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desktop publishing - Computer Definition
Using a desktop computer to produce high-quality printed output or camera-ready output for commercial printing. It requires a desktop publishing program, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, a large monitor and laser printer. The term "desktop publishing" was more popular when personal computers began to proliferate in the 1980s. Today, almost everything is created on a desktop or laptop computer for publication, whether for print, CD, DVD or online. Beyond Word Processing A desktop publishing program (DTP), also called a "page layout program" or "publishing program," provides complete page design capabilities, including magazine style columns, rules and borders, page, chapter and caption numbering as well as precise typographic alignment. A key feature is its ability to flow text around graphic objects in a variety of ways. Although many word processing programs offer many of these features, a desktop publishing program provides ultimate flexibility. The Final Layout Original text and graphics may be created in a desktop publishing program, but graphics tools are often elementary. Typically, all data are created externally. Text is generally created in a word processing program, and graphics are created in a CAD, drawing or paint program, are scanned from photographs or taken with a digital camera. All the text and graphic elements are imported into the publishing program. Print or Publish Online A laser printer may be used for final output, but shaded drawings and photographs print better on commercial high-resolution imagesetters. For transfer to a commercial printer, documents are generally saved in their native page layout format such as PageMaker and QuarkXPress or as PDF files. For publishing on the Web, PDF files have become the de facto standard for documents that are downloaded and read independently of the HTML pages on the site. See PDF. It Was a Revolution Desktop publishing dramatically brought down the cost of page layout, causing many projects to be taken inhouse. Predefined templates for newsletters, brochures and other publishing tasks help rank novices do respectable jobs. Nevertheless, there is no substitute for a graphic designer who knows which fonts to use and how to lay out the page artistically.
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
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