What Is Desktop Publishing Computer Science Essay


It is basically the usage of special types of software in your computer to come up with documents such as newsletters, brochures, books and other printed materials by combining texts and graphics (Bear, n.d) . This software is utilised by both designers and non designers (graphic) to produce visual communication for professional use and for desktop printing.

Lately, you can add different layouts (for instance a variety of type fonts and sizes, column justifications and page layouts) using desktop publishing software. Often, the software will include support for generating and editing documents. Therefore, this software makes it possible for a small business or an individual to come up with inexpensive and professional quality materials without the need of outside help (typesetting and printing facilities).

As you can see from the title above, WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. This term is used to depict a system that permits the user to view a similar end result (when the document is printed) while their document is being created (on screen) (Wikipedia, n.d) . "In Word Processing and Desktop Publishing applications, WYSIWYG means the display copies the appearance and accurately represents fonts and line breaks using a specific printer configuration, so a citation on page 1 of a 500-page document can accurately refer to a reference three hundred pages later" (Wikipedia, n.d).

B) Examples of WYSIWYG

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On the left is a document opened in a hypothetical WYSIWYG editor. There are toolbar buttons to apply styles to the document and the resulting formatting is shown visually to the user. More commands might be available on the application's menu bar.

On the right is the same document, but in a non-WYSIWYG typesetting language, opened in a hypothetical text editor. Document structure, styles and formatting are created by typing commands that the typesetter later interprets to generate a formatted printable version.

1.4 Types of Desktop Publishing Software

Although there are a number of desktop publishing software for both Macintosh and PC with overall operation which is alike, it is important or you to be aware that they have different capabilities and functions (Desktop Publishing Software, n.d, para.3)

(Bear, n.d) Photoshop is an example of software packages developed by Adobe for designers. However, these software are not appropriate for print publishing. Such software which are valid for print publishing are graphics software, Web design software, programs for making and working with the PDF format. The main software are :

Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe InDesign

Adobe PageMaker

Corel which consists of CorelDraw and Corel Photo-Paint is popular for its graphic suite. In the past it has come up with creative printing and home publishing programs utilized for desktop publishing (Bear, n.d). The primary page layout software from Corel is:

Corel Ventura

Microsoft on the other hand, produces Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other consumer graphics and creative printing programs utilized by itself or with other applications for some form of desktop publishing (Bear, n.d) . Their entry into page layout for print is:

Microsoft Office Publisher

Furthermore, a software of Quark's that is connected to desktop publishing is QuarkXPress and its many XTensions (produced by many third party vendors) that improve and develop the basic abilities of QuarkXPress (Bear, n.d).

(Desktop Publishing Software Review, n.d)

(Desktop Publishing Software Review, n.d)

1.5 Difference between Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design

Graphic design is the process of sending a specific message visually through notions and concepts (Bear, n.d).

Desktop publishing on the other hand is the procedure of turning thoughts into various types of printed materials. It requires less creativity but it is more product and design focused (Bear,2010) .

History of Desktop Publishing Software

The term 'desktop publishing' was connected to Aldus Corporation's founder, Paul Brainerd. He was looking for a catch phrase that describes the small size and affordability of this software in contrast to the expensive photo typesetting tools during that time. During the initial years, desktop publishing obtained bad reputation from the untrained users who has no basic understanding of desktop publishing software needed for publication.

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With the introduction of Mac Publisher - the first What You See Is What You Get, WYSIWYG (pronounced as wizzy-wig) layout program - in 1985, the era of desktop publishing began (Preuss, 2008). This program ran on the 128K Macintosh computer. The Macintosh which contains easy to use graphic user interface (GUI) gave opportunity to non-computer knowledgeable designers to copy their usual working environment with the Macintosh's desktop as metaphor method (History of Desktop Publishing and Digital Design, n.d, para 6) At that time, desktop publishing software only had constricted page makeup services.

However, this changed with the introduction of Apple Laser Writer printer into the DTP market in 1985. Meanwhile, Aldus introduced a PageMaker software in July and it quickly became the universal software for the DTP industry. The first known publication to utilize 'desktop publishing' for mass production is Barter Book in Campbell River British Columbia which started publishing in October 1984. They bought a Macintosh Computer and an Apple image writer for these productions. Back in the 90's, the first software that worked perfectly with the above technology was Ready, Set, Go (Bear,n.d).

From Mac Publisher to Apple Laser Writer, they have all participated in increasing the standards and is involved in the development of desktop publishing among the general public. Below you can see the timeline showing the development of desktop publishing software (History of Prepress,2009):

Look ahead to 2003 and these softwares are still available. However, you also have the choice of choosing from various other printers and printer manufacturers.

Objectives of this Project.

To show various types of software used in desktop publishing.

To study the advantages and disadvantages of desktop publishing as well as desktop publishing software.

To determine and get a clear picture of the differences between desktop publishing software and graphic designing software when it comes to the usage of DTP.

To identify the most common desktop publishing software used by computer users.

To determine the basic features of each desktop publishing software which the users have chosen.

To gain more knowledge and understanding about desktop publishing software.

To analyze the percentage of popularity who uses desktop publishing software in their daily lives.

To identify the differences occurred while users use various types of desktop publishing software.

Methods Used

There are various types of method that we used to help us obtain the information that we need for this assignment.

Search from the World Wide Web.

Search up for more information about desktop publishing and its softwares.

Visit other websites related to desktop publishing for more understandings.

Search up for a brief history about desktop publishing software.

Search for images to help us make our assignment more interesting.

Making Questionnaire.

To know how much teenagers understand about desktop publishing software.

To obtain answers from teenagers for better understanding.

To analyze the answers from teenagers according to the objective of this assignment.


Search up for basic information about desktop publishing software.

Search up for interesting part of the topic to obtain our objective.

Read up to have better understanding about desktop publishing software.


Worksheet 1:

- To show which version has the better features

- To determine the preferences and opinions of the students in Help University College based on our topic which is Desktop Publishing Software.

Worksheet 2 :

-To show which software that the students prefer using in preparing their documents. For example - page layout.

-To determine the percentage of preferences according to the respondents genders.

Worksheet 3:

-To show if the software the respondents are using satisfies their publishing needs.

- To show the comparison between the male and female respondent when it comes to their satisfactory needs while using the desktop tools.

Chart 1 :

Title: Preferences of desktop publishing software

Purpose: To show a bar chart of 3 types of desktop publishing software which our fellow respondents prefer using.

Chart 2 :

Title: The satisfactory need of respondents towards the desktop publishing software tools.

Purpose: To show a line graph of the satisfactory need towards the desktop tools used by the respondents.


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Examples of our work

We conducted one survey in the Main Block at Help University College. The topic of our survey is Desktop Publishing Software. The targeted group of our survey were teenagers and adults from the age 16 and above. Based on our survey results the total number of respondents was 50 people, out of which 25 were males and 25 were females.

In Worksheet 1, we did a full analysis of the whole survey by tabulating the data obtained according to gender. After that, we calculated the percentage of respondents based on their answers in our survey.

On Worksheet 2, we tabulated the data based on question 3 which is "Which software do you prefer? ". Thus, based on the results we obtained from Chart 1 it shows clearly the comparison of preferences among the three versions of Desktop Publishing Software. Therefore, we concluded that Adobe won over 60% of the respondent's hearts as it has the best functions compared to Microsoft Publisher as well as Corel Publisher. The second best software is Microsoft Publisher with a percentage of 30% and on the other hand, Corel Publisher obtained only 10% of the respondent's votes from the overall survey.

On Worksheet 3, we tabulated the data on question 9 which is "Do the tools provided on your Desktop Publishing Software satisfies your publishing needs? ". After that, we analysed the data by plotting a line chart based on the respondent's gender. Therefore, based on the results we obtained from Chart 2, it is clear that a majority of the male respondents are satisfied with the tools provided by their Desktop Publishing Software while a majority of the female respondents are unsure of their needs.

In conclusion, based on the surveys, worksheets and charts, Adobe has better features and function compared to Microsoft Publisher and Corel Publisher. Thus, Adobe is the most popular or preferred version among the three Desktop Publishing Software.

Worksheet 1

Worksheet 2 & Chart 1

Worksheet 3 & Chart 2


In a nut shell, desktop publishing software is very common in our life. Just about anyone can create desktop publishing with the right software. However, there are specific groups who tend to make the most use of the techniques of desktop publishing. For instance, freelance and in-house graphic designers, small business owners, secretaries, teachers, students, and individual consumers do desktop publishing.

However, according to our survey we targeted a large number of college students from the age range of 18 to 25. Therefore, from our analysis, it is obvious that most respondents prefer Adobe rather then Microsoft Publisher or Corel Publisher. Furthermore, to our disbelieves, we were shocked to find out that ; out of 50 respondents only 20% of the male prefer using the Corel Publisher whereas on the other hand not even 0.01% of the female are aware of the existence of Corel Publisher.

Thus, the popularity of the Adobe desktop publishing software indicates that it is playing a big role in the field of professional desktop publishing. In addition, Adobe is the leading producer of graphics and we all know how important is the usage of Adobe when it comes to graphic designing. Plus, Adobe helps you create anything and everything without limits.

When the users were asked as why and what has made them chose Adobe, they explained that Adobe is extremely user-friendly, it has better performance level in various ways compared to the Microsoft publisher or even Corel Publisher, it is the most famous desktop publishing software which can be found anywhere and the tools in an Adobe Software are specifically designed to make it easy to create documents that combine text and graphics in complex layouts. Thus, as a user you don't need a design degree to understand the basics of laying out a page. You may find that for many tasks, these Adobe programs are actually easier to use than normal word processor.

Desktop Publishing thus plays an important role in dealing with these challenges and producing the final output in a proper layout. It is important as a tool because it can enhance communication by making it easy to efficiently produce printed and electronic documents. While initially it was done manually, today the Desktop publishing software is used which allows the user to rearrange text and graphics, change typefaces, and resize graphics easily and quickly before finally committing a design to paper.