How to Use Microsoft Publisher

A beginner's tutorial to Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher icon


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 example in this article uses Publisher 2016, but the process is practically identical in Publisher 2019 and 2013.

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. Click the Built-In link at the top of the screen.

  2. Click Greeting Cards on the Built-In templates screen.

    Click Greeting Cards on the Built-In templates screen.
  3. Click on a Birthday template to select it.

  4. Click the Create button in the right pane.

How to Save in MS Publisher

Before customizing your birthday card, you'll want to save it. You can save your publication to your computer or to your OneDrive account. To save the birthday card to your computer:

  1. Click the File tab on the Ribbon.

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

  3. Click This PC under the Save As heading.

    Click This PC under the Save As heading and select Browse.
  4. Click Browse.

  5. Navigate to the folder where you want to save your birthday card.

  6. Enter a name in the File name field. Be sure to keep the .pub extension on the file name.

  7. Click Save.

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. Click the text box to put the cursor inside it.

    Click the text box to put the cursor inside it and edit the text..
  2. Position the cursor where you want to add or change text using your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

  3. To replace text, either click 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 MC Publisher

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

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

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

  3. Click 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.

    The Format tab becomes available on the Ribbon when the cursor is inside a text box.
  6. To resize the text box, click 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 click and drag the text box to another location.

  8. When you’re done customizing your text, click outside the text box to deselect 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. Click the Home tab if it’s not already active.

  2. Click the Pictures button in the Objects section.

  3. Click inside the box to the right of Bing Image Search on the dialog box that displays.

    Click the Pictures button and click the box to the right of Bing Image Search.
  4. Type a keyword or phrase to search for and click the magnifying glass icon.

  5. Click the image you want to use from the selection that displays, and then click Insert.

  6. Click 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. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Print on the left side of the screen.
  3. Select a Printer.
  4. Adjust the Settings if you wish.
  5. Click Print.
Click File > Print to print your card.