Microsoft Publisher's Days Are Numbered

Microsoft Publisher's Days Are Numbered

Microsoft's big announcement this week sets the stage for a shake-up in the world of consumer print publishing that has been long overdue: the retirement of its venerable Publisher software. First released in 1991, fourteen versions later, the 2021 Publisher will be the last edition - although, to be honest, it has been a decade since publisher saw a truly meaningful update beyond a hasty reskin to keep-up appearances. How might this affect you?

975 to be exact.

Last week, Microsoft announced they would no longer be supporting Microsoft Publisher as of October, 2026. Here's their official statement:

"In October 2026, Microsoft Publisher will reach its end of life. After that time, it will no longer be included in Microsoft 365 and existing on-premises suites will no longer be supported. Until then, support for Publisher will continue and users can expect the same experience as today."

Our designers at The Lones Group have known for a while this is coming. The writing has been on the wall. While other companies that provide design software have been continuing to innovate over the last few years, we haven't been seeing Microsoft put their research and development into the Microsoft Publisher product.

To be frank, this has been a challenge for our company - and not because our design team prefers to work in Publisher, because we don't. Rather, it is a challenge because we know how our clients in the real estate community are able to access and use the custom-branded real estate templates we have created for them. Over the last 2+ decades we have built hundreds of brands and branded real estate business templates for our clients, and many of them chose to have them built in Microsoft Publisher.


Solutions Both Old and New

We've long also supported branded templates built in Adobe InDesign, but a few years ago our design team determined we needed to start offering additional options for our clients. Today, we custom-build branded templates in a number of different software programs including:

Adobe InDesign
In our opinion, Adobe InDesign is the perfect intersection between a powerful design program and ease of use. However, ease of use is in the eye of the beholder. For those who are not tech savvy or have the time and patience to learn how to use it, it can be daunting. This is available for both Mac and PC. It also costs $31.49 per month according to Adobe.

Affinity Publisher
The Affinity Publisher interface is very similar to Adobe InDesign. Therefore, it takes some time and training in order to get savvy enough to use it easily. Our Design Team's take is that it isn't as user-friendly and intuitive as Adobe InDesign. However, what makes this more attractive than Adobe InDesign is the price tag - a one-time fee of $69.99. It is also available for both Mac and PC.

A few years ago, we were not on board with this product. Our users had some issues. However, we kept our eye on this and have changed our tune. We are finding this is a fantastic tool to quickly create materials in your brand once we have set these up. What is even better is that the files are available in the Cloud on your account, so you can be across the globe and be able to access your files on a variety of devices including desktops, tablets, and even phones. You do need to maintain a Pro account, which is $120 per year.

If we built your real estate brand and templates, chances are we used Microsoft Publisher to do it. The clock is ticking for you to make a change to a new design program. Although you don't have to make a decision to make a change today, tomorrow, or even two months from now, what is more likely to happen in the next 975 days is that something will force you to replace the computer that your files are on. That's when you will have to decide if you will need your branded real estate templates on more modern publishing software. This stressful moment is not the best time for you to make this decision and it is not in your best interest to abandon your branded real estate templates.

Free Consultation

Instead, I encourage you to set up a consultation with our Design Team. This consultation is FREE and will include:

Template Assessment: We will work with you to determine the templates that you use in your business and those additional templates you may want or need.

Design Decisions: We will determine what changes you want to your materials before we rebuild. This is a great time to refresh some of the brand elements such as reworking a logo, lightening the template up a bit, adjusting colors, and updating your photo. You may even be interested in exploring some interactive features such as QR codes that go directly to your website, a video, or social media.

Software Consultation: We can help you determine the best software fit for your needs.

After the consultation, the Design Team will provide you with an estimate to complete the changes required and rebuild your templates in the design program of your choosing. As a past client, monthly payments are available so you can stretch your dollars between closings.

Schedule a template conversion consultation with a quick email to Shauna:

Thinking of a refresh or a whole new look? Email Shauna for that too!

A Good Change

Although this is a bit of a shake-up, we here at The Lones Group think this is a good change. Publisher has been limping along when it comes to working with larger files such as listing presentation packages and other publications. Putting Publisher behind you means all the benefits of using modern, regularly updated, and supported publishing software rather than something that hasn't been updated in many years.

By Denise Lones CSP, CMP, M.I.R.M.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones has over three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development and more, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.