Whatever happened to …


… Microsoft Publisher?

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about this wonderful program and how much of an impact that it had on the goal of effective computer use in Ontario schools.

It was one of the earliest pieces of software licensed under the OSAPAC process by the Ministry of Education.  It arrived in a time when WordPerfect ruled and long text documents with perhaps a piece or two of Clipart put the finishing touches on it!

With the advent of Microsoft Publisher, digital publishing reached new heights in our school district.   People that were a little hesitant to use the computer as a digital typewriter got very excited with the ease that you could create very polished looking documents.  The concept of “documents” just exploded with posters, banners, etc. all created with this powerful tool.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I think we entered the Microsoft Publisher game with version 2.  There was an update to version 3 and the OSAPAC website lists versions 2000 and 2002 as the last licensed.  This software was one of the most favourite applications in Ontario classrooms.  With teacher takehome rights, documents and banners never looked better.  Can anyone remember Print Shop?

In my district, largely Windows based, it changed everything.  In terms of the writing process, the word processor and the idea of going digital was the ultimate goal.  Now, with Publisher available, so many other things could be done to really dress up a document.  It actually became my personal go-to tool for creation of things.

There’s a huge list of versions of the program.  It certainly changed, evolved, and became more popular over the years.

At the same time, though, word processing became so much more powerful as well.  You can easily do the sorts of things that were once solely for Publisher now with your favourite word processor whether it be computer or web based.  But, Publisher is still around and you can get it with an Office 365 subscription.  I wonder how many do though.  Once, it was the go-to application for the best looking documents.  Now, I wonder how many people even think of it as an option with the power of modern word processors.

How about you and your thoughts about Microsoft Publisher?

  • Were you or are you a user of Microsoft Publisher?
  • Are there things that you do in a publishing program that you can’t do in a word processor?
  • Can you name any other desktop publishing program that you’ve used?
  • If you’re an Ontario teacher, you answer better be yes to this one – have you ever decorated a bulletin board with the product generated by Microsoft Publisher?
  • Is Microsoft Publisher on your school’s computer image?
  • In a world of Chromebooks and iPads, what does desktop publishing mean?
  • What’s your opinion of a desktop publishing program in a world where so much is published to the web instead of to printer?

I’d be very interested in your thoughts.  Please share them below.

The complete list of “Whatever happened to …” articles appears here.  It’s not too late to jump in with your thoughts.

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OTR Links 09/03/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.