Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing software solution developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs, along with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.
- A solid app for desktop publishing, especially for anyone with basic needs or beginners learning the desktop publishing process.
- Plenty of templates to choose from for easy document creation.
- Included as part of some versions of Microsoft Office.
- A simple, easy-to-navigate interface.
- Has the core tools for creating unique, stunning flyers, postcards, brochures and more.
- An extensive library of templates to use and choose from for easy document creation.
- Varied and quality typography tools.
- Publisher has a simplistic interface that is easy to navigate, especially for users already familiar with Office.
- An excellent lightweight alternative to InDesign and other more feature-rich programs for professional desktop publishing design. It is also considerably cheaper than InDesign for companies and individuals with more modest desktop publishing needs, especially because it can be included as part of Office.
- Publisher integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft Office programs.
- Cost. Publisher, along with the rest of Microsoft Office, is very pricey, even with the 365 subscription model. There are cheaper or even free alternatives.
- Compatibility. Publisher's main format is not supported by many other applications, and even if edits can be made, compatibility is generally poor. Because Publisher is only part of the upper-tier Office packages, many computers that have Office installed do not have Publisher and cannot open .pub files.
- No version of Publisher for Macs.
- Unlike the rest of Microsoft Office, Publisher is not the industry-standard for its niche. Adobe InDesign has that honor.
- It is missing some of the more high-end and useful graphic design tools.
- There is no compatibility with Adobe products - only other Microsoft products.
Publisher is a very solid desktop publishing program for beginners and people with basic needs. It lacks the high-end features and the market share its counterparts Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress enjoy. However, Publisher still enjoys a significant portion of the professional desktop publishing market as well. Publisher provides a number of templates for many different types of publications. These include photo albums, brochures, flyers, newsletters and more. It has sufficient tools for both personal use and professional use, including simple drag and drop photo organization and advanced typography tools. Its graphic design tools, however, are limited compared to its competitors. The native file format for Publisher is .pub. Unfortunately, Publisher has more compatibility issues with other machines and programs than other Office apps do. Publisher does not come with all versions of Office, so even machines that have Office may not necessarily have Publisher and thus be unable to open .pub files. Publisher files cannot be opened by most other desktop publishing software, unlike Word documents. LibreOffice does support .pub files, but Corel Draw X4 can only read them and InDesign and QuarkXPress do not offer support of any kind. Publisher's integration with the rest of Office, however, is seamless. Office Professional 2016 is the only one-time purchase of Office that includes Publisher and is $399.99. Publisher can be bought on its own for a one-time fee of $129.99. It can also be accessed as part of an Office 365 subscription for Home, Personal, Business and Business Premium, which all have varying monthly fees and features depending on a user's needs. Unlike nearly every other program in Office, Publisher is not available for Macs.