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Microsoft Publisher Tips

All versions of Publisher from 2000 to 2007 are supported. Here are some basic tips that apply to all software versions. Please identify your version when uploading your files.

For even more tips please visit our Quick Tips section. This is our catch-all category for all manner of miscellaneous tips, tricks, program fixes, and workarounds to help you with building your artwork . We'll add new items from time to time so check in to see what's been added recently.

Document Setup Basics

Here are some basic tips that apply to all software versions.

Special Note: Not all font companies will allow their fonts to be embedded within documents (again, subject to certain licensing restrictions). If you are using any of these fonts it is imperative that you either provide working copies of those fonts with your job or choose another font that may be embedded.

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CMYK Color Output and Microsoft Publisher

You will first need to make certain that your output will be in the correct colors. Microsoft Publisher works in three color spaces: RGB,  Spot colors, and Process colors (CMYK) but it always defaults to RGB. You will most likely want to be in Process color (CMYK), however you may also want to use Spot color. RGB color is not recommended.

Tools > Commercial Printing Tools > Color Printing

  1. Define all colors as: select the color that best describes your print job (i.e. Single color, Spot colors, Process colors (CMYK), or Process colors plus spot colors)
  2. The Inks tab will then show the actual ink colors in your job.
  3. The Colors tab will then show the actual colors used in your job and their individual CMYK mixes (if applicable).
  4. Select the OK button.

Any artwork placed in your layout will be saved within Publisher as embedded RGB by default.

Special Note: All images incorporated into a layout must be linked and not embedded in order to maintain the CMYK color space within the image. You will then need to send both the images and the layout file to us for printing.

If your artwork was originally CMYK (as recommended) then it is necessary to link to these original files. To do this you must use the Graphic Manager.

To bring up the Graphic Manager:

Tools > Graphics Manager

  1. Locate and select the image in your document, it will then be highlighted in the Graphics Manager.
  2. When you place your cursor over the file name in the Graphics Manager a Down arrow will appear to the right of the file name. Click this Down arrow and select Replace this picture. In the dialogue box that pops up navigate to and then select your original file, then click on the Down arrow on the right side of the Insert button. Select Link to File from this drop-down menu. The Graphics Manager will now show this image as Linked rather than Embedded.
  3. It will then be necessary for you to manually locate each linked picture and font used in the document and place copies of each, along with a copy of the Publisher document in a new folder created in a location of your choice. You may then compress that folder containing the document, fonts, and pictures using any ZIP compression utility that you prefer. You will then upload that ZIP archive to our web site.
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Converting to CMYK Color Space

As we said earlier, Microsoft Publisher always defaults to RGB. It is easy to convert everything to a CMYK color space or to start a new document using the CMYK color space.

Use the following menu options:

Tools > Commercial Printing Tools > Color Printing

Select Process colors (CMYK).

Special Note: All images incorporated into a layout must be linked and not embedded in order to maintain the CMYK color space within the image. You will then need to send both the images and the layout file to us for printing.

Tools > Commercial Printing Tools > Graphics Manager and highlight the embedded image

Select Link and select Browse to locate the original file and link to it. You will then need to send both the images and the layout file to us for printing.

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Exporting a PDF File from Publisher

If you have Adobe Acrobat installed (the full version, not Reader), then the easiest way to export you Microsoft Publisher document to a PDF File is to use the Adobe PDF menu item that was added by Acrobat when it was installed. To set this up:

1. Menu > Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings

2. Select: PDFMaker Settings > PDF/X-1a:2001. Click OK.

3. Go to: Menu > Page Setup

4. Select the Printer and Paper tab. Printer Name: select the Adobe PDF printer. Then set the Paper size to the appropriate size to accommodate your document, bleed, and crop marks (in this case: Letter Extra). Next, click the Properties button.

5. Select the Adobe PDF PSettings tab. Default Settings: select the PDF/X-1a:2001 option and set the paper to the appropriate size to accommodate your document including bleed and crop marks. (in this case: Letter Extra).

Special Note: It is very important that you uncheck the option: Rely on system fonts only: do not use document fonts. If you do not uncheck this your PDF will not embed your fonts.

 6. To make a PDF of your document now simply to to:

Menu > Adobe PDF > Convert to Adobe PDF.

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RGB Color and Pack and Go

Any artwork placed in your layout will be saved within Publisher as embedded RGB by default. This is true of the Pack and Go utility built into Publisher as well. The Pack and Go collection utility is only relevant if all of your pictures and other graphics are using RGB color and you would like our system to do the conversion to CMYK color for you automatically.

If that is the case then to proceed with the Pack and Go:

File > Pack and Go > Take to a Commercial Printing Service

  1. Select the Next button.
  2. Select the Browse button then navigate to a place of your choosing and place it anywhere like and select the OK button.
  3. Select the Next button.
  4. Make certain that all three options are checked (Embed TrueType fonts, Embed linked graphics, and Create links for embedded graphics) and select the Next button.
  5. Select the Finish button. This will save a file with a .PUZ extension to the location that you chose earlier. This is the the file that you should upload.
  6. You may then either one or both of the two options (Print composite a proof and Print separations) and print a proof copy to be certain for the final output. If a Postscript printer is available then you may use the Print separations option. This will print a separate page for each ink color.*

* Note: If you get more (or fewer) pages then you expected then you should double check your color settings in the Color Printing area and then re-make the Pack and Go file.

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Creating Document and Image Bleed

Any background element or image that you wish to bleed off of the edge of the page must extend .125" beyond that page edge in your document. In point of fact, Microsoft Publisher is not very friendly to document or image bleed. It is awkward at best to create proper bleed.

Some users find it easiest to achieve bleed by setting their documents up to be .25" taller and .25" wider than the final trim size. If you decide to do this then it is not advisable to set your document up with facing pages because you will lose .125" from each page where they meet in the center.

Special Note: Any backgrounds created using Microsoft Publisher page backgrounds will not bleed.

If you are using backgrounds that are created using the following command:

Format > Backgrounds

If you really need to use one of these backgrounds in your document then you have only one option. As we mentioned above, you must make your document .25" taller and .25" wider overall than the final trim size to allow for .125" bleed. Make certain that you do not position any type closer than at least .25" (we would prefer .375") to any page edge to ensure that you do not lose anything when the paper is trimmed to final size.

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Microsoft Publisher Technical Information Links

Below are some external links to Microsoft's web site and to technical documents concerning Microsoft Publisher. There is a wealth of information here to help ensure that your Publisher document will run smoothly and that you will be delighted with your print job.

Microsoft Publisher: All Versions

Microsoft Publisher: 2007

Microsoft Publisher: 2003

Microsoft Publisher 2002

Microsoft Publisher: 2000

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