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Microsoft Publisher isn’t available for Mac but it’s easy to open and edit Publisher files on Mac.

Firstly though, we strongly recommend checking out these amazing alternatives to Microsoft Publisher for Mac as there are some much better desktop publishing software on Mac nowadays than MS Publisher.

Adobe InDesign is the best equivalent to Microsoft Publisher on a Mac and produces far more professional results than Microsoft Publisher can as you can read in our InDesign review.

If however you just need to open Microsoft PUB Publisher file format on a Mac you’ve got two options.

  • Use one of the methods here to convert or open Publisher files in another DTP app.
  • Run Windows on your Mac and then install Microsoft Publisher on a Mac so you can open and edit Publisher files natively in macOS.

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Here then are 5 free and simple ways to open and edit an MS Publisher .PUB file on a Mac.

1. Export From Publisher PUB Format Into Another Format

Although it’s not an option for everyone, if you can contact the sender of the Publisher file (or know someone who has access to a PC with Microsoft Publisher installed), by far the easiest thing to do is export the file from Publisher in another format.

To do this, you simply ask the sender or someone with Windows to open the file in Publisher and then export it to a different format that can be opened on Mac.

They must then go to FileExport Change File Type in Publisher and select any of the Export options such as “Create PDF/XPS Document”, “Publish HTML” (to view it as a web page) or “Change File Type”.

You can also choose to export the file to a format that a Commercial Printer can read.

open publisher file on mac - export


2. Convert Publisher Files Online Into Another Format

If you can’t contact the sender or simply don’t have access to Microsoft Publisher at all, an alternative option is to convert the PUB file for free online to another format such as Word or PDF.

You can then edit this file using another application such as Microsoft Word or one of the many excellent alternatives to Word on Mac.

To convert a Publisher file, there are many online file conversion services that will convert files for you instantly without having to download anything.

Here’s how to use online file converter Zamzar to convert a Publisher file to another format:

  1. Go to Zamzar. Click “Choose Files…” and upload the file you want to convert.
  2. Choose a format to convert it to (such as DOCX, PDF, PNG etc).
  3. Enter an email address to receive the converted file.
  4. Click “Convert”.

publisher for mac - zamzar convert fileWithin a few seconds, you should receive the converted file. If Zamzar doesn’t work for any reason, or you just want to convert to PDF, there are many other free conversion services such as which converts documents to PDF publisher file mac - online2pdf


Or you can also use PDFConvertOnline which converts directly from .PUB to PDF:open publisher files on mac - pdfcoverteronlineNote that a disadvantage of converting Publisher files this way is that it doesn’t always preserve the original formatting of the document.

You may find that images, tables and other elements do not appear properly in which case, you should try to use one of the other methods instead.

3. Open Publisher Files In LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac and is based on the popular free Office suite OpenOffice.

As of version 4.0, LibreOffice is the only program to both open and edit Microsoft Publisher files for free although you can’t export to Publisher format.

Like Microsoft Office, LibreOffice consists of different apps but you can edit MS Publisher files on Mac using LibreOffice Draw which is LibreOffice’s graphical design and desktop publishing app.

As you can see from the example Publisher file imported into LibreOffice below, the interface isn’t as user-friendly or as slick as Publisher but it does work.

The formatting may also not be perfectly preserved but can usually be fixed with some manual adjustments.

publisher for mac alternative - libreoffice

Note that you can’t export files from LibreOffice in .PUB format – you can only save them in LibreDraw’s ODF format. You can watch how easy it is to open a Publisher file on Mac with LibreOffice below.

4. Open Publisher Files In Office 2011 For Mac

Although many Mac users are now using Microsoft Office 2016, if you’re still using Office 2011 you’re in luck.

One little known feature of Microsoft Word 2011 is that it can emulate the layout of a Microsoft Publisher document.

You will need to convert the Publisher file first to RTF format using one of the online file converters covered in Option 2, but this workaround turns Word 2011 for Mac into a basic DTP software and is probably the closest thing you’ll get to Publisher on Mac.

Just go to View and then Publishing Layout View to see a Microsoft Publisher style layout of the document.

publisher for mac - word for mac

Unfortunately, this method does not work in Office 2016 for Mac as Microsoft has removed the Publishing Layout View in Word 2016 For Mac.

5. Install Windows To Run Publisher On Mac

If all else fails, or if you regularly need to open Microsoft Publisher files on your Mac, you should consider installing Windows on your Mac which will allow you to install Microsoft Publisher on Mac.

You can now install Windows 10 on Mac for free and although it’s the most time-consuming (and hard drive consuming) solution, it does allow you to run any Windows application on your Mac.

run publisher on mac - windows 10 start

If you have any problems opening Publisher files on your Mac or with any of the solutions suggested here, let us know in the comments below.

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