Desktop publishing is a function that combines the computer and specialized software to create documents for desktop or for commercial printing. It refers to a process where users create page layouts with text, graphics, photographs and other visual elements such as Adobe Indesign, QuarkXpress, Scribus, for that matter any software or word processor that combines editable text with images. It is used to create newsletters, brochures, books and the like which were initially made with the help of various non-computer techniques manually. The "term" desktop refers to the various page lay out skills which are no more limited to paper and books.
Desktop publishing allows the usage of different interfaces, alter and specify margins and different graphic details, like illustrations and graphs can also be embedded on it. Some of the most powerful desktop publishing systems facilitate the creation of illustrations while some of the less powerful systems allow inserting illustrations created by other programs. Before such software came up, PageMaker and other software were used to design page layouts with the help of e-scales, paste-up and other non-desktop ways of designing. The most important feature of desktop publishing is that it facilitates the user to see exactly how the design would appear when printed. This feature is called WYSIWYG, that is, "what you see is what you get".
Initially Word processor was one program, which to an extent did what desktop publishing does now, though with added features. Desktop publishing provides features that are essential for print publishing and the features are being constantly upgraded. Simultaneously Word Processors are also becoming powerful and the line demarcating the difference in efficiency between the former and desktop publishing software is blurring everyday. The latter still has an edge over Word Processors in the sense that it has more control over typographical characteristics like color output and kerning. To be precise, it assembles the digital files in the proper format of printing. Practically graphic designing is accomplished using desktop publishing and graphic software. It also helps in indexing and spell checking which have become common features now.
Hardware costs were making desktop publishing almost impossible to use until recently when the price of PCs and printers have decreased which has made it very popular for producing newsletters, brochures, books and other documents that previously could only work with a typesetter. With every passing day the computer and the operating systems are becoming more and more powerful, so to make it more convenient vendors are trying to keep pace, therefore they are trying to give the users a single application, which can do everything that is required. Open Office.org Writer and Microsoft Word offer advance layouts, linking between documents and DTP applications that are gradually becoming a part of common features of Word Processor.
- The planning has to be done beforehand so that whatever needs to be accomplished can be done in a timely and efficient way.
- Printouts should always be taken out to avoid wastage of time, money and energy. Any design should always be seen how it looks like.
- Check beforehand if the storage device that you are using is compatible with the printer that you are using as after the whole job is done none would like to know that the printer is unable to produce a hard copy.
- Check the folding panels and do the work on a full screen so that you can place the folding panels at the right positions.
- Check the program that would be the best and suits the work since there are some that are best done on QuarkXpress and others on PageMaker.
- In case of colors, the selection has to be planned and as per requirement the printer should be arranged.
- The space at the edge of the sheet is referred to as "Gripper" and that area is not printable so it has to be checked with the printer to determine how much gripper can be allowed.
I am sure this information would help you in solving the basic questions that you had.