Typesetting and composition, along with most aspects of the print industry, have since the 1970s seen the replacement of mechanical and craft production by electronic systems such as phototypesetting and laser printing technologies. These control how print looks on the page, its layout and any graphic elements. Simultaneously, word processing systems were developed which automated the manipulation of structures of content and the meaningful arrangements of sentences, paragraphs and chapters. Ultimately, photo- composition and word processing software converged in desktop publishing (DTP) software that could be employed on personal computers. Typesetters and compositors use formatting software to specify the appearance of the page with great precision. DTP packages, on the other hand, can be used by non-specialists and hence are usually interactive (or ‘wysiwyg’: what you see is what you get), giving the user readily available options to move text and graphic elements around on that part of the computer screen which represents the printed page. The remainder of the screen is the desktop, where icons or graphic symbols representing tools and documents are kept. The desktop is the defining metaphor for the personal computer interface, and the DTP desktop includes icons for all the tools and processes used by compositors and graphic designers.
   While word processing software brought text composition and printing to every computer user, DTP enabled the formatting and printing of complete documents including text, images and graphic design elements, not only to paper but, in the form of electronic publishing, to screen. Since most page printers now employ laser technology, DTP makes professional looking publication available to all computer users. The appearance of even quite informal written messages in both private and professional spheres has taken on the gravitas of published text. Computer users now incorporate the forms and symbols that were once reserved for publishers; columns, bullets, different typefaces and the whole range of graphic conventions appear in the most ephemeral of notes. This has general implications for readers’ expectations of print and textual communications.
   Traditional systems of writing and publishing insist upon content and form as quite separate matters. The writer edits content through a process of iteration, often inscribing ever more subtle distinctions into the text, while a more heuristic approach might be taken to the layout. DTP encompasses both processes in the same instant to produce a text that, while it is graphically informative and hence easier to read and understand, demands a new kind of literacy.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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  • DTP — DTP …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • DTP — [de:te: pe:], das; <meist ohne Art.>: ↑ Desktop Publishing. * * * DTP   [Abk. für Desktop Publishing, dt. »Publizieren vom Schreibtisch aus«], die Herstellung von Druckwerken mit einem …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • DTP’er — (el. dtp’er) sb., en, e, ne (person der arbejder med dtp) …   Dansk ordbog

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