Desktop Publishing or DTP software is used for a huge variety of purposes by businesses across the world. This article will briefly go over the main advantages of DTP software and why so many companies use it rather than the alternatives – word processing packages, for instance.

After looking at these reasons, we’ll go on to discuss the main uses of DTP – especially in relation to the translation and language services industry. Following this, we’ll look at some of the other benefits of Desktop Publishing and why these make it a good fit for a wide variety of other professional projects too.


Why use Desktop Publishing? Part 1 – Professionalism and Customisation
What is DTP Used For? Part 1 – Marketing and Localisation
Why use Desktop Publishing? Part 2 – Templates, Compatibility and Exporting
What is DTP Used For? Part 2 – Multiple Print Runs, Versions and More

Why use Desktop Publishing? Part 1 – professionalism and customisationDesktop Publishing software is almost always to be preferred over word processing packages when multiple graphics and sections of text need to be arranged in a print-ready format.

The advantages of Desktop Publishing include:

  • WYSIWYG – “What You See Is What You Get” is just what it sounds like. Unlike many word processing packages, the document shown on the screen will be what the document actually looks like when printed.
  • Professional appearance – documents produced using DTP techniques are invariably precise, professional and superior in appearance to documents created using other software.
  • Frame based design – frames of text, images, scanned pictures, still frames taken from a digital video recorder, design software-created graphics – DTP tools accept input from a variety of sources. Plus, they allow…
  • Simple customisation – the above-mentioned frames can be easily repositioned on the screen so that different looks and layouts can be viewed and tested.
  • Lower production costs – DTP software, after the initial outlay to purchase the tools, makes producing documents much more cost effective. Many businesses choose to outsource their DTP needs rather than purchase the software at all.

In general, businesses which use DTP are setting themselves up to be far more successful than their competitors who don’t. You won’t find many businesses or individuals these days who don’t see the benefits of Desktop Publishing software.What is DTP used for? Part 1 – marketing and localisationBecause of the features listed above, the purposes that DTP is put to are many and varied. One of the most popular is in the creation of marketing materials. Specifically in the languages industry, to properly localise marketing collateral and parts of marketing collateral for different audiences.Localisation of marketing materialsWhen you put together marketing materials for your company, you or your design team will spend a lengthy period of time making sure that:

  • Advantages of desktop publishingThe images and text are positioned to deliver the greatest impact
  • The CTA is well placed for maximum conversion potential
  • The message you want to convey is transmitted effectively

But when you then translate your latest flyer or brochure into a different language it’s not just a case of making sure that the text makes sense.

For example, text that’s translated into a different language can take up less or more space than its original counterpart. Plus, if you’re doing the smart thing and properly localising your marketing materials to take the cultural norms and preferences of your target market into account, you’ll often need to edit the image you’ve chosen and afford your translator the freedom to deviate quite far from the original text in order to convey the same message.

All of this means that it’s not as simple as translating the text and copying and pasting it back into place. Proper DTP software makes the whole process much easier.

Localising sections of a document

The above advantages of using DTP when localising a document, namely that it allows:

  • Easy repositioning of translated text which takes up a different amount of space
  • Straightforward comparison and editing of the location of localised text and images
  • The taking into account of cultural norms without difficulty

Are also a huge benefit when localising smaller sections of documents. DTP software will allow you to retain the formatting, text and images while taking your target market’s culture and language into mind.

Why use Desktop Publishing? Part 2 – templates, compatibility and exporting

Congratulations! You’ve typeset your content using DTP software. Now you can:

1) Create a template
This template can then be easily localised or updated with different copy without you needing to modify the formatting. This makes DTP an incredibly useful tool for documents which have multiple versions or long runs of issues which are likely to have the same layout, such as magazines and newsletters.

2) Easily export a document
Most design software will allow you to export document formats which are compatible with CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools to further assist in the localisation process. This compatibility makes DTP easy to combine with a wide variety of other tools outside of the localisation field as well.

What is DTP used for? Part 2 – multiple print runs, versions and more

In addition to marketing materials, design software such as this is the easiest way to translate a large number of other types of documents. These are the kind of documents used by companies of all scopes and sizes, from local businesses to multinationals, and can include:

  • Corporate newsletters
  • Websites
  • Manuals
  • Forms
  • Invoices
  • Brochures
  • Reports
  • Certificates

And many others.

Desktop Publishing software is, simply put, the easiest way to professionally arrange text and graphics to get output of the highest quality. Whether used to create marketing materials or invoices, the many benefits of using DTP make it obvious to see why it’s become such an accepted part of doing business in the modern world.

Do you use your DTP software for an ingenious purpose? Have we missed a critical reason to use Desktop Publishing that you feel deserves a mention? Comment below and let us know!