Common issues with .pub files | .NET

Every software therefore every file format has its pros and cons. This article is about to help you find solutions to most issues you may get working with MS Publisher. Among them are: comparability issues, missing fonts or images, printing problems, and corrupted files. Let’s dig in!

Missing fonts or images

This common issue occurs when sharing .pub files between devices that don’t have the same fonts or images installed.

What to do if fonts are missing in a .pub file?

  1. When you open a .pub file you will receive a notification that some fonts are missing.
  2. Click on the “Options” button in the notification window.
  3. Here you will get the “Font Substitution” dialog box with a list of missing fonts and the options for fallback. Examine the list of suggested substitutes and select the one you are satisfied with.
  4. Click on the “Substitute” button.
  5. Repeat the procedure for all the rest missing fonts(if they are there).
  6. Save the file.
  1. Open the needed file.
  2. Click on the “File” tab and select “Options”.
  3. There click on “Save” in the left-hand menu.
  4. Check the box next to “Embed fonts in the file”.
  5. Here you can choose either “Embed only the characters used in the publication” or “Embed all characters”. The first option will let you decrease the file size.
  6. Click “OK” and close the dialog box. Then save the file.

What to do if images are missing in a .pub file?

  1. Select the image in Publisher, right-click on it, and choose “Format Picture”.
  2. In the appearing dialog box, click on the “Picture” tab. 3 Check if the “Link to File” option is selected. If not, - the image is embedded in the file.

Formatting errors of .pub files

Formatting errors are ones like when text boxes or images are not aligned correctly, or when page margins are not proper. Here are a few suggestions to fix such issues:

  1. Go to the “File” menu.
  2. Click on “Open”, and select the problematic file.
  3. Click on the “Open” drop-down arrow and select the “Open and Repair” option.
  4. Using the hints, repair the file.

Compatibility issues

.pub files sometimes have compatibility issues. They may happen when files are opened on different versions of Microsoft Publisher or other software. If you have them, here are some suggestions to try:

Printing problems

Users may encounter printing issues when working with .pub files. It can be poor print quality or wrong page orientation. Let’s try to solve some of them.

IssueDescription(Example)Suggested solution
Incorrect formattingThe issue may happen with any file format. If, for example, the margins or page size are set incorrectly, the content of the page may not fit on it or shift from the expected position when printing.Ensure that the paper size and orientation settings are correct. Open the file in Microsoft Publisher and check for any formatting or layout issues. Fix them if there are any.
Corrupted fileThe issue may happen due to a number of reasons, such as a software error or file damage during transmission. The pages could miss parts of the content, or even empty pages can be printedTry to open the file on another device, to see if the problem is linked to the software or not. If not, use one of the suggestions from the next paragraph.
Missing fontsIf the .pub file uses fonts that are not available on the printer, the document may not print correctly with the text appearing differently or not at all.Add or replace the missing fonts as it was described in the previous chapter.
Printer driver issuesIf the printer driver is outdated or does not support the .pub file format, you may not be able to print out your documents.Make sure that your printer is set up correctly and that it is selected as the default printer. Visit the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer.
Low ink or tonerThis is not actually a problem with the PUB format but is also worth mentioning here. When the printer is running low on ink or toner, the printing result may be faded or incomplete.You need to charge the cartridge with the ink.
Printer hardware issuesAgain, this is not actually a problem with the PUB format. If the printer itself is malfunctioning, it may not be able to print the .pub file or any other file correctly.Take your printer to the service office.

If the issue is not linked to the printer itself but to the format, you may also consider converting pub files to another format with better printing support, like XPS or PDF.

Corrupted PUB files

If you found out that your .pub file is broken you may try the next suggestions to fix it(but first make sure the issue did not appear due to the software malfunctioning):

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key.
  2. Make double-click on the desired file.
  3. When the file opens in safe mode, you will see a message at the top of the window that says “Publisher has detected a problem with this file. Opening the file in safe mode will help you correct or eliminate the problem.”
  4. Click “OK” to continue.
  5. Now you can edit and change your file as you wish.
  1. Click on the “File” tab and select “Info”.
  2. Click on “Manage Document” and select “Recover Unsaved Documents”.
  3. Browse to the location where your file was located.
  4. Pick up the file you want to recover and click “Open”.
  5. If it can be recovered Publisher will open it in a new window.
  6. Now you can save the document to your desired location.

If none of these solutions work, you may have to recreate the file from scratch. Now you know that it is a good idea to regularly back up your files to avoid losing important data.

MS Publisher cannot open the file

If you cannot open pub file and you are sure that your document is not corrupted, follow these steps to resolve the issue:

Remember to keep backups of your important files to avoid potential data loss during fixing the issue with opening .pub files.

MS Publisher cannot save the file

If MS Publisher cannot save the file, try taking these steps to fix the problem:


When working with any file format you may face different problems. For MS Publisher files they are: missing fonts, images, or other content, errors with formatting, issues with compatibility, corrupted files, and problems with printing. Every of these issues have ways to resolve them but sometimes the only option left is to convert the file or to create it from scratch.

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