How to Use Microsoft Publisher

A beginner's tutorial to Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher beginners tutorial

PicJumbo / Unsplash

Microsoft Publisher is one of the lesser known programs in the Office suite, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. Publisher is a simple yet versatile desktop publishing program for creating everything from simple objects like labels and greeting cards to more complex items like newsletters and brochures. This Microsoft Publisher tutorial for beginners covers how to create a simple publication such as a birthday card.

The instructions in this article apply to Publisher 2019, Publisher2016, Publisher 2013, and Publisher for Office 365.

How to Create a New Publication

When you open Publisher, you’ll see a selection of design templates to jump-start your publication as well as a blank template if you want to start from scratch. To create a new birthday card using a template:

  1. Start Publisher and select the Built-In tab above the templates shown.

    Screenshot of Built-in tab
  2. Select Greeting Cards on the Built-In templates screen.

    Screenshot of Greeting Cards
  3. Select a Birthday template.

    Screenshot of birthday card templates
  4. Select the Create button in the right pane.

How to Change Existing Text in Your Publication

The pages of your birthday card display as thumbnails on the left side of the Publisher window with the first page ready for you to customize. To add text or change text in an existing text box:

  1. Select the text box to put the cursor inside it.

  2. Position the cursor where you want to add or change the text using your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

    Screenshot of selected text
  3. To replace text, either select and drag your mouse to select the text you want to change, or use the backspace key to delete the text.

  4. Type the new text.

How to Add New Text in Publisher

You can also add new text boxes to your publication. To add a new text box:

  1. Select the page you want to add text to in the left pane.

  2. Select the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and then choose Draw Text Box in the Text section. The cursor will change to a cross or plus sign.

    Screenshot of Draw Text Box
  3. Select and drag to draw a text box where you want to add your text.

  4. Release the mouse button when you’re finished drawing the text box. The cursor is automatically placed inside the text box, so start typing your text.

  5. The Format tab becomes available on the Ribbon when the cursor is inside a text box, and you can use it to change the font, alignment, and other formatting options.

    Screenshot of Format tab of Text Box Tools
  6. To resize the text box, select and drag one of the handles in the corners and on the edges.

  7. To move the text box, move the cursor to one edge until it turns into a cross with arrows, then select and drag the text box to another location.

  8. When you’re done customizing your text, select an area outside the text box to exit it.

Adding Pictures to Your Publication

At this point, you might want to add some pizzazz to your birthday card with another picture. To add a picture to your publication, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Home tab if it’s not already active.

  2. Select the Pictures button in the Objects section.

    Screenshot of Pictures button
  3. Select inside the box to the right of Bing Image Search on the dialog box that displays.

  4. Type a keyword or phrase to search for and select the magnifying glass icon.

    Screenshot of Bing Image Search
  5. Select the image you want to use from the selection that displays, and then choose Insert.

    Screenshot of Insert Online Pictures
  6. Select and drag the inserted image to move it where you want, and use the handles on the sides and corners to resize it as desired.

  7. Press Ctrl+S on your keyboard to save your publication at any time.

How to Print Your Publication

Publisher arranges the pages of the card so that you can fold the paper and all the pages will be in the right place. To print your card:

  1. Select the File tab.

  2. Select Print on the left side of the screen.

    Alternatively, press Ctrl-P to open the Print menu.

    Screenshot of Print menu
  3. Select a Printer.

    Screenshot of Printers
  4. Adjust the Settings if you wish.

  5. Choose Print.

How to Save in MS Publisher

Save your publication to your computer or to your OneDrive account. To save the birthday card to your computer:

  1. Select the File tab on the Ribbon.

  2. Select Save As on the left side of the screen.

    Screenshot of Save As
  3. Select This PC or One Drive under the Save As heading.

    Screenshot of Save As screen
  4. Select Browse and navigate to the folder where you want to save your birthday card.

  5. Enter a name in the File name field and choose Save.