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Microsoft Publisher Emulator?


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#1
RjBass

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Would anybody know of a free program that emulates Microsoft Publisher? I am the IT Admin for a small private school and for the last year I have been trying to move the students and staff away from Microsoft Office products and into free programs like OpenOffice.org. While I have been met with lot's of moaning and grumbling, I have, for the most part been successful in this venture. The last hold out I have is with Publisher. I have a couple teachers who like to create their student news letters and other tid bits in publisher. Most have said that if I can find something that works like Publisher then they will make the switch, but I have as of yet found anything that seems to be any good.

Now I know that even if I find a program that works, it most likely won't be able to support Publisher files as Microsoft still seems to have the Publisher format on lock down. But again, any free program that works and looks like Publisher would be a huge help. Thanks.
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#2
wizzy2k5

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I am the IT Admin for a small private school


Hello RjBass

As per the Terms Of Use

3. Geeks to Go Support Forum Rules, Policies and Disclaimers

We offer free computer help and tech support for home and personal use. We are not here to support others that work for profit, or to support/replace your company's IT department.

Regards

Edited by wizzy2k5, 03 April 2009 - 10:11 AM.

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#3
RjBass

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I see. So after having been a member of Geekstogo.com for a couple years now, and having said I represent a small private school seeking help, you are basically saying "screw you".

I see where you are coming from about the for profit thing. However, we are a non profit educational facility serving children from pre-k through 8th grade. I am a part time teacher/IT Admin for the school and I squeak by making only $500 every two weeks. So if you want to call that for profit then fine. I sought some simple help. Some recommendations for some software. I didn't seek the help for virus removal, hardware decisions etc.. Just a simple software recommendation.

I will see you all next in my blog when i write my next wonderful review about you and how you all just love to give the finger to the private education system. And thank you very much.
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#4
wizzy2k5

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RjBass

This is the first post I have seen on the matter and am not saying what you said. It says this in the terms of use so I posted it. Looking at the situation above my-self I am not going to reply, however what I will do is forward this to a moderator/admin so they can make the final decision as i'm in no position to make this.

Regards

Edited by wizzy2k5, 03 April 2009 - 11:19 AM.

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#5
starjax

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Rjbass,

after doing some looking around I have found a few things that be of interest:

specific software:

http://www.scribus.net/
A free desktop publishing (DTP) application with native versions available for Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, OS/2 and Windows. Scribus has broad feature set of page layout features that comparable to leading commercial applications such as Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign, and able to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and form

http://openoffice.org/
which, I believe your using already

Google docs:
http://apps.google.com/

Then I ran across this:
http://www.google.co...ource=catch_all

I think google has some interesting thoughts. I think that there are some online alternatives as well. Lots of online tools for photo editing, for example. You've peeked my curiosity.

Now, the big problem is that .pub files can not be opened by anything except publisher, at least that fits within your criteria.
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#6
RjBass

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Thank you Starjax. After doing some looking around after my initial post and asking some questions on some other sites I decided to let them try Scribus. It seems to be a decent program, but I don't know if the old school teachers who know of nothing but Microsoft Office will be happy with it.

I am facing a real legal problem here in that all of the Microsoft Office software that had been installed on the computers from the previous Admin was illegal and now I am stuck cleaning up the mess. We have no budget to speak of, so purchasing legal copies of Microsoft Office is out.

I'm sorry about my bad mood in my last post. I just had some under paid, old school Office teachers yelling at me because i won't re-install illegal Office software on their machines. I understand that they only want to use the software that they know, but this is an ever changing industry that requires change from time to time.
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#7
starjax

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We understand. Myself have many friends who are teachers and a brother in-law who is a superintendent of a small school district. So I have a good idea of where your coming from. It will take some time for them to adapt and learn the new program. But, being educators, learning is part of the process.

Something to look at, if you have adobe air installed, is the adobe.com application that it comes with. A number of products are written with air, including some of adobe's products. Be worth a try. I haven't played with them yet, but have watched demo. They look pretty cool.

More and more apps and services are moving to the "cloud". As they do, there may be some interesting things that you can do.
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#8
Artellos

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Sadly, in IT, every change calls for some 'resistance' from the users.
It doesn't matter how hard you try you will always get some users shouting at you that they want their 'trusted old' things back.

These days there's a lot of good free alternatives as Starjax pointed out :)
Sadly, users have to get used to these.
I think the advice I am trying to give is to try and take away this resistance from them by assisting them or preparing them on the change :)
A simple powerpoint presentation can reduce the resistance of users by quite a bit, if done correctly.

Although my post doesn't contain any software recommendations (which you were looking for) it does have a little tip, use it however you like :)
Good Luck!

Regards,
Olrik
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#9
Neil Jones

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Would anybody know of a free program that emulates Microsoft Publisher? I am the IT Admin for a small private school and for the last year I have been trying to move the students and staff away from Microsoft Office products and into free programs like OpenOffice.org. While I have been met with lot's of moaning and grumbling, I have, for the most part been successful in this venture. The last hold out I have is with Publisher. I have a couple teachers who like to create their student news letters and other tid bits in publisher. Most have said that if I can find something that works like Publisher then they will make the switch, but I have as of yet found anything that seems to be any good.


The only program that will talk to Publisher files is Publisher itself.
The other problem you'll have is none of the different versions of Publisher are backwards compatible. So if you save a file in Publisher 2007 no other version of Publisher will be able to read it. Publisher 2007 can read any file created in any version of Publisher but as soon as you save it, it'll never be readable in the older version again.

Not that this has answered your question but it's worth stating every time a Publisher related question comes up as it's a common issue.
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#10
RjBass

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Ya I understand that Microsoft has Publisher on lock down.

I did however understand that the latest version of the Microsoft Office compatibility pack enabled Publisher 2003 to be able to read and work with Publisher 2007 files. Is that not correct?
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#11
Neil Jones

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I did however understand that the latest version of the Microsoft Office compatibility pack enabled Publisher 2003 to be able to read and work with Publisher 2007 files. Is that not correct?


This is true for the rest of the Office applications by obtaining a free add-in from the Microsoft site to read 2007 documents in Office 2003.
According to Microsoft, Publisher 2007 has facilities to be backwards compatible as far back as Publisher 98, which is news to me as this has never been the case before:
http://office.micros...0999951033.aspx
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