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Desktop publishing

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Desktop publishing, commonly abbreviated DTP, involves preparing documents for printing using a computer instead of the historical processes of typography and photocomposition.

Desktop publishing is done using specialized software, called page layout software or desktop publishing software, similar to regular word processing software, but where special emphasis has been placed on the layout of texts and images on a page. The document to be printed is displayed on the computer screen exactly as it will appear on paper (WYSIWYG), with the possibility of changing the typography and immediately seeing the result. Such software has been around since 1985.

Desktop publishing involves creating printed materials, such as books and newspapers, by working on typesetting and typography of documents that may have been written by others. The work is done using a computer, and software that allows word processing, layout, illustration and image editing. The composed documents can then be printed with a printer or in a printing house.

Activity

Desktop publishing is the creation of printed materials using a computer, printer and possibly a scanner in lieu of mechanical printing techniques. These can be books, newspapers, brochures, advertising, leaflets, greeting cards or postcards. Documents may contain photos, scanned images, clipart, and logos. The documents are then printed using a printer or in a printing house. This is done using specialized software, similar to ordinary word processors, but where special emphasis has been placed on the arrangement of texts and images on a page. Sophisticated word processing software can also be used for desktop publishing.

People who work in DTP spend a lot of time in front of their computer, arranging texts and images created by others or by themselves. Their job is to prepare files for print, web publication or CD. They work on composing the content of works which may be in the form of reports, brochures or books. Qualities valued for working in this field are attention to detail, aesthetic and artistic flair, good command of grammar and spelling, and patience.

Desktop publishing involves the manipulation of typographical characteristics of texts: the size of pica type, styles (antique or serif), kerning and spacing between letters. The works produced generally have a layout – a set of characteristics common to all pages: paper size, orientation, size of margins, numbering, number of columns of text and characteristics of headers and footers.

Tools

The software used in desktop publishing generally supports word processing, layout, illustration, digital image editing, and font manipulation. Desktop publishing took a turn with the advent of Macintosh computers in 1984. Whereas previously the presentation of text on paper was determined by the blind addition of typographic marks intended for teletype, with the arrival of graphical interfaces, the book is then displayed on the computer screen exactly as it will be on paper (WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get), with the possibility of changing the typography (style and font character) and immediately see the result.

There is no clear separation between word processing and desktop publishing. Essentially, word processing is the writing and editing of texts, and is one of the activities performed in desktop publishing. Sophisticated software, initially intended for word processing, can be used for desktop publishing. Essentially DTP is creating multipage documents for printing as a book or brochure. DTP also consists of creating catalogs, greeting cards, or labels.

Typical functions of word processing software are the ability to choose the font, create titles, create headers and footers, justify texts, automatically number pages, allow manipulate the margins and add tabulators. It is also appreciated that the software allows you to add photos, clipart, geometric shapes or symbols, to automatically create a table of contents, to check spelling and grammar.

Typical functions of publishing software are the ability to automatically number pages, generate headers, footers, summary and table of contents. It is also appreciated that the software treats odd and even pages differently, as well as the first page, that it facilitates the manipulation of large amounts of text and images.

The software often used in this field are Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Apple Pages, Corel Draw, Corel Photo-Paint, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word. PageMaker, launched in 1985, was one of the first desktop publishing software.

Desktop publishing often involves the use of PostScript technology. It is a computer language that describes how a document appears on paper. It is used to communicate between the computer and the printer. The use of this technology makes it possible to obtain a more faithful result, in particular when the presentation of the document is complicated. In addition, the presentation of the document on paper will be identical, regardless of the printer model used.

Translation and adaptation from Wikipedia

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