Microsoft Publisher isn’t available for Mac but there are still a few ways you can open Publisher files on Mac. Microsoft Publisher saves file in a special PUB format that only MS Publisher can open and edit. However there are ways round this and here we show you 5 free ways to open and edit a Microsoft Publisher file on Mac. Note that if you find these tips useful, you may also be interested in our guide to the best alternatives to Microsoft Publisher on Mac.
Here are 5 different ways to open Microsoft Publisher files on a Mac:
Export From Publisher 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 File – Export – 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.
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:
- Go to Zamzar. Click “Choose Files…” and upload the file you want to convert.
- Choose a format to convert it to (such as DOCX, PDF, PNG etc).
- Enter an email address to receive the converted file.
- Click “Convert”.
Within 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 online2pdf.com which converts documents to PDF online.
Or you can also use PDFConvertOnline which converts directly from .PUB to PDF:Note 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.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, this method does not work in Office 2016 for Mac as Microsoft has removed the Publishing Layout View in Word 2016 For Mac.
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 run the full version of 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.
While these workarounds are a quick and easy fix to opening and editing Publisher files on Mac, if you’re serious about desktop publishing, it’s always best to use a native software on Mac. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best Microsoft Publisher for Mac alternatives too.