Microsoft Publisher is an entry-level desktop publishing application from Microsoft, differing from Microsoft Word in that the emphasis is placed on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing.
Publisher is included in higher-end editions of Microsoft Office, reflecting Microsoft's emphasis on the application as an easy-to-use and less expensive alternative to the "heavyweights," with a focus on the small business market where firms do not have dedicated design professionals available to make marketing materials and other documents. However, it has a relatively small share of the desktop publishing market, which is dominated by Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress. Publisher has historically been less well liked among high-end commercial print shops, compared with other desktop publishing applications.
In Microsoft Office 2007, while most of Microsoft Office apps adopted ribbons in their user interface, Publisher retained its toolbars and did not adopt ribbons until the next version, 2010.
Publisher's position as an entry-level application aggravates many issues (particularly in older versions) such as fonts unavailable and embedded objects not available on service internal machines. Instead, Publisher comes with tools to pack related files into a self-expanding application.
Publisher's proprietary file format (.pub) is supported in LibreOffice since February 2013.Corel Draw X4 features "read only" support. Adobe's PageMaker software saves files with a .pub extension but the two files are incompatible and unrelated. Publisher supports numerous other file formats, including the Enhanced Metafile (EMF) format which is supported on Windows platforms. The Microsoft Publisher trial version can be used to view .pub files beyond the trial period.