Differences of DTPs to Word processors
While desktop publishing software still provides extensive features necessary for print publishing, modern word processors now have publishing capabilities beyond those of many older DTP applications, blurring the line between word processing and desktop publishing.
In the early days of graphical user interfaces, DTP software was in a class of its own when compared to the fairly spartan word processing applications of the time. Programs such as WordPerfect and WordStar were still mainly text-based and offered little in the way of page layout, other than perhaps margins and line spacing. On the other hand, word processing software was necessary for features like indexing and spell checking, features that are today taken for granted.
The possibilities of DTP applications are more powerful than the ones of text processors like Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. The tasks of text processors are, among other things, to register and to save text. The capability of text processors to arrange text is sufficient concerning the printing of these files on a laser- or inkjet printer, but not for extensive documents and professional printouts. Professional printouts are usually made with offset printing. Therefore, any newspaper- or magazine publisher uses a DTP application.
The benefits of DTP applications in comparison with text processors
• WYSIWYG ability (What You See Is What You Get).
• Possibilities to judge the printout (Soft proof).
• More possibilities to manipulate the typography (kerning, spacing)
• Text and pictures are placed in frames.
• Text- and picture frames are objects which can
• More possibilities to design the layout.
• Possibilities to adjust and control the pictures and illustrations
related to their colours (colour management).
• Exact positioning of objects (text, pictures) with the help of grid-
and auxiliary lines.
• Possibility to place objects outside of the document temporarily in
order to use the whole area of the screen.
• Tool palettes to manipulate objects.
As computers and operating systems have become more powerful, vendors have sought to provide users with a single application platform that can meet all needs. Software such as Open Office.org Writer and Microsoft Word offers advanced layouts and linking between documents, and DTP applications have added in common word processor features.