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Download InDesign: Get Adobe InDesign free or with Creative Cloud

Download InDesign
(Image credit: Adobe )

Want to download InDesign but not sure which route to take? We're here to help you make sense of Adobe's various subscription models. There are three paths to choose from: you can download Adobe InDesign for free as a trial, sign up for a standalone Creative Cloud single-app subscription for InDesign, or you can subscribe to all of Adobe's creative apps. 

Adobe InDesign is the industry standard for publication design, used by both students and professionals to create posters, brochures, flyers, newspapers, magazines, books, presentations and more. In this article, we'll explain your options for getting the software so you can begin using InDesign to create professional page layouts.

You might also want to see how to download Photoshop or these brilliant Illustrator tutorials. Meanwhile, if you've tried InDesign and decided it's not for you, check out the best InDesign alternatives, which include freemium options. You might also want to pick from the best cloud storage to save your work.

Get started immediately by signing up for a free trial of InDesign by using the link below, or scroll down for details on how to buy the software.

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Download a free trial of InDesign for PC or Mac now
You can try the latest release of InDesign for free, with access to all the newest updates, as a seven-day trial. You can cancel to avoid paying or continue on a paid Creative Cloud membership.

Can I download InDesign for free?

The short answer is yes, kind of. InDesign is a paid-for tool, but Adobe lets you download a free trial of InDesign for both Windows and Mac (just click on the 'View deal' link above to take advantage of it). The trial gives you seven days to use the full version of the page layout tool, including access to all the latest features and updates. To start the free trial, you’ll need an Adobe ID. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, it’s free and only takes a couple of minutes to create. Just go to the Adobe account page, and click 'Get an Adobe ID'.

You’ll have to provide your credit card details to start the trial, but if you cancel your subscription before the end of the trial, you won’t be charged a penny. If you don’t cancel, Adobe will start to bill you for a subscription, so keep your eye on the calendar if you decide you don't want to continue with the software. 

Taking out a trial is the only legit way to download InDesign for free. Downloading a pirated version from the murkier parts of the internet is illegal, and it’s also a big risk for the security of your devices and data. The likelihood of downloading viruses and malware bundled in with the software make it very much a false economy.

How do I buy InDesign CC?

Adobe InDesign

Buy InDesign CC from $20.99 / £19.97 / AU$21.99 per month
You can buy Adobe’s industry-leading desktop publishing software on its own for PC or Mac. Click the link above or View Deal to get started laying out your own pages.

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Buy an All Apps Adobe Creative Cloud subscription from $52.99/£49.94/AU$76.99 per month
Another way to download InDesign is through an All Apps subscription, which also gives you access to the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator.

Once you've decided the software is definitely for you, the only way to buy InDesign is through a Creative Cloud subscription, for which you pay either monthly or annually. There are two options here. The cheapest is to subscribe to InDesign alone (see the first of the two links above). That subscription also gives you Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark.

However, if you think you're going to want to use more than one Adobe app, it might make more sense to go for the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription. Obviously, that's more expensive, but it gives you access to Adobe's whole range of creative apps, along with a range of other benefits. (If you’re not sure which CC apps would benefit you, see our Adobe software list). 

If you're tempted by the latter option but put off by the cost, keep an eye out for discounts. It’s always worth bookmarking our Adobe Creative Cloud discount page to see if there are any deals on offer at any given time, and note that Adobe also offers a discount for students and teachers (see below), as well as separate pricing for businesses, schools and universities.

There did use to be a version of InDesign – InDesign CS – that you could buy as a one-off permanent purchase, however, the only way to buy InDesign now is through one of these subscription options.

How much does InDesign cost?

Download InDesign: Selection of colourful printed material

Global warming designs by Shangning Wang & Jiayan He (Image credit: Adobe)

The cheapest way to buy InDesign CC is through the Single App InDesign plan, which usually costs $20.99 / £19.97 / AU$29.99 per month on an annual plan. That will give you InDesign, plus 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark. 

The other way to buy InDesign CC is through the Creative Cloud All Apps option, which gives you access to InDesign as well as Adobe’s entire collection of creative desktop and mobile apps. At $52.99 / £49.94/ AU$76.99 per month, it's not a huge amount more than single-app option for a ton more apps, and chances are you're going to want to use a programme like Photoshop if you're working with images.

InDesign discounts for teachers and students

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Get Adobe CC All Apps plan for students/teachers for $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month
For those in education, Adobe offers a discount of around 65% on its Creative Cloud All Apps subscription, which includes InDesign. Click View Deal then the 'Students and Teachers' tab.

If you’re a student or teacher, you can buy InDesign as part of a discounted All Apps plan at a much lower rate. Normally, you can get all the Creative Cloud apps, plus 100GB cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark for just $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month for the first year, and $29.99 / £25.28 / AU$43.99 thereafter. Sometimes there are even lower rates during particular sales periods.

How do I get started with InDesign?

Download InDesign: Poster template on both paper and tablet screen

InDesign is used for both print and digital design (Image credit: Adobe)

Once you've downloaded InDesign, check out our collection of the best InDesign tutorials to get started with the software, and hone your skills. We’ve gathered together a great range of InDesign lessons, all free to access, which will teach you new tricks and how to work smarter and more creatively, whether you're a beginner, intermediate-level or a professional user. 

InDesign CC: everything you need to know

Download InDesign

Create gorgeous layouts with the latest release of Adobe InDesign (Image credit: Adobe)

Debuting in August 1999, InDesign CC fast became the industry standard for page layout software in the newspaper, magazine and book publishing sectors. It’s typically used by graphic designers, editorial designers, marketing professionals, art directors and production artists to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books, and more. 

While it's primarily used for print, InDesign also has digital publishing capabilities. It's often used in conjunction with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to create content suitable for tablet devices, and it supports export to EPUB and SWF formats for the creation of ebooks and other digital publications. It also supports XML, style sheets, and other coding markups, allowing for the export of tagged text content for use in other digital and online formats. 

As part of your CC subscription plan, you’ll receive all InDesign updates free. The latest version is Adobe InDesign 2021. The latest update (May 2021) has fixed bugs related to previous stability and performance issues, while the previous update (April 2021) added the ability to map optical size to font size.

Adobe InDesign: Android and iOS apps

InDesign is currently only available for Mac and PC desktop computers. However, you can use the free app Adobe Comp to create layouts on your iPad, iPhone or Android device and then send those files to InDesign for further work. Terry White walks you through this process in the video below. 

InDesign alternatives

In our view, the best InDesign alternative is Affinity Publisher, which was launched last year by Serif, the makers of Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. Affinity Publisher is available for a low-cost, one-off fee and requires no subscription. 

Another good paid-for option is Quark Xpress, which predates InDesign and still offers a decent alternative for those who prefer a one-off payment to a subscription (albeit a much more expensive one than Affinity Publisher). Our favourite free alternative is the open-source tool Scribus, which does a pretty good job at page layout for creatives on a budget. You can see a full list of InDesign alternatives here.

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.