Publisher is Microsoft’s desktop publishing software.  You may find that the version of Microsoft Office you have at home does not include Publisher.  If it does, here are some tips and ideas for using it.

Why Use Publisher instead of Word?

Publisher is the best software when you have a high ratio of images to text, when you want to be able to move text and images around the page or when alternative page layouts are required. Word is capable of doing all these things but it is much more complicated.

The main difference is that Publisher does not have a cursor. All text must be inserted in text boxes. It is good practice to use lots of text boxes on a page and not to create one large text box for all the content.


Publisher comes with a variety of different templates. For most extended writing, or posters, a blank A4 portrait or landscape is best.


The built-in templates (e.g. newsletters, as shown below) are useful but have a lot of preset layout options. Sometimes this is useful for allowing pupils to focus on the writing rather than the ICT.



These are commonly produced in Publisher. The most common bi-fold leaflet (where an A4 sheet is folded twice) is called a brochure in Publisher.  You’ll find lots of these posted through your door in the form of takeaway menus.




Any of the templates can be chosen. The pre-set content can then be amended (some actually contains some useful writing hints) or deleted so you can start again. See also page navigation, guidelines and linked text boxes.


A5 Leaflets / Booklets

A5 leaflets are created in a slightly different way via More Blank Page Sizes.




You need to say yes to inserting the pages so that the 4 A5 pages are created.


Page Navigation

The pages are shown on the left hand side of the screen. Publisher does not automatically insert new pages when the current page is full. Go to Insert – Page to do this.



The blue line around the edge is the margin (it is there in Word but not visible). It won’t be printed. It is important to stay within the margin as home and school printers are unable to print to the edge of the page.


The margin width can be adjusted using Page Design – Margins.

Additional guides can be selected from the Page Design menu. This is useful for layouts. Again these are not printed.


In the example below, three text boxes have been drawn using the guidelines. The space in between is called the gutter.


Text Boxes

All text in Publisher should be entered in text boxes. In the example above, separate text boxes have been used for the newspaper title, the date and the headline, together with 3 more for the article. These have been linked. Creating linked text boxes is ideal for newsletters or newspaper articles. It allows the text to flow between the boxes. Do this by creating your separate text boxes first.


Next click in the first text box and select the Create Link icon from the menu.


Then pour the coffee cup of letters (the icon changes to a cup) into the next text box. This does not show up on a screenshot. Repeat as often as you like.

Formatting Text

Text can be formatted in Publisher in the same way as in Word using the paragraph styles on the menus at the top. When you click into a text box the Text Box Tools menu opens up as well. Numbered and bulleted lists should be used as they are in Word. Text can also be put into columns and justified (right, left, center or full).



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