History of Desktop Publishing

680 Words3 Pages
Since the 1970s, microcomputers have been an integral part of the business environment. Businesses use microcomputers and software packages to perform a variety of tasks. Until recently, the three most popular types of software purchased for microcomputers were word processing, spreadsheets, and database. During the past decade, another type of software program called desktop publishing has gained popularity with microcomputer users. With the introduction of the laser printer and its ability to produce high quality documents, desktop publishing software became the fastest growing microcomputer application of the 1980s, and its widespread use continues into the 1990s. Desktop publishing involves using desktop publishing software or word processing software with desktop publishing capabilities, a computer system, and a printer to produce professional-looking documents. Until the mid-1980s, graphic design depended almost exclusively on design professionals. But desktop publishing changed all that by bringing graphic design into the office and home. Faster microprocessors, improved printer capabilities, increased supply of clip art, CD ROMs, and the like continue to expand the role of desktop publishing. Everything from a flyer to a newsletter can be designed, created, and produced at a computer. In traditional publishing, several people may be involved in completing the publication project. This may be costly and time-consuming. With the use of desktop publishing software, one person may be performing all of the tasks necessary to complete a project, greatly reducing the costs of publishing documents. The two approaches have a great deal in common. Both approaches involve setting goals, planning and organizing content, analyzing layout and design, arranging design elements, typesetting, printing, and distributing the project. Desktop publishing can be an individual or a combined effort. As an individual effort, desktop publishing produces immediate results and offers you the ability to control the production from beginning layout and design to the end result—printing and distribution. However, desktop publishing and traditional publishing work well together. A project may begin on a desktop where the document is designed and created, but an illustrator may be commissioned to create some artwork, or it may end up at a commercial printer for printing and binding. Initiating the Desktop Publishing Process The beginning process of creating a publication involves two steps—planning the publication and creating the content. During the planning process, the desktop publisher must make decisions such as the purpose of the publication and the intended audience.
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