What does desktop publishing mean?
One word that you always hear commonly in printing and typography is desktop publishing or DTP. DTP is a process of creating documents for print using the page layout software on the computer. Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe are some of the popular DTP software providers in the market today. However, DTP differs from the typical printing techniques as it uses various unique features and layout software while creating the document. Hence, Individuals and companies use DTP if they wish to print some high-quality print documents for them. Therefore, any person with the right software and tools can process his print documents with DTP.
Which activities come under desktop publishing?
Compared to the olden days, DTP has gained a lot of popularity and quality over the years. Right from the typewriter to the use of personal computer for printing out documents, desktop publishing has come a long way. However, today most of the companies use DTP for all their businesses. Individuals and enterprises now have complete control over the layout and the design they want for their business. All books, magazines, menus and other forms of advertisements now use this desktop publishing.
This desktop publishing has two main types to it. They are,
- Electronic Pages
- Virtual Pages
Both these types of desktop publishing involve the use of same software and tools for the process of document creation. The only thing which separates them is the result that comes out.
- Since publishers use the personal computer to give out these documents, all of them are electronic pages.Therefore, the only limitation here is the data storage in the computer or the memory capacity of the computer. Hence, web pages are an excellent example of the electronic desktop publishing. Thus, these pages do not have the hurdles that the person faces if he is going to print out the document on the paper.
- The pages that a user prints in the end after adding the layout and design are all virtual pages. You can use this technique for creating posters for posters, ads, banners for advertisements and displays for the trade shows. Therefore, the printing involves the use of individual parameters to fit the content into the paper that is used for printing. A4 and Letter are some of the page sizes that are currently available in the market. Also, documents that are considered to be virtual pages have trim sizes at the borders of the sheet and a printing area to display the content.
Before moving ahead to the uses and the applicability of the desktop publishing in the market, there are a few things to be every user needs to keep in mind regarding the terms in it
Three principal words need an introduction when it comes to DTP, which are,
- Master pages
- Page layout
- Graphic design styles
DTP takes up the printing of several numbers of documents at the same time. In this case, if the distribution is continuous, one cannot stop the system to add in the parameters and the template. This is where the master pages come into focus. In a multi-page document, these provide a common template that automatically links the tools and the graphic design styles to the pages. For instance, overlapping style sheets can provide the same global formatting functions to all web pages and mostly used for virtual desktop publishing.
While going for desktop publishing, this becomes the primary parameter every user needs to keep in mind.
Within this, the users have to place content for printing in a proper order along with other aesthetics. Hence, they should arrive at an appropriate readability level of the content. The inputs within Page layout are Texts, link images, and other embedding images. These are the precise measurements that the users desire.
Graphic design styles:
In this, the typography styles or the filters are added to the documents to be printed. The visual styles for texts and images in the document vary. Users need to set parameters like text styles, color, transparency, and typography.
Border shapes, filters, transparency, and colors are to be added to the image. One more added feature for the pictures is that the text flow for the particular image can be set as “Runaround” or “wraparound.”
Using the desktop publishing
With so much to offer, desktop publishing has many functions in the industry. Helping as a mode of advertisement for individuals and companies prefer this form of printing than the other word processing systems. DTP has faced a sea change in the past few decades, and everything has gone professional. Unlike the old days, there is some software and tools to help a person in getting a high-quality DTP.
For a long time now, desktop publishing has been getting the help of the personal computer fit with the WYSIWYG page layout software for creating the documents for print. There are two ways to use this printing method
- Writing for the purpose of large-scale publishing and advertisement
- Writing for the small scale and multi-functional peripheral output and distribution
One thing to note is that desktop publishing is not just limited to printing out materials or creating PDF files. Its applicability has extended to the World Wide Web, and as a result, it has become a better tool to develop the electronic media. As mentioned earlier, electronic pages seem to get a better layout and graphic design just like the virtual pages that are done with the help of desktop publishing.
Desktop publishing in electronic pages:
Web design or the user interface design is an important factor and practically used for creating the following,
- Web content
- Web pages
Users don’t usually print these documents onto papers, as they can access them using the internet.
Desktop publishing in virtual pages:
The following are the uses of hard copy printouts of the electronic documents,
- Publishing hard copies of books
- Publishing conventional papers
- Point of sale display
- Signs for the outdoor
- Designs for retail packages
- Exhibits for trade shows
- Advertisements and promotional items
Entering the parameters in desktop publishing
As per above, users can set the input parameters in the page layout. These contributions would help the desktop publishing software to create the documents according to the needs of the person. These ensure that the print documents are in proper order and have the right feel that appeals to the general public. This is necessary for both the electronic pages as well as the digital pages. The standard input methods for images and texts are,
- Images link to an external source. This makes the user modify or add an image from an external source of the picture link, rather than from document.
- Embedded images can be adjusted with the help of the layout application software. Users can directly place some images into the software. However, users can also use external sources to put the pictures too.
- Users with the help of Data publishing software, can type text in the layout or place it from other sources. These texts can also have external links that enable multiple editors to make changes to the existing text file.
Skills for desktop publishing
A person working with desktop publishing needs have a skill set that helps him print out quality documents using DTP. Apart from the excellent communication skills, the person needs to have some course knowledge or certifications. Some of the standard courses that are mandatory for people working with desktop publishing are,
- General math
- Graphic design
- Web design styles
- Prepress printing principles
- Digital photography
Some of the desktop publishers who are currently operating in the market are expected to have some professional degree in the field. Big agencies that look out for highly qualified professionals tend to prefer the person which such a degree rather than the one who has completed very few courses. It is important to get at least an Associate or a Bachelor’s degree to be considered eligible for the job. These people are expected to take up online courses, certifications for various branches of desktop publishing and some internship under well-known agencies. These are prerequisites that are laid out by the companies when they look out for employees.
The necessity of the industry is a minor requirement of Diploma holders or people having similar degrees. Big agencies that look out for highly qualified professionals tend to prefer the person with such a degree. Companies want their employees to be highly knowledgeable and in the know of software and tools from the enterprise.
Desktop publishing VS Word Processing Software’s
With the development of technology, both the DTP software and the word processing software have grown and become better than the earlier days. They both have standard features when it comes to dealing with textual content, graphic images and formatting the features. The main difference is that desktop publishers have easy layout when compared to word processing software as they tend to have all the features.
Some companies and individuals tend to prefer the desktop publishing to the word processing software especially when they deal with newsletters. Using a desktop publisher, users can now ensure that they arrange texts and images correctly within a particular document. Also, users can take care of the layout as well. WordPerfect, WordStar and Microsoft Word are some of the commonly available word processing software.
Desktop publishing VS other electronic layouts
Users have quoted that, desktop publishers have a very user-friendly interface. However, other electronic designs like TeX and LaTeX, ask the users to give in the program’s markup language as input. DTP has been able to function properly with the help of the WYSIWYG while the other electronic layouts tend to lack in them. But in the recent times, to keep up with the developments of the desktop publishers, the other plans like TeX, LaTeX, and LyX have been able to come up with a software design tool called WYSIWYM (What you see is what you mean). It helps these devices to use the HTML-based processing without any problems.
Software in Desktop Publishing
There are many desktop publishing software that is currently available, and they include,
- Adobe Photoshop
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Corel Ventura
- Microsoft Publisher
- Adobe Illustrator
- Lucid Press
- iStudio Publishers
- Adobe PageMaker
Desktop publishing has been the backbone of several marketing companies and industries. With the entry of new software in the market, the field is facing changes every day. Today clients expect professionalism and quality at every stage of the process. Considering the negative feedback’s that people gave about this in the olden days, it is ambiguous. However, one can say that the field has grown by leaps and bounds. Hence, in now most of the companies depend upon DTP for their advertisements and marketing. With Desktop publishing it is possible to print high-quality documents using just computers. Nevertheless, this software has become the reason for our newsletters and books that we have today.
Thus, Today Desktop Printing has brought a revolution within the world of typography and typeset printing.
Desktop publishing is now helping to bring a proper order for printing. In addition to this, it also helps in providing an excellent aesthetic look for a particular publication.
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