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Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop Publishing Software

While it is nice to open a report via E-mail and check out PDF online, the convenience of these methods of viewing information is usually outweighed in many circumstances by having a physical document in your hands. The more formal the communication, the higher the reliance on hard copy or physical copy of document is. To create such documents, you will need desktop publishing software. However, how do you pick the right package for your needs?

What is Desktop Publishing Software?

5 results - showing 1 - 5
Details Ratings
July 29, 2011    

Microsoft Publisher is a Desktop Publishing Software for Windows created by Publisher Microsoft Corporation.

5.0 (1)
November 26, 2010    

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing software created by publisher Adobe Systems Incorporated.

5.0 (1)
November 26, 2010    

Serif PagePlus is a desktop publishing software created by publisher Serif Ltd.

4.5 (1)
December 26, 2010    

Design & Print Business Edition is a Desktop Publishing Software for Windows created by publisher Avanquest Software.

0.0 (0)
December 25, 2010    

Print Artist Platinum is a Desktop Publising Software for windows created by publisher Avanquest Software.

0.0 (0)
5 results - showing 1 - 5

Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop Publishing Software Resource & Information

What is Desktop Publishing Software?

Desktop publishing began in the 70s but really blossomed in the 80s with the launch of the Apple Macintosh. The Apple Macintosh really made desktop publishing an everyday reality for many businesses. Before, off line publishing was not only a time-intensive process, but it was also very expensive and required specialized information. With the dawn of the Macintosh and supporting desktop publishing software like Adobe Publisher, desktop publishing became democratized and people that were originally prized out of desktop publishing were now able to produce their own documents. Since the 80s, desktop publishing has grown by leaps and bounds and this has been pretty much demystified. It is much more convenient now to produce documents using this software. However, not all desktop publishing software suites are the same. Because there are different publishing needs, you should pick the publishing software that is geared towards your specific needs. To ignore this reality would be to either waste money on under-powered software packages that do not really achieve what you have set out to accomplish or wasting money on a beefy software suite when a cheaper alternative could have sufficed.

Assessing Your Desktop Publishing Needs

When selecting the desktop publishing software's suite that fits your particular situation and needs, you have to first review the list that we required in the section above. Look at your immediate needs and then apply the following questions to these needs and scalability timelines:

How many types of project can the desktop publishing software suite support?

This is a very fundamental question because depending on which package you go with, you might be either buying something that is too powerful and too expensive for your immediate and midterm needs and you are wasting money, or you are using something that is underpowered for something that is really quite a robust and large scale project that might not produce the end product that you are looking for. Alternatively it might not be produced in a professional-looking published material, so your business suffers or your professional brand and credibility suffers as a result.

Desktop Publishing for Projects

There are many projects that are supported by desktop publishing software. By projects we are talking about specific types of printed material. They can range from banners, brochures, business cards, business forms, calendars, catalogs, any specially formatted printed material that you need your desktop publishing software to produce. The rule is the more projects it supports, the better. However, if you are budget conscious and you only have a fixed amount you can spend on software or you cannot spend money at all, make sure that whatever open source or free software or lower cost software you are using covers the project type that you would be doing, and also would cover in the midterm future what possible projects you would be doing. Make sure that you are covered there. The reverse could be true as well if you are certain that you would only be doing a small set of fixed project types and you do not really see yourself branching out into other types of projects. For example, if you are just doing only invitations now and postcards, and you do not really see yourself branching out to catalogs, calendars or brochures in the future, then it is probably a better bet to use a package that covers those fixed items that you are doing.

Have an Economical Mindset when shopping for Desktop Publishing Software

Instead of buying very expensive software package that handles everything and is really great, but you are only using it for a couple of things. It is just like buying a Ferrari and you are just driving to the store once a week. In short, there is an emotional element and a prestige element of having a Ferrari, but I guess when it comes to the software world, probably it would be a better idea to be more economical and frugal and be focused really on what your specific projects are.

Does the software support the graphics and photo elements that I will be using?

Printed materials use images. However, the use of the graphic elements in printed materials has different dimensions. For example, posters would have totally different graphics manipulation and graphics processing needs than if you were just producing, let us say, black and white business cards. Depending on the amount of graphic elements in your printed material, make sure that you pick the right package, not just for your needs now but also for your midterm needs in the future. In terms of graphic tools, they come pretty standard.

Built-in Art Gallery

The most common is a built-in art gallery for your desktop publishing software. This really helps a lot in terms of inserting graphic elements and obviously, the bigger the art gallery is the higher the likelihood that there would be picture or graphics that you could use. The problem with a small art gallery is that either people using the same software are overusing the same graphics because it is the only graphic or one of a few graphics in that popular category. If you want your materials to stand out, you need a large graphic gallery that you can get hold of that is packaged into the software.

Graphical Correction Tools

Another key element within the photo and graphic tools consideration for desktop publishing software is whether it has built-in graphic correction tools like color correction, flaw correction, basic graphic elements and graphic procedures like cropping an image, creating transparencies and putting effects on pictures. Also depending on your particular needs, whether it comes packed with drawing tools, 3D effects and picture color matching features like Pantone Color Matching. This consideration of how robust the photo and graphic tools are must be kept in mind in regard to your actual needs. If you do not really see yourself using a lot of stock art or not really needing 3D effects or drawing tools or cropping a lot of pictures, then you have to factor that in to your choice.

Desktop Publishing with Text Manipulation

Another consideration is does the software package come with text manipulation. Text manipulation is how the text appears on the printed product. At the most basic, this impacts how many fonts the software package supports, whether there are shadow effects that are included and other effects on text like for example, 3D effects, embossing and beveling, glowing text and curved text. Again this completely depends on what type of projects you see yourself working on and obviously, if it needs these text effects, you should look for a package that supports those. Other text effects that you should keep in mind are whether text editing related features like mail merge, text wrap, even a thesaurus or spell checker and a proofreader. If you see a need, for example, for a built-in proofreader, then definitely factor that textual element into your choice. Again all these really revolve around your particular project type.

What kind of customer support options are available for the software package?

There are differing types of support that is available for software. Most of them use a forum or internet-based support. By internet based, we are talking knowledge based. It is basically just an FAQ that you type in your question and hopefully somebody has answered it before. When it comes to knowledge based, it is very important to keep in mind that the more popular your software is, the higher the likelihood that somebody has encountered your particular issue in the past and there is a knowledge based of FAQ item addressing that issue. That is one definite advantage of going with a popular desktop publishing software title as opposed to a smaller title. Besides those three common support platforms, there are others that support live chat support, telephone support and E-mail support. Keep in mind what level of support you are looking for and select your software package accordingly. Of course, there are different support types with a different price as well. The knowledge based is free, which is the same with user forums and a support ticket system. However, live chat support and telephone support are usually paid services. E-mail support could go either way. I guess if it is a fairly common question, it would be free. If it is something that would need a technician to look under the hood so to speak, that probably would cost a little bit of money.

The Bottom Line of Desktop Publishing Software

Desktop publishing software has grown tremendously throughout the years and has evolved a lot. However, there are many factors that you should keep in mind to make sure that you do not overpay or get an underpowered solution. Keep the key questions above in mind to find the right solution for your particular situation.