What is desktop publishing?

Desktop publishing refers to the act of using software on a personal computer to combine mixed media elements, such as text, photos, or graphics, into printable documents. Once created, these documents can be printed on a home printer or outsourced to a professional printing service. One of the key features is the ability to preview a page layout before printing, via a feature called What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG), pronounced wizzy-wig. While this was once taught through advanced education programs, advances in software mean the process is less difficult to master than in previous decades.

Many different types of documents can be created through desktop publishing, such as charts, reports, e-books, and more.

The practice exploded in popularity in 1984 and 1985, when MacPublisher was produced to capitalize on the capabilities of Apple’s Macintosh® computers. In addition, Aldus Corporation introduced its PageMaker® software, which was later acquired by Adobe Systems. Each of these programs introduced users to the ability to easily manipulate page elements while producing a document.

Documents are usually created using desktop publishing software and then printed on a laser printer.

In recent years, word processing services have provided users with many of the advantages once unique to desktop publishing programs. In addition, electronically formatted documents such as PDF files or eBooks have diminished user confidence in the software. These popular programs don’t offer the same fine-grained control over documents that desktop publishing does. In the design industry, state-of-the-art software is considered critical for designing quality documents when producing catalogues, brochures or business cards. Not only is it used to produce high quality documents, but it is also used for high volume printing as it is used in book publishing.

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Unlike word processing applications, desktop publishing software allows users to modify various elements in a document via master pages. Instead of having to change every instance of an element on multiple pages of a document, users can modify a single linked element and thus change every instance of that element in the document; Typographic elements such as column width, spacing or font size can be easily changed and text can be modified to wrap around graphic images or enlarged or reduced on command.

Print plates can be produced using these programs, downloaded as files, and printed using a variety of printing methods. While desktop editors are compatible with standard laser printers, they can also work with more specialized devices such as flexo printers used on product packaging, photogravure printers used to make art prints, or thermographic printers used to make embossed lettering on invitations. of marriage.

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