Home » Pros and Cons » 16 Microsoft Publisher Pros and Cons

16 Microsoft Publisher Pros and Cons

Microsoft Publisher is available with an Office 365 subscription or separately for some consumers. You can use this software to create professional, polished layouts without any hassle. You can lay out or style text, borders, pictures, and calendars and much more. It stays exactly the way you design it on your computer, whether you send the final product in an email, print it, or publish it online.

There is a wide range of products that you can design with Microsoft Publisher as well. Your templates include everything from labels and greeting cards to a professional newsletter. Instead of working with third-party products for your marketing materials, you can choose this option and its pre-designed templates to make fast work out of any project with excellent levels of compatibility along the Office chain of software.

List of the Pros of Microsoft Publisher

1. There are a significant number of templates for you to use in Publisher.
There is a large collection of templates available on this platform that you can access through the File menu. Then select the New option to see what options could work for your next project. You’ll find choices that let you build menus, brochures, labels, signs, and newsletters with ease. There’s a searchable link there to help you find more templates through Microsoft’s website as well.

Having a template ready for a multi-page project makes it easy to drag-and-drop your way to a professional design in just minutes. Add your text, put in a few images, and you’ll be ready to publish.

2. Inserting new content is a simple process.
You can choose to use a Publisher template or create a new publication that you design from scratch. You’ll start the customization process by inserting your own images through the Picture command. There is a selection of clip art that you can choose from the appropriate menu option as well. You can use them for your original templates or the ones that come with the software with the ease of a drag-and-drop website builder.

This advantage came about with the platform’s recent shift toward providing tools to small business owners. You can use it to design stationery, make banners, or update the design of your website.

3. Microsoft Publisher creates an autoflow for your content.
The templates in Publisher are designed to wrap your text from one column into the next. This process will take you onto the next page as well. You have the option to set up this feature through the Text Box Tools menu option if you’re designing a template from scratch. This design is ideal for the times when you need to paste large blocks of text into the document since you won’t need to worry about its position. You can save a lot of time by avoiding the cutting and rearrangement process that occurs on other publishing platforms.

4. You can spellcheck and correct grammatical mistakes in Publisher.
Once you have text in place for your publication, Publisher takes a cue from Word by providing you with in-line notifications of recognized spelling or grammar errors. You can then initiate a full review of the file to see what choices are available to you so that your final product looks professional to every user.

5. Publisher provides you with a variety of shapes to use.
If you’re used to creating presentations in Microsoft Word, then the circles and squares that you get to use can feel a little monotonous. Publisher takes this feature to the next level by giving you a specific menu option to choose from several pre-made shapes. Once you add it to the presentation, then you can change the border, fill it with color, or add embossing, shadows, or highlighting to make the design your own.

The shapes menu option includes a pen that lets you draw whatever you want from scratch, like swirls or whorls. This feature is perfect for the designer who wants to add their actual signature to the final presentation as well.

6. You will have full compatibility with other Office software.
Since Publisher only works with a PC, you’ll find that it will work well with the rest of your Office suite of products. You can natively import documents from Word using the standard file extensions without difficulty. Excel allows you to import spreadsheets without going through a headache. There are even options to export some files to PowerPoint so that you can shore up an existing presentation if needed. Although this advantage won’t matter for someone running OpenOffice items, it is an easy way to maximize your time and energy if you are a current subscriber to Office 365.

7. You have custom guidelines to use for design alignment.
Microsoft Publisher provides users with custom guidelines that they can use to align elements on each page. Master pages offers control over elements that you might need like framing blocks of color or providing page numbers. There is full support for CMYK-optimized printing so that you can work with screen printers and other traditional media providers in your community to create branded products. You’ll receive a high-quality result online or offline when you design your next presentation on this platform.

8. There are several wizards available for you to use.
Microsoft Publisher is remarkably easy to learn how to start using it. There are several different wizards available within the software that will guide you toward the exact document that you need. They will help you to give the final product a professional look, even if you’re building a brochure or a banner for the first time. There are several templates that will take you through this process as well. If you’re not a tech-savvy person but you want to save some money on your marketing or design work, then this investment makes sense – especially if you’re already subscribing to Office 365.

List of the Cons of Microsoft Publisher

1. The templates on Microsoft Publisher rely on its internal design.
You don’t have many options to change the formatting of the templates in Microsoft Publisher. The banners or pages are already laid out so that you can quickly add new content to create your professional design. This disadvantage could cause some creatives to look for other options or to choose what is already designed, so the final product could feel generic. If other businesses use the same template, then it can look like one company is riffing off of everyone else as a way to market themselves.

2. You have limited control over your file size.
Adding images to your Microsoft Publisher project will increase its file size over time. Every image will take about 2 MB of space, which means a large file can take some extra time to load. This disadvantage will also make it take longer when uploading the file to your website or to a printing company to generate your materials. Since you don’t have the option to add audio or video clips to the presentation (although you can include links to them), there are some limited media options to consider if you’re using this platform to design websites.

Bloating occurs frequently with the HTML coding and the overuse of graphics in a presentation, which means a website would take a long time to load for someone using DSL or less to access the internet.

3. Your text stops when it runs out of room in the text box.
The auto-flow feature that comes with Microsoft Publisher is helpful from a design element, but you must also make sure that the text box is large enough to accept the content you create. If you are pasting something into the box, then it can flow into other ones if they are linked. If your current one is full and there isn’t any other place for your content to go, then your text will stop at the end of the box. You must then manually enlarge your box or create a new one to link it to the flow to finish what you want to type.

4. Automatic spelling and grammar checks have limited functionality.
Publisher will work off of the standard dictionary for your language. It will catch a lot of errors that may enter your document, but it won’t locate all of them. If you are entering proprietary information into the file, such as a process or a scientific name, then each unrecognized word will pop up a notification. Some unusual words in each language that aren’t used often may get flagged as well. If you see this issue happen too often, then it can be disruptive to the creative process. You’ll also need to learn how to ignore the notifications when they occur instead of working your way back to correct them.

You might try using a service like Grammarly to enhance the automatic checking of your content, but it isn’t perfect either. If you dictate a lot, Publisher and Grammarly will mistake “in forested” and “enforced” as being correct, so you’ll need to read your content line-by-line to avoid errors.

5. There is a lack of compatibility with Adobe.
Publisher may shine as a layout tool in a variety of situations, but it struggles when you need to work with PDFs. You can still save files in this format as needed, although it will not give you a fully-featured, editable form in this format. It can’t even open PDF files unless you offer workarounds for it through Word. It won’t let you work with PSDs from Photoshop either. When you combine this disadvantage with the overall lack of design tools that you’ll find with this platform, it becomes more of a layout specialist than a helpful program for design.

6. You only have access to simple editing effects in Publisher.
Microsoft Publisher gives you access to simple image effects like bevels, quick shapes, and 3-D extrusions as a way to enhance your pictures. If you want to touch up a photograph or design a logo, then you’ll need to look for different software to help you out. Some people may not see this issue as a disadvantage because they don’t have a need to recolor images or remove blemishes. You will always have personalization choices with this software, but something like Xara might provide you with another layer of creative support.

7. Publisher converts tables into images.
Once you have the tables from Excel or another platform imported into your publication, Publisher is going to convert that data into an image instead of keeping it as an editable formation. That means you’ll need to change the information from the source file if there is an error in it. This disadvantage is extremely challenging to manage from an HTML editing standpoint since there’s no real way to edit the content of the image. It might offer users a one-step process for creating usable website content, but some editors cannot handle some of the nesting that occurs when using this option.

8. It is only available for the PC.
Microsoft Publisher is a PC-only product. That means if you’re using an Office 365 subscription on your iMac or a tablet computer, then you may not have access to this platform. Although the most up-to-date version is always available when you subscribe, you’ll need to publish the stand-alone Publisher 2019 if you have challenges with online access. Microsoft doesn’t update the classic version except with online access, so the base product is all that some consumers would be able to use.

Since 2003, Microsoft has updated publisher just six times. There are about 3-4 years between complete updates for this product.


There are a lot of dedicated publishing platforms from Microsoft’s competitors that can provide some more features that some users might feel are necessary for their projects. There are some disadvantages that you’ll find with Publisher, especially with its lack of custom graphic design tools, but the layout features will help you to create professional projects without much effort.

Publisher is a multifunctional software resource that will help you to create publications and documents. You must also look at the pros and cons of Microsoft Publisher with the rest of Office 365 since it comes included with the subscription.

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