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Desktop Publishers Career

Career Description

Format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.

What Job Titles Desktop Publishers Might Have

  • Art Director
  • Computer Typesetter
  • Electronic Console Display Operator
  • Graphic Artist

What Desktop Publishers Do

  • Check preliminary and final proofs for errors and make necessary corrections.
  • Operate desktop publishing software and equipment to design, lay out, and produce camera-ready copy.
  • Position text and art elements from a variety of databases in a visually appealing way to design print or web pages, using knowledge of type styles and size and layout patterns.
  • Convert various types of files for printing or for the Internet, using computer software.
  • Transmit, deliver or mail publication master to printer for production into film and plates.
  • Study layout or other design instructions to determine work to be done and sequence of operations.
  • Enter digitized data into electronic prepress system computer memory, using scanner, camera, keyboard, or mouse.
  • View monitors for visual representation of work in progress and for instructions and feedback throughout process, making modifications as necessary.
  • Import text and art elements, such as electronic clip art or electronic files from photographs that have been scanned or produced with a digital camera, using computer software.
  • Collaborate with graphic artists, editors and writers to produce master copies according to design specifications.
  • Select number of colors and determine color separations.
  • Prepare sample layouts for approval, using computer software.
  • Edit graphics and photos, using pixel or bitmap editing, airbrushing, masking, or image retouching.
  • Enter text into computer keyboard and select the size and style of type, column width, and appropriate spacing for printed materials.
  • Enter data, such as coordinates of images and color specifications, into system to retouch and make color corrections.
  • Load floppy disks or tapes containing information into system.
  • Store copies of publications on paper, magnetic tape, film or diskette.
  • Create special effects such as vignettes, mosaics, and image combining, and add elements such as sound and animation to electronic publications.

What Desktop Publishers Should Be Good At

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Desktop Publishers Should Be Interested In

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

What Desktop Publishers Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Median Salary: $41,090

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.