Desktop Publishing - Introduction


Desktop Publishing (DTP) is the creation of electronic forms of information such as documents, presentations, brochures, books, or even website content using computer programs. DTP has evolved to be an important component of creating and disseminating information as it allows an amalgamation of various tasks that are generally performed independently at printing presses such as layouts, typesetting, graphic design, etc.

Evolution of DTP Software

Earlier, DTP was specifically meant to cater to printed matter but modern DTP allows for even more forms of electronic content. A modern DTP software can be your word processor, graphic design tool and publishing tool, all rolled into one package. With the explosive growth of smartphones and mobile PCs, the way people consume information has changed dramatically over the last decade. Modern DTP software enables content output that caters dynamically to all screen sizes, without the need to republish the same for each device or form factor.

Types of DTP Content

The content created by DTP software can be broadly classified into two categories −

  • Electronic Pages
  • Virtual Pages

Electronic pages commonly refer to websites, manuals, eBooks, digital archives, presentations, etc. which are normally not printed but are shared digitally. This tutorial is an example of an electronic page which can be opened in a browser.

Virtual pages on the other hand are electronic pages created in the DTP software which are eventually published as printed pages. Virtual pages allow the author to visualize exactly how the printed page will look and can help in easy editing. The process is called WYSIWYG which stands for, ‘What You See Is What You Get’. This means all the changes and formatting that are made will be exactly replicated in print.