What Is the History of Microsoft Office Publisher?

By Carl Hose

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing program designed by Microsoft. The program is included in higher-end versions of the Microsoft Office Suite. Publisher works on a layout template system that allows users to easily create a variety of projects, some of which include personal journals, calendars, greeting cards, newsletters and booklets of all types. Publisher is a low-end but powerful desktop publishing tool aimed more toward the home user than the professional.


Microsoft released the first version of Publisher in 1991. Adobe's Pagemaker came out in 1985, securing its position as a leader in the field long before Publisher.


Microsoft Publisher is a powerful desktop publishing tool that allows users to create just about any publishing project either from scratch or from one of the hundreds of templates available. The program includes text editing and design tools, graphic effects tools, and easy-to-use layout features found in most desktop software, but XML storyboard editing isn't supported.


Microsoft Publisher provides the home or casual designer with an effective, powerful way to get into desktop publishing. While it is widely disregarded by professionals, who favor Pagemaker and InDesign, Publisher's share of the home market keeps it viable.


Microsoft Publisher is a low-cost solution for anyone who wants to enter the desktop publishing market. It costs much less than its competitors, and since it's available in Microsoft Office Suite, users get other Microsoft products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access) that can be used in conjunction with Publisher to enhance productivity.


Microsoft Publisher is available as a standalone product or in the Small Business, Professional, and Ultimate editions of Microsoft Office.