Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


What Is Desktop Publishing ?

Starting today I am going to spend some time delving into desktop publishing. There are many sources available to extract information about desktop publishing and today I am going to use “” to define exactly what desktop publishing is:

What is Desktop Publishing?
By Jacci Howard Bear,

Question: What is Desktop Publishing?

Desktop publishing is a term coined after the development of a specific type of software. Before the invention of desktop publishing software the tasks involved in desktop publishing were done manually, by a variety of people and involved both graphic design and prepress tasks which sometimes leads to confusion about what desktop publishing is and how it is done.

Answer: Although the definition, below, is still valid see Desktop Publishing in the 21st Century for a detailed explanation of this new definition:

Desktop publishing is the use of the computer and software to create visual displays of ideas and information. Desktop publishing documents may be for desktop or commercial printing or electronic distribution including PDF, slide shows, email newsletters, and the Web.

OLD / TRADITIONAL DEFINITION: Desktop publishing is the use of the computer and specialized software to create documents for desktop or commercial printing. Desktop publishing refers to the process of using the computer to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, and other publications that were once created manually using a variety of non-computer techniques along with large complex phototypesetting machines. Today desktop publishing software does it all – almost. But before PageMaker and other desktop publishing software there were e-scales, paste-up, and other non-desktop computer ways of putting together a design for printing.

Properly speaking, desktop publishing is the technical assembly of digital files in the proper format for printing. In practical use, much of the “graphic design” process is also accomplished using desktop publishing and graphics software and is sometimes included in the definition of desktop publishing.
Comparison between desktop publishing and graphic design:

What is Desktop Publishing – It is the process of using the computer and specific types of software to combine text and graphics to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc.

What is Graphic Design – It is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication.

Desktop publishing software is a tool for graphic designers and non-designers to create visual communications.

Stay tuned for more posts on the ins and outs of desktop publishing

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