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Desktop Publisher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Formats text and graphical elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Printing Technology pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Checks preliminary and final proofs for errors and makes necessary corrections.
  • Operates desktop publishing software and equipment to design, lay out, and produce camera-ready copy.
  • Positions 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.
  • Converts various types of files for printing or for the Internet, using computer software.
  • Transmits, delivers or mails publication master to printer for production into film and plates.
  • Studies layout or other design instructions to determine work to be done and sequence of operations.
  • Enters digitized data into electronic prepress system computer memory, using scanner, camera, keyboard, or mouse.
  • Views monitors for visual representation of work in progress and for instructions and feedback throughout process, making modifications as necessary.
  • Imports 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.
  • Collaborates with graphic artists, editors and writers to produce master copies according to design specifications.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Design Editor -- Plans, coordinates, or edits content of material for publication.
  • Computer Compositor --
  • Document Design Specialist --