I'm pretty sure the options consist of

  1. Just don't do it (use a nice open standard file format). Not great when someone sends you something.

  2. Translate the format on Windows. I think you need Publisher, the viewer won't even print. But you can download a trial version for a once off (been there, done that).

  3. Submit the file for online translation to PDF. www.pdfonline.com/convert-pdf/

  4. Use a Windows VM, wine, crossover office, Win4Lin, or otherwise run Publisher "under" linux.

What I really want to do is convert it to something nicer natively under Linux.


Such a tool appears to not exist - the search I did only came back with the following article:

Why Can't I View .PUB Files?
It’s one of the great mysteries of the world – why don’t Microsoft provide a free viewer for Microsoft Publisher (.pub) files?
As yet, it hasn’t been explained and there doesn’t seem to be anyone presenting a third party alternative. The result of this of course is that anyone wishing to view a Microsoft Publisher document must do so on a PC with the application installed on it, or else view a printed copy of the document!

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/52304.aspx#ixzz0V75pJTkg

  • I got the same impression. One can always hope though. – Peter Oct 27 '09 at 15:37

I've just used Zamzar to do this. Its a free online service and took about 10 minutes.

It did mess up the format somewhat, but I got all the text, graphics and clip art, which I can now use in Scribus, or tidy up in LibreOffice Writer.


I find that Inkscape does a fairly good job at designing documents. As far as I know there is no program that allows for you to open PUB files on Linux.


Sadly Publisher files are a proprietary, closed-spec, binary file format. There have been a few attempts to reverse-engineer it, but none have been successful. Publisher didn't run under Wine either yet the last time I tried it. It doesn't help that the UNIX/Linux world has its own set of powerful layout and design tools, so community interest is limited to those few people who get sent .pub files by others. You could always try nicely asking those who send you .pub files to send them in an open format instead. Otherwise the online converter is your best bet.


Libreoffice does support opening publisher files.


OODraw and Scribus are both excellent Linux publisher alternatives i would recommend, though i think exporting a Publisher file to either of these programs would be harder to do

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