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The availability of microcomputers and reasonably inexpensive software has opened up a career area formerly reserved for professional typographers and printers. Desktop Publishing advantages, abbreviated DTP, involves using a microcomputer and mouse, scanner laser printer and DTP software for mixing text and graphics to produce high quality printed output.
Often the laser printer is used primarily to get an advance look before the completed job is sent to a typesetter for even higher quality output. Principal desktop publishing programs are Aldus page maker, QuarkXPress, and first publisher. Microsoft publisher is a low-end DTP package. Some word processing programs, such as word and word perfect, also have many DTP features. Desktop publishing has the following characteristics:
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Unlike traditional word processing programs, desktop publishing software allows you to manage and merge text with graphics. Indeed, while laying out a page on the screen, you can make the text “flow” liquid like around graphics such as photographers. Software used by many professional typesetters shows display screens full of formatting codes. In this case, what they see on the screen is not what they will see when the job is printed out. By contrast, DTP programs can display your work in WYSIWYG (pronounced “wizzy wig”) stands for what you get” it means that the text and graphics appear on the display screen exactly as they will print out.
DTP programs provide a variety of fonts or character sets in the particular type styles and sizes, from readable times roman to side of the tribune to wild jester and scribble. You can also create all kinds of rules, borders, columns, and page numbering styles. A style sheet in the DTP program enables you to make design decisions and record them in a file. You can then apply the same codes over and over again to document areas to determine the basic appearance of the pages.
Most DTP programs don’t have all the features of full-fledged word processing or computer-based drawing and printing programs. Thus, text is usually composed on a word processor, artwork is created with drawing and printing software, and photographers are scanned in with a scanner. Prefabricated art may also be obtained from disks containing clip art, or scanned images that can be used to illustrate DTP documents. The DTP program is used to integrate all these files. You can look at your work on the display screen as a page or as two facing pages in reduced size.
Once you have finished your composition and layout, you can send the document to the printer for printing out. Much of the shaping of text characters and graphics is done written the printer rather than in the computer. or instance, instead of sending the complete image of a circle from the computer to the printer, you send a command to the printer to draw a circle. The printer uses page description language software to describe the shape and position of characters and graphics which is used with Aldus PageMaker.