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So if you use Word, you probably have publishers available. This is because they both have very different tooling, both appropriate to what they were made for.
Although, to be honest, the Office Home & Student release of Office does not contain alisher. Word is for simple text files, maybe with some graphs and spreadsheets. But if you go beyond that and need more than just a simple lay-out tools, publishers are there for you.
Whether it's Words or Publisher: Words have many strong points..... To many of us, Microsoft Office Wor is the breath of fresh outdoors. We use text processors to do almost anything we do on the computer, from correspondence and notes to longer term documentation such as law/research.
Even though a text editor is as versatile and rugged as Microsoft Office Wordprocessor it is not intended to produce the graphic and layout-intensive publishing necessary for advanced commercial and market communication. and so is the publishers! Office Builder offers the flexibility and precision of page layouts and designs with the added benefits of support for page designer and workflow control.
It also provides you with the necessary tool and functionality to effectively build, adapt and re-use a range of promotional material to meet your unique needs. Those utilities and functions include: As I said, it's not that you have to buy publishers if Word isn't enough - it's part of the game.
But it' not really equitable to make a difference between publishers and Word. Publishing is DTP (DP) softwares, so let's move on to an orange-to-orange benchmark. First we take a look at other DP softwares (Best Desktop Publishing SOW 2018 - Reviews, Comparison). What is out there (this is only the test software):
Based on the prior credentials, Microsoft Publisher ranks third behind Xara Page & Layout Designer ($50) and Adobe InDesign ($21/month). So unless you have really demanding needs AND you don't already have Microsoft Office, you will be "hard to afford to make the additional cash for replacing what you already have.
Since Office holds more than 80% of the industry's shares, I think most companies already use Office. However, if you are a Mac users, Publishing does not run on the Mac, although you can easily open the Microsoft Publishing application for use on the Mac (How to open a Microsoft Publishing application on your Macintosh - Macintosh How To).
And Xara doesn't run on a Mac, so you stay with InDesign. NO of the above mentioned softwares runs under Linux. But since you asked specifically for publishers, I have to say you're using Windows because it won't run on anything else. You will need to look at the options if you do not yet have alisher.
When you can't finance Office and don't have an excessive need for enhanced functionality, you definitely can't buy InDesign. The Xara Page & Layout Designer becomes an appealing feature in this case. But you still need to match $50 once for Xara vs. $99/year to get Office 365 Home, which gives you the other great Office utilities - and you can deploy it to up to 5 workstations.
Then, you need to check the rating of 8.1 for Publishers vs. 9.1 for InDesign and 9.1 for InDesign. For Xara to determine whether publishers are "good enough" or not. I do not go into the publishers own drawbacks compared to the other layout-software. When you need so many details, go to the previously mentioned reviews (Best desktop publishing software 2018 - reviews, comparison).