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Publisher 2003
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price: $169, $99 Upgrade
Review By: Brian Kvalheim


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Features
3: Advanced Features
4: Conclusion

1991 brought us Microsoft's first incarnation of Publisher, 1.0. While considered to be a very basic DTP application, it introduced thousands of people to the world of greeting cards, newsletters, WordArt and text boxes. 12 years later, Publisher has changed, matured, improved and grown. Not only has it grown in use, but in size. Originally Publisher 1.0 fit on 3 floppy disks (2 if you didn't add the clipart). Microsoft Publisher 2002 weighed in at 1.2 GB. Now, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 now only measures at under 450 MB. But that comes with a price. No longer is Microsoft including the clipart CD, and requires web access to the Office 2003 only clipart. The Commercial Printing environment of Publisher was introduced in Publisher 2000 and has found yet another version that has opened up more possibilities for commercial printers with improved CMYK support as well as improved spot colors. I personally have been using Publisher since the Publisher for Windows 95 version (3.0) was released and find that Microsoft has been very typical with it's history of adding and removing well used features.


The first thing you might notice is that Microsoft has changed their Office logo and application naming. This is now Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 (adding Office makes Publisher a part of the "Office" System).  Setup mimics the remainder of the Office 2003 family with custom and typical installations. Microsoft Publisher is very good about prompting you to keep previous versions of Microsoft Publisher installed (or removing if desired). The entire installation took about 8 minutes, having chosen to "Run All From My Computer". Keep in mind that Microsoft insists on their Activation Technology, so upon first run of Publisher you will be prompted activate your copy for your specific machine. A second copy may be installed on a portable computer, but may require you to use the phone activation. If you choose not to activate, you will be prompted at a later date. In most cases, restarting your operating system shouldn't be required.