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What does a Desktop Publisher do?

Learn all about Desktop Publisher duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Desktop Publisher.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A desktop publisher is responsible for the layout and design of documents using computer software. This can include anything from creating simple flyers and brochures to more complex publications such as magazines and books.

Desktop Publisher job duties include:

  • Research and select images, photos, charts, and other graphic elements to include in publications.
  • Determine the overall layout of publications, including margins, column widths, and page numbers.
  • Incorporate text and graphics into publications using computer software.
  • Format text using typefaces, point sizes, leading, kerning, and line spacing.
  • Adjust spacing between letters, words, and lines of text as needed.
  • Insert headers, footers, page numbers, and other information into publications.
  • Generate indexes for books and other publications as needed.
  • Proofread publications for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
  • Make revisions to publications as needed.

Desktop Publisher Job Requirements

Education: A desktop publisher typically needs at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, such as an associate's degree in graphic design or a related field.

Certification: Although certification is not always required, it may give job seekers an edge over the competition. The two main certification options for desktop publishers are offered by the International Association of Business Communicators and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

Experience: Many desktop publishing jobs require at least some experience using design software, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. Those with previous experience working in a print shop or other printing environment may have an advantage in the job market.

Desktop Publisher Skills

  • Design
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Print Production
  • Prepress
  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Photo Editing
  • Image Manipulation
  • Creating Graphics
  • Working with Templates

Related: Top Desktop Publisher Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Desktop Publisher

A desktop publisher is someone who uses computer software to create and design pages for printed materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, and brochures. This can include anything from simple text documents to more complex publications with graphics, photos, and other elements. Desktop publishing is a great way to combine your creativity with technology to produce professional-looking results.

If you’re interested in becoming a desktop publisher, there are a few things you should know. First, you’ll need to be familiar with different types of computer software that are used for this purpose. Some of the most popular options include Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, and Microsoft Publisher. Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to try out a few before settling on one that you’re comfortable with.

In addition to learning the basics of a specific desktop publishing program, you should also have some general graphic design skills. This includes knowing how to use different fonts, colors, and other visual elements to create an appealing layout. If you’re not naturally gifted in this area, don’t worry – there are plenty of resources available to help you improve your skills (such as books, online tutorials, and even community college courses).

Once you have the necessary skills and knowledge, the next step is to start marketing yourself as a desktop publisher. This can be done by creating a portfolio of your work (both personal projects and any previous clients) and making it available online or in person. You may also want to join relevant professional organizations (such as the American Society of Journalists and Authors) or attend industry events to network with potential clients.

With hard work and dedication, you can become a successful desktop publisher. Just remember to stay up-to-date on the latest software programs and trends in graphic design – and always be willing to learn new things!

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