Broderbund software: is it a good desktop publishing alternative

Broderbund Software: Is It a Good Desktop Publishing Alternative?

Broderbund software has been around for years serving products with publishing, printing, and educational purposes. The company first established its name with its desktop publishing software. Since then, they have been growing their products to cater to their clients’ needs.

Even though we are moving towards a digital world, the printing industry still thrives, and so Broderbund software products are still in demand.

According to Smithers, the total value of the printing industry is estimated to hit $834.3 billion in 2026. It’s not as high as expected due to the result of the pandemic. However, at least we can see that the printing industry is thriving in a digital world.

The need for printed materials is vast, from product labels to packaging. So as long as there are companies that demand these materials, the printing industry will continue to produce such.

Companies or graphics designers will need desktop publishing and printing tools to create designs.

There are plenty of desktop publishing tools in the market. Some of the most popular names in the industry are Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, and QuarkXPress. However, there are other brands that have been around quite a long time and produce products that can compete with top brands.

In this blog post, we will get to know Broderbund software and its publishing tools and see if you can swap your expensive tool for a more affordable alternative.

Broderbund Company

Broderbund was founded in Eugene, Oregon, in the early 1980s. They began creating computer games like Galactic Empires, Prince of Persia, and Lode Runner.  Broderbund has expanded its line of products and is currently the leading publisher of consumer desktop publishing titles.

The Print Shop and PrintMaster are two of their most known products, and businesses rated it to be among the best-performing Broderbund software. Furthermore, they include Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, a typing teaching tool together with other educational and fun programs. Broderbund software programs are easy to use and practical for everyday users.

Broderbund Software: Is it a Good Desktop Publishing Alternative?

Two of Broderbund’s publishing software are PrintMaster and The Print Shop. 

Features (PrintMaster)

the printmaster broderbund software
via Broderbund’s website

Designing Tools

  • You can create multiple designs and customize them to what your clients want (brochures, calendar, greeting cards, newsletter, banners, etc.)
  • There are over 6500 templates to choose from, so you have plenty of designs and you won’t run out of ideas.
  • Modifying the templates is easy. You can add texts or images available within the Broderbund software. Or, you can choose to add your own image.
  • Images can be edited. You can add effects, crop the photo, and more. It uses the drag-and-drop technique.
  • There are over 165,000 clipart variations for different occasions and 10,000 royalty-free images that can be for personal and commercial use.
  • Over 1,500 fonts, and you can edit the color of the text.
  • Also available are 67 shapes that can be edited.


It looks a bit outdated, but that’s how Broderbund software is. Don’t get fooled by the looks of it because Broderbund is easy to navigate. All the tools are on top, and when you select a tool, like text, a selection appears on the left side of the dashboard.

You can see the current projects you are working on at the bottom of the dashboard.

Storage and Performance

If you are working on a project and want to refresh the app, you can do so without losing the project. You can continue where you left off when you close the project.

To further boost the performance of the application, you can clear cache and memory on the Clear Cache tool.

Having the ability to refresh the application and boost its memory will avoid crashing the app. Design or publishing software uses a lot of memory from the projects created. The software can sometimes malfunction, so you’ll need to refresh it to make it perform at its best.

Sharing and Saving

Projects created in the Broderbund software can be shared via email in the form of PDF. If you are an Apple user, you can send your PDF designs via iMessage.

There is also the option to save designs on the iCloud drive for Apple users.


Broderbund software offers a one-time payment option. There are no subscription plans, so you only pay once.

The Broderbund software is compatible with Windows and Mac users only. Unfortunately, Broderbund software has no mobile application, which means you can only work on your desktop or laptop.

PrintMaster has two plans, the Personal Edition and Family Edition

Meanwhile, the Broderbund Print Shop software comes in different versions such as:

  • Print Shop Deluxe and Professional
  • The Print Shop Mac
  •  The Print Shop 23.1 Deluxe and Professional
  • Easy Business Imprints

You can read the features of the Print Shop here.

Comparison to Other Desktop Publishing Software

Looking at the features of Broderbund software, they are simple and straightforward. Broderbund products have plenty of templates to choose from and are made for creating designs for the printing industry.

Do we recommend any Broderbund software? Yes. If you want a simple tool that can meet all your publishing needs, it’s best to invest in any Broderbund software like PrintMaster or the Print Shop. There are no monthly subscription fees you have to deal with and with so many options to choose from, you won’t get stuck on your projects.

However, there are still limits to using Broderbund software. You cannot work on your smartphone. Also, you cannot import or export designs to any popular programs like Photoshop. You need to copy and paste your design into the program.

Other Desktop Publishing Software

If you want more than the traditional desktop publishing tools, there are some brands that offer more than that on their packages.


QuarkXPress is a graphic designing and desktop publishing software packed with professional tools and unlimited designs to choose from. It’s in the league with Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher when features are compared.

It was first released in the late 80s, and since then, it is a staple for most graphic designers and creative professionals.

QuarkXPress has numerous digital publishing tools that are easy to use. Users can easily convert projects and export them to other programs or on websites. Furthermore, it has expanded the digital experience of users by providing automatic backups, faster workflow, team collaboration, and native-object conversion.

There are powerful layouts to assist with the designs the user wants and templates that are industry-specific.

QuarkXPress is an all-in-one program. It can be used to create labels, banners, newsletters, and more. In addition, it has a detailed digital canvas to create illustrations and graphics. The photo editing features within the software are much more advanced than those on the Broderbund software. It even lets users convert their print publications to a digital format without the need for coding knowledge.

Most of its royalty-free images are from Unsplash and Pexels.

There are add-ons available for copy editing and app publishing and content collaboration.

QuarkXPress has two plans. You can purchase the perpetual license, or they have a subscription-based plan.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is probably the most popular desktop publishing software known.

InDesign is a leading tool when you want to create print and digital media. There are plenty of layouts and design templates available. You can choose graphics and typography from the Adobe Stock application. You can create limitless designs and unleash your creativity with all the tools you can use to create an eBook, digital magazine, PDFs, and more.

Collaboration with your team is possible. Create designs and get feedback on projects to accomplish them on time.

InDesign has other Adobe tools within the software like Adobe Capture to import themes and space, Adobe Fonts for raster image of fonts, and Adobe Stock for templates.

Adobe InDesign is only a subscription-based app. You can get the app alone or choose other Adobe apps by purchasing the Creative Cloud.

Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher was once chosen by Apple as its Mac App of the Year. This professional publishing software provides different layouts and templates for making magazines, social media posts, books, and more.

The application is easy and simple to use. It’s much easier than InDesign.

You can create designs in a double-page spread, use grids for guides, create tables, use templates across other apps and devices, and make custom-shaped text frames.

Affinity Publisher can work on any file type, whether it’s raster or vector images. It can even open and edit PDF/X files.

The image editing tools of Affinity Publisher give a powerful way to manipulate your designs in a non-destructive form. You can make corrections, adjust the brightness, and enhance the color of your images.

The color management of Affinity Publisher is superb. It supports Pantone, end-to-end CMYK, and ICC colors.

Images and text from external sources can be integrated and merged into a project. You can then create business cards, letters, certificates, and other documents that require an external data source.

Affinity publisher has other apps you can link with to make the designing process smooth and instant.

Similar to Broderbund software, Affinity Publisher is a one-time purchase product.

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