There are currently no plug-ins, viewers, or shortcuts for .pub files created by Microsoft Publisher. However, there are several methods you can use to create a shareable Publisher file. PDF is always a great choice but prior to Publisher 2010 there is no built-in PDF export.
When the content, rather than the layout, is of primary importance — and no graphics are needed — the best way to exchange information is as plain ASCII text. But when you want to include graphics and wish to preserve your layout, plain text won't do.
Previous Versions: To share Publisher 2000 (or above) files with users of Publisher 98, save the file in Pub 98 format.
Create Printable Files from Publisher DocumentsSend the recipient a file that they can print to their desktop printer. They won't be able to view it onscreen but they can get a fairly accurate print out. Several methods are available although they do have their drawbacks:
PostScript: Do a "Save As" from the File menu then click PostScript in the Save as type box to create a .ps file. This is normally used for preparing files for commercial printing, however, if the recipient has a PostScript cabable printer they can print the file.
EPS: Normally used for commercial printing, an EPS file can be opened in many graphic programs. It normally has to be placed into another program (such as PageMaker or QuarkXPress) to be printed. You'll have to create a separate EPS file of each page in your publication. Choose Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) as the PostScript output format under Print Setup | Properties. Select "Print to file" then print each page, one at a time.
PRN: Select the "Print to file" box when printing your publication. Instead of printing to your printer, Publisher will create a .PRN file. The recipient can then use the DOS Copy command to send the file directly to their desktop printer (From the DOS PROMPT type copy filename.prn lpt1 — or lpt2, depending on where their printer is located). Since your printer may not match that of the recipient, it may not print exactly as you envisioned. If you're exchanging files regularly with one specific recipient, obtain a copy of the print driver for their printer and use it to create your PRN file from Publisher.
Create HTML Files (Web Pages) from Publisher FilesConvert your Publisher document to an HTML File. You can then either post the files on the Web and send recipients the address to go view the files or send the HTML files to the recipient for them to view offline in their browser. If you send the files, you'll need to include all the graphics as well and make sure you set up the file so that all HTML and graphics reside in the same directory so the recipient can place them anywhere on their hard drive. Or you could take the HTML code that Publisher creates and send an HTML-format email. The exact procedure will depend on your email client and how it is received by the recipient will depend on what email client they use (and if they accept HTML-formated email).
Create PDF Files from Publisher DocumentsConvert your Publisher document to the Adobe PDF format. Since Publisher versions before Publisher 2010 have no PDF export you'll need to use another program, such as Adobe Acrobat Distiller. First create a PostScript file then use Adobe Acrobat to create the PDF file. The recipient will be able to view the document on-screen or print it. However, the recipient must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free) installed. There are also some printer drivers and software available that allow you to create PDF files from almost any Windows application.
If you're using Publisher 2010, save your Publisher file as a PDF from the program to send it to anyone who has software (including the free Acrobat Reader) that can open or view PDF files.
Find Out How Others Share .PUB FilesBrowse list of Publisher file-sharing methods posted by our readers. There are suggestions for software, file formats to use, quick & dirty methods, and online conversion services.
Get Help If none of these options work for you or you feel that your circumstances are not covered in this FAQ, post an inquiry in the Microsoft folder of the About Desktop Publishing forum requesting help.