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What Desktop Publishers Do

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items to be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics, and other materials they will need and format them into a finished product.


Desktop publishers typically do the following:

Desktop publishers use publishing software to create page layouts for print or web publication. Some desktop publishers may help to create web pages using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), although this is usually the job of web designers. For more information on workers who design, create, and modify websites, see the profile on information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects. 

Desktop publishers work with other design and media professionals, such as writers, editors and graphic designers. For example, desktop publishers work with graphic designers to come up with images that complement the text and fit the available space.   

In addition to designing pages, desktop publishers may edit or write text. Some desktop publishers might be responsible for correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar or for writing original content themselves.

Desktop publishers’ responsibilities may vary widely from project to project and employer to employer. Smaller firms typically use desktop publishers to perform a wide range of tasks, while desktop publishers at larger firms may specialize in one part of the publishing process.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition