Whether you are a small business owner or design personal print projects on your home computer, Microsoft Publisher 2010 is a great product. Backed by perhaps the biggest name in the computer world, this feature-rich and easy-to-use desktop publishing software puts a wealth of editing and design tools and a well-stocked art gallery at your disposal. Publisher is part of the respected Microsoft Office software family (in fact, it is included in the Office Professional package), so it's highly likely you are familiar with the interface.

One drawback is that this software includes only 600 project templates from which to choose, which is quite small compared to many others on the market. However, you can download other templates from the Microsoft website, so you still get an enormous range of project possibilities.

Microsoft Publisher has a great variety of clipart and images, and there are online resources for downloading additional images. This software's tools for enhancing images, however, are a bit disappointing. The application includes options to crop, resize, change the shapes, adjust contrast and color as well as do a number of other things to your images. However, you cannot do such things as fix flaws in photos, add inner and outer glows, add a bevel effect or place text on curves.

Publisher includes a spell checker, and it offers the added bonuses of a built-in thesaurus and proofreader, both of which are rare in the world of desktop publishing.

Microsoft Publisher has some good printing and file sharing options, including commercial printing tools that allow you to embed true type fonts and font subsets.

Microsoft Publisher is simple to use. If you're familiar with Word, then you'll be quite at home with this software. Among other things, the 2010 version provides a sleek and uncluttered work area, as well as a well-organized command ribbon and the option to preview what you have created. The website also gives you step-by-step tutorials and interactive guides to walk you through such things as using the menu and toolbar commands.

Overall, Microsoft Publisher offers a variety of help and support that includes a user forum, FAQs, live chat and email support. One problem is the fact that you get only one free support request online or by phone. After that, support can become expensive if you cannot find answers to your questions in the help content, knowledgebase or FAQs section.

Microsoft Publisher Summary:
8.3/10

This software has a few drawbacks, including the fact that you cannot be quite so creative when working with photos as you can with some of the other desktop publishing applications on the market. However, Microsoft Publisher provides some powerful tools for the small business owner and home users who want to design effective and creative printed projects. In addition, if you are familiar with other Microsoft application, the interface will be very familiar, making it a breeze to use.

 
 
 

Microsoft Publisher 2010

Pros
Microsoft's desktop publishing software has a familiar interface that makes it easy to use.

Cons
There are fewer templates and fonts than in other applications.

The Verdict
: 8.25/10

Despite a few drawbacks, this software is well-equipped to serve your desktop publishing needs.