Desktop Publishing (DTP) is a term used to connote the act of using software on personal computer to create a printed material. In simple terms, it’s a technique used to create printed documents on a desktop PC. The printing can be done either with the use of a home printer or through a professional printing service. DTP, when used expertly, can allow organizations, business owners, and other interested individuals the chance to self-publish any printed material they want, from flyers to billboards, books, and magazines.
What kicked off desktop publishing was the introduction Apple LaserWriter and the PageMaker in 1985. Milestones in desktop publishing are:
· 1984 – the LaserJet was introduced by Hewlett-Packard and the Apple introduced the Macintosh
· 1985 - Adobe introduced PostScript, Aldus developed PageMaker for the Mac, and Apple introduced the LaserWriter.
· 1987 – PageMaker for Windows was introduced.
· 1990 – Microsoft introduced Windows 3.0
· 2003 and beyond – hundreds of printers and manufacturers are now available; Level 3 PostScript and version 7 of PageMaker are now available.
What’s great with DTP is that it allows preview of the layout before printing through the software What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG). DTP in the 80s and 90s is different from today as publishing has become more than just printing publications. It now includes publishing e-books, blogs, and creating content for different platforms such as smartphones and tablets.
Desktop publishing software include among others:
· Aldus Personal Press
· Adobe FrameMaker
· Adobe PageMaker
· Adobe HomePublisher
· Corel Ventura
· Fatpaint (Web-based application)
· iStudio Publisher
· OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice
· PTC Arbortext
· Serif PagePlus