Unfortunately there is no Microsoft Publisher for Mac free trial. Microsoft Publisher for Mac is not available but you can open .pub files on Mac or use an alternative. There are a few simple solutions which allow you to work with MS Publisher files on Mac. There are also some excellent alternatives to Publisher on Mac which do an even better job than Microsoft Publisher for DTP (Desktop Publishing). First we’ll look at how to open Publisher .pub files on Mac and then we’ll look at the best desktop publishing software equivalents to Publisher. Please note you cannot can access Publisher on your Mac via the online Cloud version of Microsoft Office – Office 365. Publisher is only available on PC within Microsoft Office or by downloading Publisher separately for PC.
First we’ll look at the best desktop publishing software alternatives to Windows Publisher. Then we’ll look at how to open Publisher .pub files on Mac and how to edit Publisher files on Mac.
Alternatives to Publisher for Mac: Best Desktop Publishing Software for Mac
Most people that have used Publisher on Windows and have switched to Mac will advise you to forget about Publisher completely. Macs are much more geared towards Desktop Publishing than PCs and there are far better alternatives available both free and commercial ranging from beginner to professional. Note that the the only free alternative to Publisher in this list is Scribus. The rest all cost anything from $19.99 upwards but you can download a free trial (if available) by clicking on the names.
Pages is the Apple equivalent of Microsoft Word and part of Apple’s iWork suite. It does both word processing and desktop publishing and so allows you to create anything that’s possible with Microsoft Publisher. With lots of professional looking templates and layouts, you’ll never go back to Microsoft Publisher after trying Pages. Note that you don’t need to buy the entire iWork suite to get Pages – you can download it separately from the Mac App Store for $19.99.
Swift Publisher is a user friendly and slick desktop publishing software for Mac. It doesn’t require lots of learning like professional DTP software for Mac but produces professional looking results. Like Pages, there are lots of professional looking templates, it’s integrated with iPhoto and you can export your work to PDF, JPEG, EPS, TIFF etc. If you want an easy to use alternative to Microsoft Publisher for Windows without a steep learning curve, then Swift Publisher is an excellent and economic option.
Like Swift Publisher, iStudio Publisher is another simple but powerful alternative to Publisher for Mac. iStudio Publisher produces very professional results and particularly useful are the video tutorials and Quick Start Guide that make iStudio very easy to get going with. It also works on older versions of OS X from 10.4 upwards.
Scribus is a powerful professional free open source desktop publishing application which can do everything that Microsoft Publisher can and much more. However, it is a bit tricky to install. You need to install other components for it to work but if you can be bothered with the hassle, it’s a very powerful program and the only free alternative to Publisher for Mac.
LibreOffice (Free. OS X 10.8+. Older version for OS X 10.6.8)
LibreOffice is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac and as of version 4.0 is able to both open and edit Microsoft Publisher files. Unfortunately, you can’t export to Publisher format yet. LibreOffice isn’t as user friendly or slick as Publisher but considering you’re getting an entire Office suite for free, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for both a Publisher and Office alternative on Mac.
QuarkXPress (Free Trial. $849 Full Version)
QuarkXPress is probably the most well-known and established Desktop Publishing Software on the market. It’s traditionally been the choice of professional publishers, Magazines and newspapers. However, nowadays QuarkXPress faces competition from Adobe’s InDesign which forms part of the excellent Adobe Creative Suite. QuarkXPress is complicated to learn how to use but if you’re a professional Designer, it’s an essential package.
(Free Trial. $19.99 per month annual subscription or $29.99 on a per month basis. You can however buy a standalone version of Adobe InDesign version CS6 )
Along with QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign is the industry standard DTP software for Mac. For anyone that’s familiar with Adobe products, it’s preferable to QuarkXPress because it’s integrated into the powerful Creative Suite which features Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver etc. However, the latest version of Adobe InDesign is now only available on a monthly subscription basis as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. An older version of InDesign from CS6 is available however without a monthly subscription.
How to open .pub files on Mac
There is no way to directly open Publisher .pub files on Mac. However, you can easily get round this by:
a) Exporting the .pub files to a different format. Open the .pub files on Windows and then export them to a different format that can be opened on Mac. Just go to File and Export or Save As in Publisher for Windows and select the desired format.
b) If this is not an option for you, you can convert the .pub files online using an online converter such as Zamzar.
How to edit Publisher files on Mac
If you just need to read the .pub files, then exporting to PDF is sufficient. If you want to actually edit the .pub files, then exporting it to RTF format will allow you to edit it in most Word Processing applications including Microsoft Word for Mac.
Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac does pretty much everything that Microsoft Publisher can do and more although it can’t open .pub files without going through the process described above. However, if in Word for Mac you go to View and then Publishing Layout View, you’ll see that Word turns into a DTP software. It’s probably the closest you’ll get to Publisher on Mac.
If however none of these alternatives or solutions are what you’re looking for and you simply must have Publisher on your Mac, then we recommend installing Windows on your Mac so that you can have the best of both worlds.