Word Processing vs. Desktop Publishing
Many organizations distribute brochures and newsletters to promote their products and services. In the past, preparing these desktop publishing documents was best accomplished through outside agencies. In the 1980s, however, word processors began including graphics and different fonts as part of their standard software package (Larkin and Green, 8 Oct. 1998). That is, many word processors were emerging with desktop publishing capabilities.
Desktop publishing software (DTP) allows users to design and produce professional looking documents that contain both text and graphics. Examples of such documents include newsletters, marketing literature, technical manuals, and annual reports. The common thread among these packages is the ability to import graphic images, change fonts, draw lines, and display in WYSIWYG mode (What You See Is What You Get).
Graphics images can be imported from previously created art, called clip art. Clip art may be included with the software package being used or may be purchased.
Collections of clip art contain several hundred to several thousand images grouped by type, such as holidays, vehicles, or people. Input devices, called scanners, also can be used to import photographs and art into
DTP documents (Brown 14-35). Regardless of how it is accomplished, once the image has been imported into the document, it can be enlarged, reduced, rotated, or moved.
Many word processing software packages today include features that were previously considered to be the area of desktop publishing software. Conversely, many recent releases of DTP software contain enhance word processing capabilities. The table below outlines the DTP features in word processing packages and features not yet in most word processing packages (Winters).
DTP Features in Word Processing PackagesAdditional DTP Features in DTP Software
Alters typefaces, styles, and point sizeIncludes color libraries
Adjusts margins, alignment, and spacingCreate master pages,