Electronic Publishing: From the Kitchen Table to the Press

Article excerpt

If you think there's a lot of fuss about the Internet, you should have been around 10 years ago when the "desktop publishing revolution" was in full swing.

Desktop publishing (DTP) really was a revolution, of sorts. The arrival of low-cost personal computers in the Eighties completely altered the nature of publishing. Instead of relying on expensive printers and typesetters, publishing companies could bring their design and typesetting work in- house. This trickled down to other types of businesses, which began to design reports and other types of corporate literature.

Now, personal computers are so powerful that even home users can produce slick, highly illustrated page layouts using low-cost software, laser printers and colour ink-jet printers.

The leading DTP programs are still the old stalwarts - Quark XPress (pounds 450) and PageMaker (pounds 750). These are extremely powerful programs aimed at professional newspaper and magazine designers.

However, there are some versatile DTP programs aimed at the home and small business user that cost a fraction of these prices. One of the most well known is Microsoft Publisher, which is bundled free with a lot of new PCs. Its main rivals are PagePlus from Serif Software and GSP's PressWorks, though there are about half a dozen other DTP programs available from less well-known companies. …