What You See in ArcMap, You See in ArcReader
The publishing process takes the map authored using ArcMap and creates a special file called a Published Map File (PMF). A PMF contains all the information required to display the map in ArcReader.
Published Map Files contain metadata about data source locations and drawing instructions (symbology and rendering rules, scale dependencies, etc.). The PMF honors and maintains settings defined by the author in ArcMap, for example, layer properties (hyperlinks, joins, etc.), data frame properties (bookmarks, extents, projections, etc.), and page layout configuration.
The PMF file also has properties that define how the user of the PMF interacts with the map. For example, the PMF can be password protected, and ArcReader functionality can be disabled.
The Publishing Process
Author a map with ArcMap.
Define your published map settings.
Publish the map using the Publisher extension.
Share the map with any ArcReader user.
ArcGIS Publisher settings allow you to
Control the content that is available for use in ArcReader.
Specify ArcReader functionality.
Define access criteria for the PMF.