Can I use Microsoft Publisher files with LibreOffice?

Can LibreOffice open and edit Microsoft Publisher files? Basically can I design a booklet, or what not, like you would with Microsoft Publisher?

See also → Can Libre Office 3.6 open a Microsoft Publisher file (.pub)?

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An ongoing Google Summer of Code project is aiming at writing an import filter for MS Publisher file-format. Tentatively, this feature is planned for LibreOffice 3.7. If interested in following the progress, check

Here is a first blog about this work in progress


I’ve been funded by Google to spend the summer writing an MS Publisher import routine for LibreOffice, so if all goes well you should be able to open Publisher files in LibreOffice starting with version 3.7.

I can’t promise anything at this early stage, but we are making good progress so far :slight_smile:

Sadly, this is only for import; exporting to Publisher is not planned at this time, since as Cloph pointed out, it uses a Microsoft-internal format that we understand only incompletely.

To add to the above answer, a Publisher filter was implemented (by Brennan) for v4.0 (refer release notes).

Opening MS Publisher files: Probably will never be implemented - not even other products by MS can open them. So if you got plenty, you need to convert them to a more common format.

Regarding Booklets: Probably not what you have in mind (so just in case a search for booklet turns this question up), but LibreOffice has a booklet printing feature, i.e. one that arranges your pages so you can print two pages on each side of a sheet of paper, and then just stack the sheets and fold in the middle.

And I disagree with the proposal to use Draw to make DTP - at least when most of the contents is text and not graphics placed all over the place. In writer you can have linked frames that allow a very flexible positioning, but still keep the editing comfort. You can also work with different sections with different amount of columns and stuff like that. I agree with the recommendation of Scribus though, that indeed is closer to DTP.

EDIT: Implementing a Publisher import filter is an accepted Google Summer of Code task - so there’s a possibility that LibreOffice will be able to open publisher files in version 3.7.0 (scheduled for February next year)

Answer to question 1: There seems to be no way of opening Publisher files directly. But you can find a hint for converting here:

Answer to question 2: I guess LibreOffice Draw is the closest match to Publisher for some kind of DTP (Desktop Publishing). A specialized program for this task is Scribus

You cannot open Publisher files on Linux, but you can do most of what can be done in Publisher using Draw and Scribus as oddfellow mentioned.

Scribus is a better match because it has more flexibility and is more dedicated to the task, but LibreOffice Draw is pretty useful because of its integration with the rest of the LibreOffice platform.

Another option would be for someone to write an import filter, but this will probably take some time before it happens (if ever).

I’m currently using Libreoffice 4 beta 2 and I can confirm that you are able to open a MS Publisher file. I tried it today and the publisher file opened and all the graphics rendered correctly. Many thanks to those who worked on this much needed functionality.

My wife used LibreOffice to open an MS Publisher file that I made. She found that some graphics were in the wrong place and hid the text. So don’t expect complete compatibility. Graphics positioning is complicated and you won’t get complete compatibility in any program. Even LibreOfffice Writer and MS Word can be different. LibreOffice could be very useful to view MS Publisher files but they could need tweaking before publishing.

Hi, You cannot open Publisher files on Linux, but you can do most of what can be done in Publisher using Draw and Scribus as Oddfellow mentioned.