How to download InDesign free or with Adobe Creative Cloud

Download InDesign
(Image credit: Adobe/Future owns)

Looking to download InDesign? You've come to the right place. Adobe offers a variety of different packages for downloading its famous design tool, and it can be tricky to know where to start. We're here to help you find the right package for you – from downloading a free trial to signing up for access to Adobe's All Apps plan, there's an option for every creative's needs. 

Wondering if Adobe InDesign is the right tool for you? You might want to download Photoshop or download Adobe Illustrator, or if you're simply looking for the best Adobe deals around, check out our guide to finding the best Creative Cloud discount

What is InDesign?

In short, Adobe InDesign is the industry standard for publication design, used by students, professionals, hobbyists, and pretty much everyone in-between. From posters to magazines, via flyers books and much, much more, it's the ultimate tool for creating awesome print designs and page layouts. Recently we've been particularly impressed by the collaboration tools and ability to work across both digital and print – find out more in our InDesign review.

Download a free trial of InDesign for PC or Mac now (opens in new tab)

Download a free trial of InDesign for PC or Mac now (opens in new tab)
You can try the latest release of InDesign for free, with access to all the newest updates, as a 7-day trial. You can cancel to avoid paying or continue on a paid Creative Cloud membership.

Can I download InDesign for free?

In short, yes. 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, 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 (opens in new tab), 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. 

How do I buy InDesign CC?

Buy InDesign CC from $20.99 / £19.97 / AU$21.99 per month (opens in new tab)

Buy InDesign CC from $20.99 / £19.97 / AU$21.99 per month (opens in new tab)
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.

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. And there are often deals available, which you'll find above.

InDesign discounts for teachers and students

Get Adobe CC All Apps plan for students/teachers for $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month (opens in new tab)

Get Adobe CC All Apps plan for students/teachers for $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month (opens in new tab)
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 hit the 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 2022. The latest update (October 2022) has fixed bugs related to previous stability and performance issues, while the last major update adds features like support for endnotes, paragraph borders and more.

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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 an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

With contributions from