Microsoft Publisher is one of the pieces of software within Microsoft’s Office suite that is used to create a range of professional documents. It can create newsletters, postcards, flyers and brochures with a range of ready-made templates and the ability to customise them to match with your business branding.
Publisher is an easier to use and more cost-effective alternative to some of the Adobe programs and was designed specifically for small business users. It is a part of Office and isn’t available as a standalone program.
What to use Publisher for
There is a wide range of things you can use Publisher for as it comes with a host of pre-made templates that are easy to alter and amend to your needs. It is popular for the creation of advertising materials such as brochures or flyers as well as paper-based newsletters. Although it’s quite easy to use, there are some Microsoft Publisher training courses to help you.
It also has uses for things like certificates for staff accomplishments, invitations to company events and even greeting cards to send to customers. You can make bookmarks and stickers to use as promotional materials and is designed to be used by non-graphic designers, so the interface is simple and user-friendly.
You can access Publisher through its own link on your desktop computer and it will open to a Start screen. Each file you open in Publisher is called a publication and a saved file will show the format of filename.pub in your folders. There are three main options here:
- Open an existing publication
- Select a template to create a new publication
- Start a new blank publication
Using a template from the collection in Publisher is one of the easiest ways to get started with the software. There are hundreds available and they are grouped into different categories to help you find what you need. Select the template you want, and it will open into a new box then hit ‘create’ to start the editing process.
If you choose a blank template, then this will offer one of two default sizes which are 8.5 x 11” or 11×8.5”. There is also an option for ‘more blank page sizes’ if you don’t want this size which is the US version of A4.
If you have used any of the Office suite before, then the format you see when you use Publisher will be roughly familiar. At the top of the screen is the title bar which tells you the name of the file you have open – this defaults to Publication1 for the first file and so on until you save with a different name. Other settings on the bar are much the same as in Word and Excel.
Beneath this is the ribbon which contains the tabs and groups, tools and commands that you use to operate Publisher. The tabs are Home, Insert, Page Design, Mailings, Review and View – again these are similar to other Office products. Each tab contains tools and commands and there are drop-down menus for more options on many.
If you are familiar with Word, Excel or other Office programs, then adapting to Publisher will be quite simple. You can also get training on it to help you if you find that you want to make more use of its many features.
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