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Everyone knows about the big guns in the graphics field. Adobe is pretty much the unchallenged master of image editing with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks. Adobe’s InDesign shares the digital publishing field, albeit grudgingly, with Quark’s QuarkXPress. Serious graphic designers find themselves stuck between these two large corporations, due in part to format lock-in and in part to features that other pieces of software just don’t have.

For those of us who don’t need things like the ability to switch from right-to-left text to left-to-right text with one click of the mouse, or even more obscure features, there are a number of other third-party applications out there that may meet our needs.

They range from cross-platform open source programs with more power than beauty, to applications with innovative user interfaces developed by pillars of the indie Mac developer community. One thing is true in all of them: they’re less expensive than the Adobe alternative!

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