Microsoft Publisher 2002

"Great for Creating a Document For Print or the Web!"
| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

Box Shot

Microsoft Publisher 2002 is an easy-to-use desktop publishing program designed for home users who want to create products, such as greeting cards, award and gift certificates, airplanes, and origami, and small to medium-sized business users who want to create professional-looking marketing and business materials, such as newsletters, catalogs, brochures and Web sites, without the assistance of a designer or the high learning curve of a professional desktop publishing program. Introduced in 1991, Microsoft Publisher has been around for 10 years, and with this seventh edition, it's become a well-balanced and efficient desktop publishing tool. Publisher 2002 incorporates the following: many of the popular productivity and ease-of-use features of the Microsoft Office suite and the new Office XP; new design templates; expanded commercial printing options; and enhanced Web and e-mail publishing features. Publisher has always occupied a unique spot in the desktop publishing category. It has more features, with its customizable business templates, design expertise, and complete page layout options, than its competitors in its category; yet, unlike high-end design programs, it takes less time to learn and has a lower price.

Microsoft Publisher 2002 is no longer included with the Professional Edition of Microsoft Office. It is only available as a standalone product. As of this date, there is no Macintosh version. Pricing: $129 for the full product; $99 for upgrades from previous versions. See the Microsoft Web site for tips, downloads, tutorials, & a wealth of other material:

User Level
Beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. Microsoft Publisher 2002 can be used by just about anyone. The wizards, templates, and color schemes make it a great choice for beginners. Yet the Web and print options make it usable for businesses that want a sophisticated output.
Customize Publisher

New and Enhanced Features:

  • Streamlined User Interface--shares the same new look and feel of Office XP.
  • Send as E-Mail--lets you send a Publisher file as an e-mail message or as an attachment.
  • Save As Picture--lets you save selected objects or an entire page, as a picture file.
  • Smart Tags-- two Smart Tags, Paste Options and AutoCorrect Options are available.
  • Task Panes--the program combines the Office XP Task Pane with the Publisher wizard and gives you access to important tasks in a single integrated view.
  • Word Document Wizard--allows you to open basic Microsoft Word documents in Publisher.
  • Process Plus Spot Color--additional support for commercial printing, including support for process color plus spot color within a single publication.
  • Font Schemes--makes it quick and easy for users to choose a set of text styles that look good together.
  • Background Save and AutoRecover--automatic recovery has been added so that files are automatically saved with a specified frequency.
  • Thesaurus--includes the same thesaurus functionality found in Microsoft Word.
  • Speech Recognition--can use this option to dictate text, select menus, toolbars, and dialog box items.
  • 15 New Master Sets--have been added, for a total of 35 Master Sets.
  • Style and Formatting Task Pane--shows available style and formatting options.
  • Search Task Pane--allows you to search for text, files or folders.
  • Publication Task Pane--provides a single location where users can create a new file or open an existing file. It combines the Publisher Catalog and the Wizard Pane.
  • AutoShapes--includes the AutoShapes feature found in other Office applications.
  • Print Preview--allows you to check design, layout and content before printing.
  • Customizable Toolbars--you can now customize existing toolbars or create new ones.
  • Multiple Documents--you can now open multiple Publisher publications.
  • Handwriting--Publisher 2002 enables you to take handwritten notes on your handheld device and upload your notes as text directly into your Office applications.
  • Office Assistant--now available, but hidden by default.
  • Picture Toolbar--use to change the color and brightness, set transparent color, crop a picture, insert a picture from scanner, change the line and border style, choose text wrapping options, format a picture, and reset a picture.
  • Help: Ask a Question--enables users to type a question without launching the Answer Wizard or the Office Assistant.
  • Horizontal Rule--enables you to add a rule before or after a paragraph, as well as set the appearance, color, and position within the document.
  • Font Substitution--lets you choose to temporarily font substitute for display and print, or permanently substitute a font in the publication.
  • Web Site Designs--15 new Web site designs as part of the new Master Sets.
  • Office Clipboard--supports Office Clipboard enabling you to copy up to 24 pieces of information at once.
  • Connect to Tools on the Web--choose option within Publisher to extend Publisher with a growing list of new, online marketing tools and services from Microsoft bCentral, Microsoft and 3rd parties.
  • Open/Edit Publisher HTML File--supports HTML as a format so you can open and edit Publisher-generated HTML files.
  • Headers and Footers--create headers and footers with automatic page numbers, current date and time display, and text.
  • Resume Wizard--the Resume Wizard is back and has been improved.
  • Graphics Compression--supports additional native graphic file formats including JPEG and TIF.
  • Mail Merge Task Pane--new and improved mail merge allows easy mail merges within a publication using Word, Outlook, Excel, Works, and other common address books and databases.
Product Analysis

Familiar Office Features
Familiar Office Features

Microsoft has overhauled the Publisher by adopting the new user interface of Office XP. This streamlined interface offers consistency between Office and Publisher by incorporating popular Office features such as customizable toolbars, Print Preview, Headers and Footers, a Thesaurus, Mail Merge, Search, the Office Clipboard, AutoRecover, Multiple Documents, and Office Art features, such as the WordArt module, the Picture Toolbar, and AutoShapes. I especially liked the new look and consistency between the interface of Word and Publisher. It's great for beginner designers who have experience in Word but are new to the field of desktop publishing, as it reduces the learning between applications.

Task Panes
List of Task Panes
Consistent with Office, XP, Publisher 2002 features new Task Panes. The Task Panes integrate common productivity features with the Wizard Pane found in previous versions of Publisher. You get visual previews of designs, layout options, font schemes, color schemes and more. When you choose an item from a Task Pane, your publication is updated immediately. Some of the panes are unique to Publisher and some are common to other Office applications. The Task Panes are another feature that I liked. Everything is right at hand with this single integrated view. You can click on the image to the left for a view of the following Task Panes: New Publication by Type; New Publication by Design; Options; Publication Designs; Page Content; Color Schemes; Mail Merge; Styles & Formatting; Search; and Insert Clip Art.
Design Sets
Design Sets
Microsoft has not forgotten Publisher's design features, as the program has an expanded selection of preset design options. You can choose from 15 new Master Sets (for a total of 35). In addition, Publisher includes 15 specialty sets for documents such as menus and fund-raising materials. The Master Sets help you maintain a consistent look and identity across your business publications. Each set includes fully customizable templates for the most common publication types, such as newsletters, brochures, flyers, Web sites, business cards, and catalogs. Many rival desktop programs offer templates, but they can be be unsophisticated and amateurish examples rather than ones that are appropriate for business documents. Publisher's Master Sets are actually quite tasteful and usable. Click on the image to the left to see a view of two sets. A complete visual list of the new publication designs can be found in the Publisher Gallery at
  Font Schemes
Font Schemes
The Font Schemes Task Pane shows 25 coordinated sets of fonts that can be applied to any publication. Font schemes work like color schemes. Instead of matched color hues, though, font schemes provide you with a set of typefaces that work well together. With intelligent font mapping, when you switch to a different font scheme, all of the copy in your publication is updated for a consistent look.
Word Document Wizard
Word Document Wizard
You can now open, edit and format basic Microsoft Word 97/2000/2002 documents within Publisher using the new Import Word Options Task Pane. Formatting, such as text styles, paragraph formats, and headers or footers, and graphics remain intact, and you can also include images and tables. You can then apply additional formatting, such as columns, or use Publisher's tools to modify the document. Publisher also allows you to bring in a Word document with inline graphics, and the pictures will be correctly positioned in the text flow. It's now easy to create a document in Word, then use Publisher for design content, without doubling your time in reformatting copied content. This is a very convenient feature.

Office Clipboard
Office Clipboard
The Office Clipboard allows you to collect text and graphic items (up to 24 items) from any number of Office documents or other programs and then paste them into your document, in any order. The Office Clipboard works with the standard Copy and Paste commands. You just copy an item to the Office Clipboard to add it to your collection, then paste it from the Office Clipboard into your Publisher document. The copied items appear on the Office Clipboard Task Pane. You can paste items from the Office Clipboard individually, or all at once.
  Smart Tags

Paste Options Smart Tag

AutoCorrect Options Smart Tag

Publisher supports two of the Smart Tags found in Office XP. These tags are buttons that give you the option to alter changes. The Smart Tags in Publisher include the Paste Options Smart Tag and the AutoCorrect Options Smart Tag. The Paste Options Tag allows you to decide whether you want to paste you data as you originally copied it or change the style to fit the style of the document into which you are pasting it. The AutoCorrect Tag lets you undo an autocorrection, choose not to have that correction take place in the future, and access the AutoCorrect options. The AutoCorrect, though, works differently in Word and Publisher. In Publisher the AutoCorrect Smart Tag works on character-level formats, but not paragraph-level formats as it does in Word. Thus you can correct an improperly capitalized word, but you can't use the Smart Tag to reverse an auto-numbering scheme. Besides this difference, the Smart Tags are handy and a time-saver.

Save as Picture
Save as Picture
The new Save as Picture option is one of the most useful features in Publisher 2002. You can select objects on a page or an entire publication page, group them together, and then save the entire selection as a picture. This is an excellent way to create mastheads, logos and other designs within Publisher, save them in a file format for use on the Web or print, and then reuse them within other applications. Files can be saved as GIF, TIFF, JPEG, and PNG, and many other formats. The image shows a logo that was created in Publisher and saved as a GIF for use in other documents.
Process Color Plus Spot Color
Color Options
Printing options have been expanded. Publisher 2000 introduced cost-effective spot-color, commercial printing by creating or converting publications to one or two colors plus black. Many projects, though, require matching Pantone colors to business colors, and thus more options than three colors are needed. Publisher 2002 supports up to a total of 12 spot colors. Furthermore, there is now support for process color and spot color in a single publication. Being able to combine process colors and spot colors within the same publication is useful for publications such as brochures that include color photographs (printed using process color printing) and specific business colors for logos and layout (using Pantone spot colors).
  Web Support



Publisher 2002 supports HTML as a file format. You can start from scratch with the Web Site Wizard, or AutoConvert an existing brochure or newsletter into a Web site. When you save any publication directly to HTML, the resulting page appears exactly as it was designed complete with all fonts and even advanced multi-column layouts. You can even reopen the HTML file back into Publisher and change the layout or re-edit a graphic. This is convenient for inexperienced Web designers. One drawback, though, is that the subsequent edited page is packed with XML-based code which increases the file size. Still, this is a convenient way to produce Web pages. Another great feature is the ability to send a single-page document as an HTML e-mail message, or as an attachment. Sending a document as a message means that because it is sent in the "universal" HTML format, recipients don't need to have Publisher installed to view the document, just HTML-capable e-mail abilities.
Tools on the Web

The support for Visual Basic for Applications in Publisher 2002 extends the functionality of the program through new Tools on the Web, online marketing tools and services from Microsoft bCentral. The bCentral Web site is: Tools on the consists of ListBuilder, FastCounter and LinkExchange Banner and offers you the following options:

  • Keep track of how many people visit you Web site using the free bCentral FastCounter service.
  • Create a banner advertisement and advertise on 450,000 Web sites using the free bCentral LinkExchange Banner Network.
  • Send e-mail messages, product announcements and other information to customers using ListBuilder.
Wish List
  • Publisher supports paragraph-level text styles but not character-level text styles, which has been added to many other desktop publishing programs and is extremely useful;
  • Export options to control resolution or compression levels;
  • Support for PDF output is needed.
Final Comments

With each new version, Publisher has just gotten better and better, which makes it the top choice for desktop publishing for home and small to medium businesses. There are more tools, features, and options in Publisher 2002, but there isn't any increase in skills necessary to create professional and sophisticated material. With the addition of these Office features, Publisher now has a more robust toolset. The new design aides, including the new Task Panes with visual previews, really take the guesswork out of choosing fonts, colors, and other design elements that need to work together. The consistency in tools and user interface between Office and Word makes it easier than ever for Office users to use Publisher for page-layout tasks. The program seems stable and trouble free. There are a few additions that I would like to see and I have put them in the Wish List above. Publisher 2002, with its automated design functions, range of templates from sophisticated to whimsical, and its thrifty price is certainly a worthwhile upgrade, and an excellent choice for first-time users.

System Requirements
  • PC with Pentium 133 MHz or higher processor; Pentium III recommended;
  • Microsoft Windows 98/98 Second Edition/Me/NT with Service Pack 6 or later/2000;
  • For running Publisher with Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition, 32 MB of RAM; for running Publisher with Windows ME or Windows NT, 40 MB of RAM; for running Publisher with Windows 2000, 72 MB of RAM;
  • 180 MB of available hard disk space; additional hard disk space required for installation of the additional Media Content CD;
  • CD-ROM drive;
  • Super VGA (800x600) or higher resolution monitor with 256 colors;
  • Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse or compatible point device.
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