Desktop publishing/DTP overview/Key concepts

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What is desktop publishing?

Desktop publishing (DTP) is the process of combining and assembling text and graphic images (pictures, graphs, illustrations, photographs, etc) electronically on a computer screen to output professional-looking publications such as flyers, newsletters, brochures, business forms, books and magazines.

Source: Porozny (1993)

Porozny goes on to list seven steps in the desktop publishing process:

  1. Planning the publication
  2. Preparing preliminary page designs
  3. Preparing the text
  4. Preparing the artwork and graphics
  5. Finalising page layout
  6. Printing
  7. Reproducing

This course deals with the first six steps, but not with step 7.

Desktop publishing software

Why use Microsoft Publisher? Publisher is a desktop publishing program (DTP). Publisher simplifies the design, creating and publication of professional looking documents.

Publisher makes it especially easy by giving you hundreds of professionally designed designs to start from. Creating your own professional-looking publication with Publisher is as simple as replacing the text and graphics in a pre-designed publication with your own content.

Publisher includes designs for newsletters, brochures, business cards, postcards, greeting cards, media labels, Web pages, and more. Once you pick up the basic skills you need to start and customise a publication, you'll be able to apply those same skills to the entire range of personal and business publications now at your fingertips.

You are able to create single page and multi-page documents as well as booklets.

What is a publication?

A file created in a DTP program is called a publication. When you save the file, Microsoft Publisher will add the extension .pub to the file.