Microsoft Publisher, officially Microsoft Office Publisher, is a desktop publishing application from Microsoft. It is an entry-level application, differing from Microsoft Word in that the emphasis is placed on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing.
Publisher has a relatively smaller market share in the desktop publishing market, which is dominated by Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress. Publisher has historically been less well-liked among high-end commercial print shops, compared with other desktop publishing applications. Publisher's position as an entry-level application aggravates many issues (particularly in older versions) such as fonts unavailable and embedded objects not available on service providers' machines (however, Publisher does come with tools to pack related files into a self-expanding application). Many higher end features like transparency, object shadowing, slugs, text on paths, built-in PDF output, etc. are either not fully-functional or simply unavailable (especially in previous versions). However, recent versions have greater capabilities concerning color separations and proper process coloring output. Publisher 2007 also includes the capability to output commercial press quality PDF with embedded fonts as an optional download from the Microsoft website.