An increasingly common requirement for page-based documentation is to create an Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF) file from it and Publisher 2007 can do this, though not straight out of the box. Adobe apparently protested at Microsoft's plans to include .PDF facilities with the retail Publisher and so it's now available as a free download, along with support for Microsoft's own .XPS format. XPS has the same basic function as .PDF - a universal document format - though it's not nearly as widespread as the latter format.
Adobe's reaction was rather odd, considering how hard it worked to get the .PDF format adopted as an ISO standard. Surely, the more applications that can produce .PDF files, the better Adobe should like it, right? Both Publisher extensions can be downloaded from here.
ConclusionAlthough the changes in Publisher 2007 are not as far-reaching as those in PowerPoint 2007, there are some worthwhile improvements. If you work through the videos for both products, you'll see how they can be used to produce well-designed documents and presentations, without having to spend hours hand-tuning page and screen elements.
The next release of Publisher should see it incorporate the layout changes, in particular the use of the Ribbon, that have been introduced to the rest of the Microsoft Office 2007. In the meantime, it's still a versatile and flexible page layout application. PowerPoint 2007, with its revamped design and useful extra tools such as SmartArt, maintains its place as the premium presentation design tool.
If you missed our earlier tutorials, check out Getting the best from Excel and Getting the best from Word.
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