Skip to main content

Opening MS Publisher Documents on a Macintosh

Question: How can I open MS Publisher documents on my Macintosh?

The IT Guy says:
Unfortunately there are not any straightforward answers that allow you to edit and change the original document. This is because Microsoft has made Publisher only for the Windows platform, and has not made any effort to make its files cross-platform compatible. Thankfully that is just the case for Publisher, and not for Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, which are fully compatible (with a few exceptions, including the inclusion of uncommon fonts.)

One option is to have someone else (or yourself if you have access to a Windows computer and the program) use PageMaker 7 for Windows to convert MS-Publisher files to PageMaker format. After that conversion is done, the converted files can be opened on a Macintosh using Pagemaker 7 or InDesign.

A second option, if you just need to view, print, or forward the file but not edit it, is to have the Publisher file converted to PDF format. Then the PDF file can be opened and used on your Mac using the Preview application or Adobe Reader software.

A third option is to use the free Remote Desktop Connection software program from Microsoft to connect to either a server that has MS Publisher installed on it, or a WindowsXP computer that has MS Publisher. Your network administrator can set up a Windows server to act as an applications server, and provide you with an IP address that, when you connect from a Macintosh or a Windows computer, automatically starts running MS Publisher. In this case, you would not have printing access to a local printer, but could print to networked printers if they have been set up by the network administrator. If you connect to a WindowsXP computer, you can use it from your Macintosh just as you would if you were actually using the Windows machine. To right click, hold down the control key. Only one person can be using a WindowsXP computer, however, so if you are using the computer via a Remote Desktop Connection then someone else cannot be using the same Windows computer. The windows computer you are using must be set up to allow remote desktop connections for the particular username and password you will use, but it can be located in another room or another part of the Internet as long as firewall settings along the connection path permit such access.

Remote Desktop Connection for Macintosh can be downloaded free from Microsoft at Remote Desktop Client.

As a Mac user, if you do not want to use a professional desktop publishing program like InDesign or Pagemaker 7, you should consider Pages. Pages is a new program Apple has developed that is part of the iWork software suite, which includes Keynote2 software. iWork is available to educators for $40, and less if your district purchases in larger volumes.

Next Tip: Accountability for Network Printing

Tags