How the top design apps + programs compare to each other (+ free 60 min design tutorial!)

How the top design apps + programs compare to each other – Paper + Oats

One of the most common questions I get is asking about how all the different design apps and programs compare to each other — sorry it’s taken me this long to finally write this post! I’ve been wanting to create an infographic (using Adobe InDesign, duh!), and thought this comparison post would be the perfect fit. Below you can find a chart that compares the top design apps and programs that I get asked about most often:

  • Adobe InDesign

  • Adobe Illustrator

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Canva

  • Microsoft Word / Apple Pages

  • Google Slides / Power Point

Each program listed has its own strengths and projects that they can be good for, but I think you’ll be surprised to see that Adobe InDesign, my obvious top pick, can be used for a lot more design projects that you might realize. Pssst… a list of ideas is at the bottom of the infographic for ya.

Read through the chart below, and I encourage you to pin it to your Pinterest account so you can refer back to it as needed. This will be a great resource for you! And design nerdery like this doesn’t have to be all boring – there’s plenty of humor and silly comparisons sprinkled throughout the infographic to keep things fun 🙃 This was really fun to design, and you’ll neeeeever guess what program I used to create it…


Have a specific project on your to-design list that you’re wondering which design program would be best for? Leave a comment below, and I’d be happy to help!


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Kelsey Baldwin

Graphic designer + blogger providing design resources to help creative entrepreneurs navigate the world of design + branding for digital products so they can share what they know.

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