The digital revolution has impacted every field, but perhaps the most important one is media. Back when the newspaper was first invented, it was printed at first using printing technology, while most other work, such as layout design, was done manually by hand. When digital publishing technology was introduced in the 1980s, many thought it would be a major breakthrough in the publishing sector. This is because it was a tedious and lengthy process to design page layouts, incorporate text, images, etc. into a newspaper. The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed understanding of desktop publishing.
What is DTP?
DTP stands for desktop publishing, which is the process of designing pages and their layout using specialised software on a desktop computer. The specialised software used in desktop publishing was designed so that page design and layout could be simplified. In the past, this process was carried out by hand. Therefore, it would take a long time as it is necessary to arrange and put all the elements of a newspaper, magazine, or any publication by hand. Desktop publishing software allows one to easily design a layout and the entire layout of a page using the computer. It can be said that the most valuable aspect of desktop publishing technology is the preview feature. It allows the publisher or designer to make sure that all the elements, including text, images and advertisements, are perfectly placed and readable before printing.
Aside from page and layout design, DTP is also used for word processing, making the text more readable and appealing to the reader, which is what typography is. Pages can be easily designed or published with DTP software that can be used to include many elements such as tables, charts, images, graphs, and many more. These elements are easily added to a page and arranged in a manner that is appropriate, attractive, and understandable for the readers. Typography plays an integral role in the editing of text in digital desktop publishing. It helps to make the text more visually pleasing and readable for users by improving text like paragraphs, headings, and footers. If a gaming magazine is being edited, the text can be formatted to match the relevant font style which will attract and appeal to more readers.
What are the different uses of DTP?
Until now, we have talked about the use of desktop publishing in designing and publishing digital publications, such as newspapers and magazines. Here are some of the fields in which DTP is used:
- It is used in the publication of brochures, publishing posters, flyers, leaflets, and catalogues, as they include many elements of a publication that can be easily edited and formatted with DTP software
- Since the power of DTP lies in typography, it is also used for publishing books and e-books since we can see that some novels have text formatted differently depending on the genre of the book to attract readers. Images may also be included in the books, which must be formatted according to the text
- PDF files are widely used digital documents that rely heavily on desktop publishing, as most of the things that we see in a PDF are produced using desktop publishing software before being converted to PDF
- It is also used for the creation of web pages, banner ads, newsletters, and can be used to create resumes
What are DTP Softwares?
Many desktop publishing programs are available on the market, and their number is still growing. Various features are included in the software because some are specifically designed for a particular type of publication, such as one software may be developed for the design of newspapers or magazines, while another could be used to create digital documents such as e-books, web pages, resumes, etc. Let’s look at some of the most popular DTP software:
- Adobe Indesign CC: With regard to digital publishing software, InDesign is without a doubt at the top of the list as it is widely used by industry professionals due to its powerful and innovative features which can be used to design any type of publication ranging from newspapers and magazines to posters and ads, etc
- QuarkXPress: QuarkXPress, originally released in 1987, is one of the oldest DTP programs. It was used by many top publications for a long time as it was considered an industry standard. QuarkXPress 2022 is the most recent update to the software
- Canva: Publishers and many content creators choose Canva as the most trending DTP software due to the fact that it is also available for free. In addition, its pro version has more features. Using Canva is as simple as using a web browser. No software needs to be downloaded and installed on the desktop, as everything can be done through the browser
With digital publishing, many aspects of publishing have improved, including page design, layout design, text and image formatting, and many more. Publishers and digital content creators benefit greatly from software developed to handle the process of publishing by allowing them to use features that only take a few clicks or allowing them to drag and drop for formatting and editing, thus greatly reducing the time taken in publishing. DTP software is also generally available for free, but some have a paid version with more features. In this article, we attempted to take a deep dive into digital publishing and how it has influenced the publishing industry.