What Is Desktop Publishing? 27 Jun 2014

What Is Desktop Publishing?

Once upon a time, publishing was the realm of specialized businesses only. That all changed with the advent of the personal computer. As PC technology and software evolved, desktop publishing became not only an affordable option, but increasingly sophisticated. Today, DTP has become the most common way to design, format, layout, print and collate material. Chances are good that you use this technology at work, and even within your own home.

According to the US BLS, desktop publishers “use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures and other items that are printed or put online”. Therefore, just putting up a new blog post makes you a desktop publisher.

The Benefits of Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing offers numerous benefits, many of which should be apparent at a glance. DTP offers the ability to:

  • Drastically reduce the costs involved with creating professional-quality printed or online material
  • Drastically reduce the time involved with creating and publishing printed or online material
  • Design, layout and create virtually anything from flyers to newspapers to books on a business or home PC without the need to hire a publishing company
  • Put the power to publish virtually anything into the hands of business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, designers, developers and individuals

Desktop Publishing Software

The key to modern DTP is software – even the most advanced PC in the world can’t create professional documents without the right program. There are dozens of different DTP software options out there, too, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe products, Apple’s iWork suite and many others. The “app revolution” brought about by the surge in popularity of smartphones and tablets has encouraged the development of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of publishing apps that connect these mobile devices to home or business printers, extending the range of DTP possibilities away from the traditional desktop computer.

Each type of DTP software contains both similar and unique features. Some are basic, and are little more than word-processing programs. Others are very robust, and give you the ability to design graphics, create business cards, layout posters and brochures, and a great deal more.

Whom Must Use Desktop Publishing?

DTP is vital for an incredible number of people. It’s used in all areas of business, from creating interoffice memos to producing in-house advertising. Entrepreneurs use this technique to print out their own business cards, while authors can use it to design and print anything from short stories to novellas and full novels. From the realm of big business to SMBs (small and medium businesses) to individual consumers, desktop publishing can be seen in every aspect of today’s society.

The Future of Desktop Publishing

To determine the future of DTP, one needs only look at the direction it’s headed today – online. Of course, there are also numerous other changes coming down the pipe. Look for the technology to become more and more affordable, and also more and more distanced from the desktop. Mobile publishing might be a more appropriate moniker in a few more years.

– Back Office Pro

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