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Publisher: a viable desktop publishing alternative

Publisher: a viable desktop publishing alternative

Publisher is one of the less-used Microsoft applications, but it's good value for those who how to use it.

Publisher 2010 has come a long way from the days of yore when it was loathed by designers for its lack of intuitiveness and despised by pre-press operators for its inability to handle spot colour, separations and bleeds.

We were compelled to revisit Publisher when a client requested a number of publication templates that they could revise themselves. The design (supplied by an agency) was too complicated for Word – there were a number of different page layouts that needed to be available in any given publication – so we considered Publisher.

It was a revelation. It supported master pages, text styles, and most of the tools needed for advanced page layout.  Sure, it’s still a little clunky (e.g. no automatic table of contents), but we were able to replicate the supplied design exactly (see below), prepare final artwork using the ‘Design Checker’ and ‘Commercial Print Information’ settings and generate press-quality pdfs for printing.

Publisher: a viable desktop publishing alternative. An example of a Publisher document layout.
An example of a Publisher document layout.

We’d definitely recommend Publisher to clients with MS Office 2010 (or newer) who want multi-layout, commercially-printed publications they can edit in-house.

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