Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Desktop publishing, or DTP, is the process of editing and layout of printed material intended for publication, such as books, magazines, brochures , and the like using a personal computer. Desktop publishing software, such as QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign, is software specifically designed for such tasks. Such programs do not generally replace word processors and graphics applications, but are used to aggregate content created in these programs: text, raster graphics (such as images edited with Adobe Photoshop) and vector graphics (such as drawings/illustrations made with Adobe Illustrator). When the material is ready for publication the DTP software can output PostScript or Adobe PDF which can be used by the commercial printers to produce printing plates.
Desktop publishing started in 1985, with the conjunction of Aldus Pagemaker (later acquired by Adobe), the Apple Macintosh, and the $7000 Apple LaserWriter, the first laser printer to use Adobe Systems' PostScript page description language, including its scalable fonts in Type 1 format. The phrase desktop publishing is attributed to Paul Brainerd, the founder of Aldus Corporation, as a marketing term that referred to the use of a computer on top of a desk for publishing and also alluded the desktop metaphor that Apple used to mimic a real desktop.
In 1986 Ventura Publisher was introduced on the PC moving infant DTP into the mainstream, this allowed DTP to be moved into the home market via GST's Timeworks Publisher on the PC and Atari ST but these systems were initially used mainly for small-distribution publications such as club newsletters. While this allowed many more people access to publishing their own work it also gave DTP a bad reputation for a while as amateurs made typographical mistakes that professional typesetters would never make.
As these systems improved they became widely adopted throughout the professional publishing world. The turning point was the introduction of Quark XPress 3.0 in the 1990s—currently, virtually all publishing is "desktop publishing". The superior flexibility and speed of desktop publishing systems has greatly reduced the lead time for magazine publication and allowed more elaborate layouts than would otherwise have been possible. Programmable, automated systems like LaTeX mean that long, repetitive, or highly-structured documents can be produced in a fraction of the time that it would take a manually-controlled system.
Computer based typesetting using a personal computer started in 1978, when the TeX program showed that publication-quality typesetting could be done on any normal business computer, and even long and complex jobs like books and journals could be produced from a standard desktop terminal. Prior to this, typesetting had been performed by mechanical (Lintotype and Monotype) or electro-mechanical means (photofilmsetting), or by extremely expensive mainframe or mini-computer based systems. The introduction of the Apple Macintosh and PageMaker allowed synchronous typographical editing using the graphical user interface, this system was commonly referred to as What You See is What You Get, WYSIWYG.
The Apple Macintosh, with historically superior graphics capabilities (particularly in the areas of typography and colour management), and a simple GUI, is highly popular in this application domain and remains one of Apple's core markets.
The Atari TT030 was widely used for DTP with Calamus application. Calamus has its own technology called Softripping for WYSIWYG which uses the same routine for output to monitor as well as high density print devices.
Desktop publishing software
- Free software:
- Commercial software:
- IBM Selectric typewriter
- Word processing
- Database publishing
- Graphic design
- EServer TC Library: Document Design
- About Desktop Publishing section of About.com. Includes tutorials, FAQs, classes, and discussion.
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