Careers in desktop publishing
Published on: Monday, November 15, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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When you need to print something such as a magazine, leaflet or an annual report, you want it to be presentable and attractive. Just typing alone is not enough. You need graphics for illustration. 

DESKTOP publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or published online. This would give it a professional touch. 

What do Desktop publishers do?
  • Review text, graphics, or other materials created by writers and designers
  • Edit graphics, such as photographs or illustrations
  • Import text and graphics into publishing software
  • Integrate images and text to create cohesive pages
  • Adjust text properties, such as size, column width, and spacing
  • Revise layouts and make corrections as necessary
  • Submit or upload final files for printing or online publishing

Desktop publishers use publishing software to create page layouts for print or electronic publication. They may edit text by correcting its spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Desktop publishers often work with other design, media, or marketing workers, including writers, editors, and graphic designers. For example, they work with graphic designers to come up with images that complement the text and fit the available space.

Work Environment

Many desktop publishers work in the publishing and printing industries. The largest employers of desktop publishers are as follows:
  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers    
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services    
  • Self-employed workers    
  • Printing and related support activities    

Work Schedules

Many desktop publishers work full time, and they may need to work additional hours to meet publication deadlines.

How to Become a Desktop Publisher
  • Desktop publishers typically learn on the job from an experienced worker.
  • Desktop publishers usually need a Diploma.  They also receive short-term on-the-job training, lasting about 1 – 3 months.


Desktop publishers usually need a Diploma, often in graphic design or graphic communications. Private colleges, Community colleges, vocational and technical schools offer desktop-publishing courses, which teach students how to create electronic page layouts and format text and graphics with the use of desktop-publishing software.


Desktop publishers typically receive short-term on-the-job training lasting about 1 - 3 months. They learn by working closely with more experienced workers or by taking classes that teach them how to use desktop-publishing software. Workers often need to continue training because publishing software changes over time.

What Qualities do you need? 
  • Artistic ability. Desktop publishers must have a good eye for how graphics and text will look, so that they can create pages that are visually appealing and legible.
  • Communication skills. Desktop publishers must collaborate with others, such as writers, editors, and graphic designers, and communicate ideas effectively.
  • Detail oriented. Desktop publishers must pay attention to details such as margins, font sizes, and the overall appearance and accuracy of their work.
  • Organizational skills. Desktop publishers often work under strict deadlines and must be good at scheduling and prioritizing tasks in order to have documents ready in time for publication.

Other Experience

Many employers prefer to hire workers who have experience preparing layouts and using desktop-publishing software. Students may gain experience by working on a publication for a school or other organisations.


Desktop publishing is commonly used to design printed materials, such as advertisements, brochures, newsletters, and forms. 

Companies are expected to hire fewer desktop publishers, however, as other types of workers – such as graphic designers, web designers, and editors – increasingly perform desktop-publishing tasks

Q and A

For further information on careers write to [email protected] 

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