In here you will find answers to questions which I normally answer.  Not all commonly-asked questions are in here, as most are covered in other sites on the Links page.

Q: How do I merge two Publisher files into one?

A: Use PubCat, found at the Tools page.

Q: How do I insert a PDF file into Publisher?

A: See this tutorial.

Q: How do I set the default font in a Publisher document?

A: See this tutorial.

Q: Why can I not see images/shapes/lines when editing my publication?

A: You may have pictures hidden. Try View > Pictures > Detailed Display.

If this fails, this is almost certainly a problem with your video driver.

By going to Display Properties > Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot, and dragging the Hardware Acceleration slider down three notches, you will be able to disable Publisher from making the calls on the video driver that cause this problem.

If this does fix your problem, it means that the problem does indeed lie with the video driver.  You can leave your computer running at this lower hardware acceleration, but it may cause problems with other programs.  It is a better solution to try and find a driver update for your graphics card. Normally, the latest drivers from the video card manufacturer will do the trick, but ATI (and recently Intel and Dell) tend to be slower in perfecting their drivers, so some newer ATI and Intel cards to not yet have drivers available that do not exhibit this behaviour.  The solution here is to nag ATI/Intel/Dell for better drivers.

Important: Changing the hardware acceleration does not solve the problem. It is merely a method by which you can see that the problem lies with the video driver.

(Please also note that even if your computer is brand new, you won't necessarily have the latest drivers.)

Q: Why am I getting psychedelic colours in a pre-2002 version of Publisher on Windows XP?
Why is Publisher on LSD?
Why has Publisher gone blue & purple?

A: This is a commonly-reported problem with Publisher 2000 and earlier on Windows XP.  Try the following steps (in order).
a) Disable "Screen and printer color matching"
Right-click the desktop, click Properties, go to Appearance, check the settings there,
c) Update your printer driver
d) Update your video driver
e) Update to the latest Service Pack/Release

Q: Where is the Page Sorter in Publisher 2007?
Why can't I change pages in Publisher 2007?

A: Somehow, Publisher 2007 mysteriously adds a Registry key that hides it, and then provides no UI option to show it again. Following a long conversation with Microsoft Support, the cause and solution were found, and a long script was given on how to change the Registry key back. I've condensed that into a single file. Download and run the .reg file, and it will change the registry key back to what it should be. You'll need to close all running instances of Publisher and start it again to see the changes work.

Q: How do I do postal barcodes via Mail Merge?

A: There is an article on postal barcoding in Publisher here. This is the current recommended source for information on barcoding in Publisher, the information below is from before the article existed, and is not being updated.

First, you need to set up your merge database with a barcode field.  This is a normal text field, but it needs to be formatted right.

Bar codes used by the USPS for discount mailing purposes are 12-digit numbers - Zip plus 4, County code (2) and a check digit (sum of the other digits subtracted from the next highest multiple of 10.)
[End Quote]

You will also need to provide documentation proving that the barcodes and addresses are verified before the barcodes will be of any use.

Now you've set up your merge database, you're ready to merge.  You insert the merge field as if it were another normal field.  You might like to put it in its own text box.  Now, you set the font of the merge field to a barcode font.  For font info, check out the alt.binaries.fonts newsgroup - to start you off, there are some barcode fonts here.  Make sure the font you get is specifically a postal barcode font, as not all barcode fonts are postal barcode fonts.

One more point: the barcode normally has to be about size 12.

For a detailed explanation of postal barcoding (à la ScanTips), go to

Thanks to Mike Koewler for clarifying many of those points, and providing extra info and the quote above.

Q: Why do I get a white space at the end of my document when it does not appear in the on-screen version?

A: This is a physical limitation of your printer.  To find the maximum print area of your printer, go here.  To avoid this happening, either print to oversized paper, adjust your publication so it falls within the print area, or buy a new printer that supports full bleed (edge-to-edge printing).  These are mroe expensive than normal printers.

Q: I have adjusted my publication to fall within the printable area, but now my three-fold leaflet does not fold into three properly.  How can I avoid this?

A: This is because the margin on one side is larger than the other, and this reverses when you print the other side.  To avoid this, find the larger value from the top and bottom margin, and put it in as both top and bottom.  Then find the larger value from the left and right margins, and put it in as the left and the right margin.  Adjust your publication to fall in this new are.  After you've printed, trim off the excess white paper, and then fold.