Reading Publisher Files without Publisher

Added on: Friday 10th April 2009

I was recently sent a file containing a poster design to put on a website that I look after. The only problem was that it was a Microsoft Publisher file and I don't have Publisher on my computer.

Well I do have a copy of Microsoft Office on CD but I am loathe to install a program I hardly, if ever, use just to open a single file.

Other programs with proprietary file formats such as Word have a free viewer available and are also so widely used that many other progams can read and write to them.

However, it seems that Publisher isn't. A search on Google revealed solutions ranging from 'it is not possible' to an article on Microsofts' website showing how to load the file into Microsoft Document Imaging and save it as a tiff file.

Again this latter solution involved loading a program that I would seldom use - so I wasn't interested.

After looking at several technical forums it seems that there isn't another program that will read a Publisher file.

Then I found the link to convert to pdf. This is a beta online application which does 'exactly what it says on the tin'.

It couldn't be simpler - you point it to your file (there is a 6MB limit) and then click the Convert button. I uploaded a 100kb file and it was ready to download or email in a matter of seconds.

The list of supported file formats is extensive and includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Publisher as well as WordPerfect, OpenOffice and StarOffice and several image file types.

A PDF file may not be the ideal solution but for me it was fine as all I needed was to extract some of the text and have it as a download.

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