How to Use Microsoft Publisher

A beginner's tutorial to MS Publisher

What to Know

  • To create a document, select Built-In > Greeting Cards > Birthday > choose template > Create.
  • To edit text, select exiting text box to highlight text > begin typing to replace.
  • To add text, select Insert > Draw Text Box > select and drag to draw text box > type into text box.

The article explains the basics of how to use Microsoft Publisher 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, and Publisher for Microsoft 365.

How to Create a New Document in Publisher

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.

  1. Select the Built-In tab above the templates shown.

    Microsoft Publisher Built-In templates list
  2. Scroll down a bit and select Greeting Cards.

    Publisher Greeting Cards templates
  3. Select a template from the Birthday section at the top.

    Publisher Birthday templates
  4. Choose Create in the right pane.

    Publisher's templates Create button

How to Edit Existing Text in Publisher

The pages of the birthday card display as thumbnails on the left side of Publisher, with the first page ready for you to customize.

To change the text that's already in the template, select a text box to highlight the text, and then start typing to replace it.

Publisher birthday template text highlighted

How to Add New Text in Publisher

You can also add new text boxes to your publication.

  1. From the page you want to add text to, go to Insert > Draw Text Box. The cursor will change to a cross/plus sign.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Publisher with the Draw Text Box button highlighted
  2. Select and drag anywhere on the page to draw a text box.

  3. After releasing the mouse button, the text box will become editable so you can type into it.

    The Format tab (called Text Box in some versions) also becomes available from the menu, which you can use to change the font, alignment, and other formatting options.

    Format menu in Publisher

    You can edit the text box if it's too big/small or in the wrong place. To resize it, select and drag one of the handles on the corner or edge of the box. Select a non-boxed edge to drag the text box elsewhere.

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

How to Add Pictures to a Publisher Document

Adding photos makes it your own, which is especially important for personalized documents like anniversary cards and birthday cards.

  1. Select the Home tab if it’s not already active, and then choose Pictures.

    Pictures menu option in Publisher
  2. Select one of the options for where you want to import an image from. We'll use Bing in this example, so we'll select the text box next to Bing Image Search.

  3. Enter a relevant keyword to search for the image you want. Balloon is a good one for our example.

    Insert Pictures prompt in Publisher
  4. Select one or more images that you want to use, and then choose Insert.

    Online Pictures prompt in Publisher
  5. 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.

How to Print Your Publication

Printing is easy. Since we're dealing with a birthday card, it will arrange the pages appropriately so that we can fold them onto each other to make a birthday card.

  1. Go to File > Print, or use the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Publisher with the Print command highlighted
  2. Select a printer from the Printer menu.

    A screenshot of the Microsoft Publisher print screen with the Printer heading highlighted
  3. Adjust the options if you wish, like the folding method or paper size, and then select Print.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Publisher's Print menu with the Print button highlighted

How to Save in MS Publisher

Save your publication to your computer or your OneDrive account to always have a backup should you need to edit the document or reuse it after it's been closed down.

  1. Go to File > Save As.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Publisher with the "Save As" command highlighted
  2. Select This PC or OneDrive. Choose Browse to manually locate the folder you want to save it to.

    A screenshot of the Microsoft Publisher "Save As" window with the Browse option highlighted
  3. Locate the folder you want to save the document to, give it a memorable name, and then select Save.

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