Desktop Publishing (DTP)

DTP: a DTP program allows you to combine text and graphics using frames to build up multi-column pages, like newspapers, magazines and brochures. The text and graphics need not be entered directly into the program, but can be prepared in advance using word-processing or image-processing software.

Frames: are objects on a page which can be given different colours or borders and into which text and graphics can be imported. Text frames in a publication can be linked together so that a story can easily flow from one frame into another.

Advantages of Using DTP Software

There are a number reasons why a business may choose to use DTP, including:

Cost: a business does not need to hire a commercial printing bureau to professionally typeset every publication.

Efficiency: instead of having to spend time approving proofs from an outside printer, the final document can be previewed and changes made immediately using the company's own hardware and software. Small printing jobs or re-prints of a publication can be done quickly by a company's own staff.

Disadvantages of Using DTP Software

As with all technologies, there are disadvantages:

Expense: additional software and hardware may need to be bought.

Training: staff will need to be trained to develop new skills if they are to use the new hardware and software effectively.


Special hardware is often needed in order to work effectively with DTP software this could include buying a new printer to cope with the demand and quality of publications required. Other input devices might be needed in order to capture images for a publication. Also, if the final output is to be sent to a printing bureau for a larger print run, you will need to be able to store and distribute extremely large files.


  1. List three different types of document that could be produced using DTP software.
  2. Your friend is thinking of starting a small printing business using DTP software. Write a letter that he could use to explain to his customer the advantages of allowing him to produce their brochures and other promotional material.
  3. Describe five items of hardware (in addition to your computer, monitor, mouse and keyboard) that could be needed to produce DTP documents.
  4. Describe two reasons why a company would prepare documents and images in advance, before importing them into a DTP program.
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