MS-Publisher going away
  • JT_Fields
    Posts: 11
    (I feel like I’m always asking software questions on here, apologies in advance!)

    With Microsoft Publisher being discontinued in a year; is there a software that you would recommend for worship aids? Anything that would do a decent job of reading all the old .pub files so I’m not recreating the wheel with all the templates I’ve created?

    Or is there a way to save the .pub files as a more universal file format for publishing software?
  • Bombarde16
    Posts: 130
    I didnt realize publisher is going away!

    That said, I ehole-heartedly endorse "Affinity" Software. Their whole suite of "Publisher, Designer, and Photo" editors are my favorite in the market. Easier to work with than Adobe, and cheaper (perpetual licensing vs. subscription).

    I would suggest getting the Affinity suite, exporting all your publisher documents to PDFs, and then working in affinity from there on...
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    I use Scribus.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,040
    When I saw the thread's title I admit I hoped it might be referring to OCP or GIA.
  • OrganistRob320OrganistRob320
    Posts: 160
    I use Word for all my worship aids. MAC version is basically Word with most of the Publisher needs anyway.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Well, the Creative Suite is the best for sure, (but I can understand the downside of the licensing restrictions and cost). I have been using pro graphic arts tools since 1990 beginning with Pagemaker, and then on to Quark and then InDesign. Once you learn InDesign you will probably not want anything else.

    If on a Mac, you might try using Pages, which is Mac's version of a layout app.
    Thanked by 2PaxMelodious tomjaw
  • Marc Cerisier
    Posts: 523
    While my advice is certainly to use InDesign, your question about accessing old files is certainly an important one—as far as I know, there are no programs besides publisher that open publisher files.

    Our archive of worship aids goes back to 1997, with the switch to InDesign being made around 2006–7. I keep a virtual machine with an older version of windows and publisher that I start up in the rare instances when I need to access an old file.

    If you save PDFs of each program, you can at least easily see the program, but you’d need to recreate it to edit it in a newer program.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    Pages is a word processor, not a design app, and its limitations are pretty much those of Word, so while I think that for most purposes, it's better than Word, but it's not a good design application. Swift Publisher is on version 5.0; there's very little activity on its subreddit, which is surprising (because a niche alternative for Mac that isn't open-source and which is a one-time license, not a subscription sounds like a winner) but it's so cheap that I'd check it out if for anyone reading this. Report back!

    anyway, InDesign, Affinity (which I didn't like, but oh well), and Scribus have already been mentioned. QuarkExpress is still around.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    The Libre Office program Draw can import .pub files. What it can then do with them I do not know, but as it is free it is worth checking out.
    Wikipedia says " It also includes features similar to desktop publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher,[24] but the features are not on par with desktop publishing software.[25] It can also act as a PDF file editor. "

    [ADDED] I used Page Plus from v3, but after 20 years I realised that linked frames was the only thing I needed - and Writer (Libre Office) has those. Writer will also incorporate music from Lilypond.
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    Affinity Publisher for sure, assuming you don’t want to pay Adobe prices.
  • Word is entirely adequate for any worship aids I have ever seen. Those entirely eschewing this use might, I submit, not know fully the software’s capabilities. One knows, of course, the general superiority of InDesign—but also its cost. MS Publisher has been an underdeveloped and essentially unsupported application for a decade. Its extensive legacy of hideous designs is enough firmly to nail its coffin.
    Thanked by 2irishtenor Heath
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    So, in Mac Pages, there are TWO DISTINCT PLATFORMS from which you can choose... either the

    1. word processor layout

    or

    2. page layout.

    I have an older version, but here is a very quick demo of how to get into the page layout view which then is similar in function to InDesign. You can really do a lot of what ID does in this mode.

    There are templates when you open the program that are already in the Layout Mode. You can see the examples of layouts similar to ID or Affinity.

    http://myopus.com/preview/PagesDemo.mp4

    BTW...Pages is FREE!
    Thanked by 1denroden
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    Word is entirely adequate for any worship aids I have ever seen. Those entirely eschewing this use might, I submit, not know fully the software’s capabilities.

    The problem isn't necessarily that you cannot kludge a nice worship aid together in Word... it's that the manner of working and doing layout is not conducive to the task at hand, whereas a program like Affinity Publisher or InDesign specializes in exactly this type of task, making it very easy flexible, and frankly, more feature-rich.

    Francis: interesting about the page layout mode in Pages. Never knew that.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    interesting about the page layout mode in Pages. Never knew that.
    very few people know about this... I call it the Down & Dirty InDesign Knockoff. Quite useable.

  • davido
    Posts: 898
    In my experience, word doesn’t handle graphic files as well as publisher.
    Thanked by 2LauraKaz Caleferink
  • PaxTecum
    Posts: 313
    been using indesign for years since I am a mac user, it's much better
  • denroden
    Posts: 23
    I have used Pages for years for all my worship aid needs and have never felt like it was missing anything. (Supplemented with Finale and the Source & Summit score editor) I can't believe I never knew about the page layout mode - I'll have to see if that is something useful for me.
  • JT_Fields
    Posts: 11
    Never knew about Pages - since the office is all PC's that option isn't available. At previous jobs I used Pages and I wish I knew about the layout editor.

    It looks like InDesign or Affinity. But I have to start the long process of re-making templates. Now I can usually copy/paste lots of things and I have layout "blocks" that I like to use (using Small Caps for certain things, or how I layout scripture citations and such, etc.). That's why if something could read the .pub files, I don't lose the old files (PDFs are great, but I use them more to maintain the record and for printing).
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    two points in affinity's favor:
    1.) it can directly open and manipulate raw PDF data, unlike InDesign which requires 3rd party plugins (or you can "place" pdfs on a page and have affinity not touch them)
    2.) if you get the whole suite, you can mode switch, so you can click an icon at the top and turn the window into the photo persona (photoshop clone), directly manipulate an image, and then switch back to the publisher persona. It's all very seamless and allows you to accomplish some wonderful things, all natively from within the app.
    Thanked by 1JT_Fields
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    oh: and you can buy it outright for a very reasonable fee, and don't have to pay a subscription.
    Thanked by 1JT_Fields
  • Based on the discussion on this thread, I decided when I began a new position two weeks ago to make a switch in software at that time. I went from MS Publisher to Affinity Publisher. I am glad that I did! Thank you all for the recommendation! I was really worried I'd end up with Scribus or something like that.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    I mean, I like Scribus, but it's somewhat clunky and development is both slow and fraught.
  • RachelR
    Posts: 42
    PowerPoint is the new Publisher. At least for me!

    And I LOVED Publisher 20 years ago, and spent a lot of time using it for personal projects. I started using PowerPoint for online teaching, and love how I can use it for everything and more I used to use Publisher for: exercise sheets, handouts, reprints of textbook pages, examples of sheet music, etc. Attached are some Latin class handouts (with a chant page!) as an example of some things Ppt can do well.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,040
    I found this site that will convert Publisher files to Word .docx files for free:

    https://www.freeconvert.com/docx-converter

    It preserves the formatting of components, which was important to me.

    I'm going to migrate my Publisher files to Word gradually.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • If you can work without the ribbon user interface familiar in Microsoft, Affinity is a very affordable program with more advanced features than publisher. I'll try and learn how to post a worship aide one of these days but it has been doing a great job for me.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    Here are two examples of the worship aids I've assembled in Affinity Publisher:
  • lmassery
    Posts: 412
    Serviam those look amazing. Couple questions: what font is that? How do you make the cool first letters?
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • kenny
    Posts: 1
    Incredible work, Serviam, just gorgeous

    LibreOffice Draw works well enough for my simple half-sheet worship aids.
    Thanked by 1lmassery
  • lmassery
    Posts: 412
    Kenny, thanks for sharing that and for using our antiphon hymns- it looks excellent.
    Thanked by 1kenny
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    Main body text is Iowan Old Style. Fancy font used for the titles is Yana (an absolute favorite of mine, and worth every penny). This includes the basic smaller drop caps for things like the Psalm verses. For the big fancy capitals used for the readings in the ordination booklet I used Floral Capitals.

    In affinity publisher, there is an option to enable drop caps, and define what font is used and what scale (2 lines of text tall in the case of the psalm verses, and 4 lines tall in the case of the readings, etc.). Of course, depending on your goals, you can also add them as floating text objects and then enable text wrapping. Every once in a while this works better than using the built-in feature within the text frame itself.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen lmassery
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    By the way: I just got an email from Affinity that they are now offering a SIX MONTH FREE TRIAL. No strings attached.
    Thanked by 3MarkB CHGiffen kenny
  • novusgordo
    Posts: 6
    I got the same e-mail about the Affinity trial (and also the 50% off sale running right now). There's a lot of frustration in the graphic-design community right now over Adobe's business practices surrounding Creative Cloud licensing; between that and the DoJ lawsuit against Adobe being all over the tech news, Serif Labs evidently sees an opportunity to challenge Adobe's monopoly.

    Anyway, for most things I simply use LaTeX nowadays; where I actually want a WYSIWYG page-layout application, Apple Pages has tended to be adequate.
    Thanked by 2BruceL irishtenor
  • JT_Fields
    Posts: 11
    I keep hearing about LaTeX but haven't really looked into it. Is there an elevator pitch for LaTeX? My understanding is that it's very open source.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    Yes. I think that it does Gregorian notation well, and you can modify that notation. It handles body text with as much or as little formatting as you like with ease, independently of using Gregorio, which means that you can do almost everything in LaTeX. It’s hard to break a tex file as it’s plaintext which is a plus over word processing. It won’t fool you; if a character is missing, it doesn’t print anything, unlike word processors.

    It doesn’t handle music well otherwise, but you can use LilyPond to do it (similarly set up to Gregorio, built by people with our needs in mind) or use inserted graphics which look almost native anyway. And while it’s a steep learning curve, there are tons of resources, and there’s no shame in borrowing a line or more of code.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,156
    Greogorio is included with TeX. The TeX Users Group has free downloads of TexLive (for Windows) or MacTex (for MacOS) on the site. Both contain LaTeX and the Gregorio font.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    JT— the thing to know about it is that you are coding everything in, just as when you have to code in a GABC file from scratch. So you don’t just open something up and type the same way that you do in a word processor with a GUI. Changing settings means changing code.