doubt, the most powerful application on this list. With a vast amount of layout and typesetting tools, it is suitable for designing just about anything. It is not limited to simple documents like flyers and store menus; for example, it can be used to typeset entire books. Collaboration tools are necessary for working on large projects, so InDesign includes those as well.

  • Suitable for both large and small projects
  • Powerful collaborative features
  • Subscription only
  • More complex than MS Publisher

affinity publisher: microsoft publisher alternative for mac

Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher is another powerful publishing app. Just like InDesign, it can handle both small and big projects and includes collaborative tools. Unlike InDesign, it does not require a subscription, making it a much better purchase long-term. It also has an iPad version, which may be useful if you want to work on the go.

  • Suitable for both large and small projects
  • One-time purchase
  • More complex than MS Publisher

swift publisher: microsoft publisher alternative for mac

Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is not as powerful as Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher. While some may consider this a downside, there is also a benefit to simplicity. Just like Microsoft Publisher, it is easy to learn and comparatively cheap. And while it’s not suitable for large projects, it has plenty of quality-of-life features for working on small ones.

  • Easy to use
  • Cheap one-time purchase
  • Limited to small projects


Didn’t find a suitable alternative? Install Windows on Mac instead

If none of these alternatives work for your use-case, you still have one option left – installing Windows on your Mac. The easiest way to do this is by using a virtual machine. In very simple terms, a virtual machine is a separate window that runs Windows inside of your macOS. Windows programs like Microsoft Publisher, as well as certain games, can be launched inside of that window.

Parallels Desktop

run microsoft publisher on mac with parallels

Parallels Desktop is the best program for creating virtual machines currently on the market. It is extremely easy to use – you will be able to install Windows on your Mac with just a couple of clicks. What’s more, you will be able to switch between macOS and Windows on the fly, and even exchange files between the two systems. Thanks to this capability, you will be able to continue using Microsoft Publisher on Mac instead of searching for Microsoft Publisher alternatives on Mac.

Download Parallels Desktop

VMWare Fusion is another capable virtualization program, though it is not as streamlined as Parallels Desktop.


IMPORTANT: Mac computers with Apple Silicon chips (M1, M2, etc.) do not support BootCamp.

Unlike all programs mentioned above, BootCamp is not a virtualization program – it installs Windows directly on your Mac. Though this results in greater performance, there are disadvantages to this method too. For one, you will need to reboot every time you want to switch from macOS to Windows and vice versa. It also works only on older Mac computers with Intel processors; Apple Silicon Macs do not support BootCamp.

Follow these steps to install Windows on your Mac using BootCamp:

Please note: Users of OS X Yosemite 10.10 (or an older OS X version) will need to create a bootable Windows USB.

  1. Download this Windows ISO file.
  2. Open Boot Camp Assistant (Go to Applications > Utilities).
  3. Define the Windows partition size and choose the Windows ISO file you’ve downloaded.
  4. Format the Windows partition and go through all Windows installation steps.
  5. When Windows boots for the first time follow on-screen instructions to install Boot Camp and Windows support software (drivers)


Swift Publisher is probably the best Microsoft Publisher alternative for Mac. It fills the same niche of being a cheap and simple editor. If you want a more powerful application, you should consider Adobe InDesign or Affinity Publisher instead.
You can also install Windows on Mac using a special program called Parallels Desktop. This will allow you to run most Windows programs on your Mac and forget about searching for alternatives.

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