Desktop Publishing

Desktop Publishing

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:

  1. Define publishing
  2. Define Desktop Publishing
  3. State examples of desktop publishing software
  4. State the purposes of a DTP software
  5. State the advantages of DTP's Over Word Processors
  6. Describe features of a DTP
  7. Design a publication using a DTP


Publishing is the process of producing publications like newspapers, cards, pamphlets, pictures, a calendar that has special text, graphic layout, and design.

Desktop publishing is the process of producing publications like cards, newspapers by designing their text and graphic layout and inserting, editing, formatting, and printing of text and graphical objects using a special desktop publishing software.

A desktop publisher has more tools and control of page layout, text manipulation, and graphic design than a word processor.

Examples of DTP software

Adobe Pagemaker, Microsoft Publisher, QuarkXpress, Adobe Indesign, Ventura, Serif PagePlus, and Apple Page.

Purpose of desktop publishing software

They enable the designer to control

Graphic design: A typesetter can create and edit every complex text and graphical objects like pictures to the finest details. e.g the user can use a ruler guide to place an object in the correct position

Page layout design: The user can design page layout by setting a consistent picture and object location dividing the page into a number of columns and creating layers. Text can be on one layer and graphics on another and the text layer can be manipulated separately. The graphical layer can be made transparent for the text layer behind it to be visible.

Printing: DTP helps the user to prepare artwork in commercial circles for printing.

Advantages of DTP over Word processor

  1. Every item on a page is contained in a frame and can be edited and formatted independently
  2. Stories can be contained in a single frame or threaded between several frames
  3. Frames don't flow in logical sequence eg a story on page 1 may be continued on page 8
  4. Master pages are used to set a common layout which may be repeated on several pages. eg logo, page numbers
  5. Publications can be printed in a form suitable for commercial printing eg using color separations
  6. A wide range of templates is available eg brochures, booklets, posters, business cards
  7. Multiple stories from different authors can be handled with ease

Types of desktop publishing software

Desktop publishing software types are namely graphic -based and layout-based DTPs

Graphic -based: They are specifically developed to edit and format graphic objects like pictures and vector drawings. Vector drawings are freehand drawings. Examples of graphics-based DTP are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Coreldraw. They have superior capabilities like setting resolution, brightness, contrast, cropping and filling images with colors. Some like illustrator and Coreldraw is also used for page layout design.

Layout-based: They are specifically developed to create different page layout designs for text and pictures. Examples of layout based DTP software include adobe page maker, Microsoft publisher, and Indesign.

Designing a publication

Cards: They may be wedding, graduation or congratulation, etc

Certificates: They show completion of courses and special events. They must be designed to discourage duplication or counterfeits

Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and newspapers' have news targetting many people. They have text, graphic layouts, and design

Books: They are bully publications with many pages bound together within the same publication

Calenders: They show days, used by companies to advertise products hence contain catchy graphics

Getting started with Microsoft publisher 2010

  1. Click the start button then all programs, Microsoft Office, then Microsoft office publisher 2010
  2. Choose a design template or blank to design from scratch
  3. On the page design tab, click to choose an orientation, set margin, and other properties

Setting up a publication

  1. On view, tab click the master page
  2. Edit as desired then click close master page

Working with text and graphical objects

  1. On the home tab, objects group, click draw text box or Click insert tab then choose shapes under illustrations group and click the textbox
  2. Click on the pasteboard or printable area
  3. Type the text

Resizing and moving text objects

  1. Click the text block using the pointer tool
  2. Position the pointer on the selection handle and drag to resize

Inserting graphical objects

Click insert then the picture

To link an object

Select the picture or text to be linked, Click create then hyperlink choose the location, click the file then ok.

Deleting text and text objects

Click the text tool to highlight text, press the delete or backspace key

To delete a text object

Click the pointer tool then click the text frame, press the delete or backspace key

Copying and moving a block of text

Select the block of text on the home tab, clipboard group, click copy or cut then paste

Checking for spelling

Click review tab then spellings

To find and replace

On the home tab, editing group, click find or replace

Features of DTP software.


  • Text can be entered directly into a DTP publication.  Alternatively, the text can be entered into a Word processor and then copied into the DTP document.
    • Graphics can be created in a separate program, then incorporated into a Desktop publishing program.
    • A Scanner can also be used to copy images, such as photographs and drawings, into a Desktop publishing document.  A Scanner is a device that reads text and images into a document.


  • A DTP program gives you more control over the graphics in a publication.  You can:
      • move - change the position of a graphic on a page,
      • size - make a graphic larger or smaller,
      • Rotate - turn or spin a graphic, and
      • Crop - trim part of a graphic.
  • Has a wide range of Fonts & print sizes that can be merged with useful symbols, such as arrows and stars.
  • Has Columns of various widths, in which the text is fitted automatically using sensible hyphenation.  The columns can also be reorganization automatically.
  • Enables scaling and cropping of publications so as to fit the available space.
  • Page numbers can be inserted.
  • Enables production of multiple page documents.


  • Every item on a page is contained in a frame and can be edited and formatted independently
  • Frames do not need to flow in a logical sequence e.g. a story on page 1 can be continued on page 8
  • Master pages are used to set common layouts and may be repeated on several pages



It is a large blank area where you place text and graphical objects before neatly arranging them on the printable area(the blue area)


It is where text and graphical objects to be printed are placed. Anything inside the printable area will be printed.


They define the printable area of a publication represented by blue dotted lines.


They divide the printable area of a publication page into two or more columns. The space between two columns in a publication page is known as the gutter.



They ensure text and graphical objects are in the required position. Each publication window can include horizontal and vertical rulers. To show rulers, on the view menu click rulers.

Nonprintable guides

  • Margin guides
  • Column guides
  • Ruler guides


 A master page is a page used to design a common layout to be applied in other pages of the publication.This implies that all other pages follow the same layout and format as laid out on the master page and the layout appears on all pages of the publication.To create a master page, on the view menu click the master page or simply use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+M


    Text is an object in the publisher and must be placed in a textbox. The parts of a textbox include frames, handles, and rotation handles.

  • Frame –A frame can contain a variety of objects such as graphics, tables, or text boxes. Frames can be resized, moved, and manipulated to fit your needs.
  • Handles – When you click on a frame, small circles appear around the edge of the frame called handles. You can click and drag on the handles to resize your frame.



It refers to hiding unwanted parts of a graphical object that you do not want to be printed. It may be done after inserting a picture or clip art in your publication.


 A stroke refers to a line style while a fill refers to applying solid color or patterns to a drawing.

Paragraph formatting

  • Tracking and kerning
  • Insert column guides
  • Insert headers and footers


  Refers to changing the visual denseness or openness of characters in a line. In the illustration below the text in figure 1 has been custom tracked by 250%.


Refers to fixing particular pairs of letters that are too close or too far apart from each other

Note: Measurement units can be in inches, centimeters, picas, e.t.c. To change measurement units, on the tools menu click options. On the General tab choose the appropriate units then click ok.


Printing terminologies used in DTP.


  1. Ranner – the main headline across the top of the page.
  2. Cross head – a small heading used to break up text into easily readable sections.
  3. Bullet – solid dot printed before pieces of text in order to add an emphasis.
  4. Cast off – a calculation as to how much space the text will use on a page.
  5. Footer – a line of text at the bottom of each page giving the title of the publication, author’s name, etc.
  6. Masthead – details of the person involved in printing the publication.
  7. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) – this means that the presentation on the screen is exactly what you will get from the Printer.
  8. Jigging – moving text around by means of DTP software.