Publisher helps you create great small business marketing material, do desktop publishing from your own home or office, and even offers greeting cards for most occasions.  If you’ve bought a pc in the last few years or purchased most versions of Office 2003 or 2007, Publisher is probably already installed on your computer. 

If you already use Publisher, you know what a terrific tool it is.  Publisher’s wizards make it easy to get off to a quick start with many types of files from the first time you use the application.  Business and personal information features let you store your name, contact info, tag line and even a logo and reuse them easily in your publications.  Mail merge helps you send newsletters, flyers or brochures that are personalized for each person you send them to.  If you need just a few copies, you can print right to your desktop printer.  If you need hundreds of copies, you can take you publication to a local print shop.

The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to Publisher if you’ve never used it before and to show you shortcuts, tips, and tricks that will benefit everyone, including those who have used Publisher for years.  We’ll do a big post every two weeks or so – some times more often, sometimes a little less often – and in between we’ll pop in to respond to comments or give quick bits of info.  We’ll update you on what’s new in upcoming Publisher versions, including those in service pack 2 of Office 2007 and the version we’re calling Office 14, the next major upgrade, as soon as the main announcements happen for those.

Another topic we’ll cover is the fixed formats that several of the Office applications offer:  PDF and XPS.  The Publisher team “owns” the shared code for these features and we work closely with the other applications teams and the XPS team to bring you the best possible functionality within the Office suite.  We also work with the folks who set international standards around PDF and XPS, and we’ll tell you about work that is happening there.

Also coming in a few weeks will be an announcement of a “publication drive”.  Publisher is best improved through feedback from our users.  One of the ways we get feedback is by collecting real documents that you’ve created using Publisher and using those to test new versions, bug fixes, and even proposed designs for future versions.  We’ll be putting out a call on the blog and adding a page that you can click on, get more info, accept the legal disclaimer (hey, doesn’t everyone have one of those these days?), and post your files.

Oh, who are we?  We are the Test team from Publisher, the folks who find most of the bugs before you ever see the product on your computer or local store shelves.  We’ll have posts from our developers and program managers from time to time as well.   And maybe, just maybe we’ll even be able to entice an MVP or two to drop in and share their expertise as well.

To give you a brief preview of things to come, here are our topics for the next two weeks:

·         February 25:  PDF and XPS in Publisher and other Office apps

·         March 11:  Top hitting issues from the Publisher community forum

Stay tuned.  We’ll see you next week!

The Publisher Test Team