Desktop Publishing (MS-Publisher 2013) - Computer Studies Form 2 Notes

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  • Publishing is the process of producing publications such as newspapers, cards, pamphlets, pictures, calendars, books, etc that has special text and graphical layouts & designs.
  • Traditionally, publishing involved drawing and writing manually on wooden or metallic boards. The artwork would then be painted with ink and pressed on papers to produce a printout. Today, the art of publishing makes use of Personal computers & small printers that are able to print high-quality text and graphics. All the publishing processes can be done on a desk in the office or at home.

Definition of Desktop Publishing

  • Desktop publishing refers to the process of producing publications by designing their text and graphics layout using special desktop publishing software installed on personal computers. The text and graphical objects can then be inserted, edited, formatted and printed.

Examples of desktop publishers;

  • Adobe PageMaker
  • Adobe Photoshop - mainly used for editing & formatting photographs.
  • Adobe illustrator - used for creating complex freehand artwork such as drawings & logos.
  • CorelDraw.
  • Microsoft Publisher.
  • Ventura.
  • Harvard graphic.

In this notes, we will use the MS - publisher 2013 as a guide to demonstrate the basic features of a desktop publishing software

Difference between a desktop publisher and a word processor.

  • A DTP software gives the user more tools and control of the page layout, text manipulation and graphic design than a word processor.
  • However, today’s word processors have been incorporated with text and graphic formatting and editing tools, e.g., you can design a full publication in Microsoft Word by using the available Drawing and Picture tools, create columns, etc.

Purpose of Desktop Publishing Software

- DTP programs give the typesetter (the person designing publications) a lot of control on:

  1. Graphic design:
    - Using DTP software, a typesetter can create and edit very complex text & graphical objects of high quality.
    For example, the software provides the user with rulers & ruler guides that can be used to place an object in the correct position within the publication.
  2. Page layout design:
    - With a desktop publisher, the user can design a page layout by setting consistent (constant) picture and object locations, divide a page into a number of columns, and also create layers.
    - Layering is the arrangement of objects on top of each other with the one on top being on the first layer.
  3. Printing:
    - To produce any publications, they must be printed. Therefore, DTP software helps the user to prepare artwork (i.e., publications that are ready for printing).

Types of Desktop Publishing Software

- There are 2 main types of DTP software:

  1. Graphical based:
    • They are specifically developed for editing & formatting graphic objects like pictures.

      - Adobe Photoshop.
      - Harvard graphic.
      - CorelDraw.
    • Graphic-based desktop publishers have superior capabilities for handling images such as setting resolution, brightness, contrast, cropping, and filling the images with colour.
  2. Layout based:
    • They are specifically developed to create different page layout designs for text and pictures.

      - Adobe PageMaker.
      - Microsoft Publisher.

Designing a Publication

- Different publications have different design layouts and formatting.

Types of Publications

- There are several types of publications that can be produced using DTP software. They include:

  1. Cards:
    - They may be for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, harambee, and for congratulations.
  2. Certificates:
    - These are types of publications used to show completion of courses and special events.
    Note. Certificates are very sensitive, and must be designed to discourage any type of duplication or counterfeits.
  3. Newspapers, Magazines, Pamphlets and Newsletters:
    - They contain news targeting a group of people.
  4. Books:
    - Are bulky publications with many pages that are bound together.
  5. Calendars:
    - They are used to show dates. They are also used by companies to advertise their products.
  6. Notices, Brochures, Posters / Advertisement, and Catalogues.

Features of DTP Software.

  1. Text can be entered directly into a DTP publication. Alternatively, the text can be entered into a Word processor and then copied into the DTP document.
    • Graphics can be created in a separate program, then incorporated into a Desktop publishing program.
    • A Scanner can also be used to copy images, such as photographs and drawings, into a Desktop publishing document. A Scanner is a device that reads text and images into a document.
  2. A DTP program gives you more control over the graphics in a publication. You can:
    • move - change the position of a graphic on a page,
    • size - make a graphic larger or smaller,
    • Rotate - turn or spin a graphic, and
    • Crop - trim part of a graphic.
  3. Has a wide range of Fonts & print sizes that can be merged with useful symbols, such as arrows and stars.
  4. Has Columns of various widths, in which the text is fitted automatically using sensible hyphenation. The columns can also be reorganization automatically.
  5. Enables Scaling and cropping of publications so as to fit the available space.
  6. Page numbers can be inserted.
  7. Enables production of multiple page documents.


Steps in Using a DTP System.

  1. Prepare your text and illustrations with a Word processor or a Graphics package. Alternatively, use a Scanner to input text and graphics from other sources.
  2. Using the DTP program, develop the format of each page. Your screen becomes an electronic paste board with rulers, column guides and other page design aids.
  3. Copy the text and illustrations into the page format you have designed in the DTP program.
    - The DTP program will automatically move the excess text to another column or page and also help size and place illustrations and headings.
  4. Format the pages on the screen to look the way you want them, then store them electronically on your hard disk. If necessary, print them on a Laser Printer to produce the finished printed material.

Terminologies Used in DTP.

  1. Ranner the main headline across the top of the page.
  2. Cross head a small heading used to break up text into easily readable sections.
  3. Bullet solid dot printed before pieces of text in order to add an emphasis.
  4. Cast off a calculation as to how much space the text will use on a page.
  5. Footer – a line of text at the bottom of each page giving the publications title, author’s name, etc.
  6. Masthead details of the person involved in printing the publication.
  7. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) this means that, the presentation on the screen is exactly what you will get from the Printer.
  8. Jigging moving text around by means of DTP software.

Running Ms-Publisher 2013

- In these notes we will use Microsft Publisher 2013 for demonstrations

Starting Ms-publisher

  1. From Windows desktop, click the start button.
  2. Select Publisher 2013 from the programs menu
  3. After opening Publisher 2013, select blank 8.5 x 11
  4. The blank publication will open

Ms - Publisher 2013 Window

  • Like the other applications discussed earlier, Ms Publisher application Window has a title bar, menu bar, toolbars and status bar. The window looks like the figure shown below.

publisher window

Setting up a Publication

Sometimes, it is necessary to change the setup options of a publication e.g. page size, margins, orientation etc.ele to design page layouts and graphics that are

To change publication's setup:

  1. From the Page Design tab in the page setup group
    1. Click on margins to change the page margins
    2. Click on orientation to change the page orientation i.e. either landscape or portrait
    3. Click on size to change the size of the page i.e. A4, A3, letter etc.

page design tab

Setting up a publication using master pages

  • If you are creating a publication that will have several pages such as a book or a project report, it is important that you layout a common layout foundation for all pages for the sake of consistency and cohesiveness.
  • These pages used to design a common layout to be applied in the other pages of the publication are called master pages or a document master.You can create, modify, and delete objects on master pages just like any other objects, but you must do so from the master pages themselves.
  • The document master applies to all pages in the publication until you' specify otherwise, and cannot be renamed or removed from the publication.

To create a Master Page:

  1. Under the View menu, click on Master Page
  2. The Master Page toolbar will appear and display the current Master Page
  3. From here, you can edit the master page as desired. All content added to the master page will repeat on all pages throughout your publication.
  4. When finished editing the master page, click on Close Master Page under the Master Page tab

Adding a Master Page

- To create additional master pages for your publication:

  1. Under the View menu, click on Master Page
  2. The Master Page toolbar will appear. Click on Add Master Page (see Figure 73).
  3. The New Master Page window will appear. Click on OK (see Figure 74).
    Note: Check the Two-page master box to create a two-page master page.
  4. A new master page will be created.

Saving the Layout

- Once you complete setting up your publication layout, it is important you save it before you start entering text and graphics.

To save the layout:

  1. To save the publication for the first time, from the File menu, click Save As or click the Save button on the toolbar.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, specify the name of the file and the storage location of your publication then click Save button
  3. To save changes made to a publication, from the File menu, click Save

Displaying and Hiding Rulers

- If the rulers are not displayed, click the View menu, then select the rulers checkbox to display them. To hide the rulers, uncheck the check box.

Editing a Publication

  • The term edit means making changes to a publication. In most cases, editing would include the process of correcting spelling mistakes, replacing words etc


Find and Replace


  1. Click the Find option in the Editing group on the Home tab or press Ctrl + F. This will open the find and replace window at the right of your publication as shown in step 2
  2. Enter a word which you want to search in the search box. Click find next. Publisher searches for the text you entered and highlights the word in the document.
    find replace publisher


  • Click the Replace option in the Editing group on the Home tab or press Ctrl + H to launch the Find and Replace dialog window as shown above
  • Type a word which you want to search and a word which would like to replace with in the Find and Replace navigation window as above
  • Click Replace button available on Find and Replace navigation menu and you will see first occurrence of the searched word would be replaced with the replace with word. Clicking again on Replace button would replace next occurrence of the searched word. If you will click Replace All button then it would replace all the found words in one go. You can also use Find Next button just to search the next occurence and later you can use Replace button to replace the found word.

Spell Checking

  • Publisher automatically checks for spelling mistakes as you type. However, it’s a good idea to run the Spellchecker tool as the final step when finishing your publication. When run, the Spellchecker tool will check your entire publication for spelling & grammar errors, and allow you to insert the corrections.

To run the Spellchecker tool:

  1. Under the Review tab, click on the Spelling button 
  2. The Spellchecker window will open and display suggested corrections.
    Choose a correction from the list and click on one of the following buttons 
    1. Ignore – Ignore the currently selected misspelled word;
    2. Ignore All - Ignore the currently selected misspelled word and all instances of the misspelled word in the publication;
    3. Change – Apply the currently selected suggestion to the misspelled word; and
    4. Change All – Apply the currently selected suggestion to all instances of the misspelled word in the publication
    5. Add – Add the selected misspelled word to the dictionary so it will not be identified as a mistake in the future;
    6. Close – Close the Spellchecker tool
  3. The Spellchecker tool will continue to check your publication for any misspelled words. The Spellchecker check will notify you when it has completed checking your publication.

Design Checking

  • The design checker can be used to find potential design and layout problems in your publication, and provides options to fix them. It is a good idea to run this tool before sending your publication to a printer.

To run the design checker tool:

  1. Click on the File tab
    file tab
  2. The backstage view will appear. Click on Run Design Checker
    backstage view
  3. The Design Checker will appear to the right of your publication. Click a checkbox to run the following checks 
    design checker
    1. Run general design checks: Checks for design problems like empty text boxes
    2. Run commercial design checks: Checks for problems that may impact printing your publication at a commercial printing business (e.g. pictures in RGB mode)
    3. Run web site checks: Checks for problems that may impact your web site publication (e.g. pictures without alternative text)
    4. Run e-mail checks (current page only): Checks for problems that may cause gaps in the message when it is viewed in certain e-mail viewers (e.g. text that contains a hyphenation)
  4. To fix an item, hover over it and click the dropdown arrow
  5. A dropdown menu will appear. Click one of the following options:
    1. Go to this Item: Selects the item on your document
    2. Fix: Place Text on a New Page: Fixes the selected error using the suggested method
    3. Never Run this Check Again: Removes the selected error from the design checker search
    4. Explain… Opens up a Help article with more information on the selected error
  6. Continue addressing errors found by the design checker until they have been addressed.
  7. To close the design checker, click on Close Design Checker

Formatting a Publication

This refers to applying special attributes to text, graphical objects and pages in order to make them attractive and appealing to the eye. Therefore, formatting may include things like font sizing, bolding, changing text colour, adjusting picture brightness and contrast and formatting columns on the page

Inserting Text Boxes

  • When working with publications in Publisher, you will need to insert a text box to be able to type your text. Text boxes can be inserted to contain your information, which will make it easier to adjust the spacing and positioning of your text during development.

To add a text box to your publication:

  1. Under the Home tab, click on Draw Text Box
  2. Your mouse cursor will change into a crosshair. On your page, left-click & drag to create a text box
  3. Release the mouse button to create your text box.
  4. You can now begin typing text into your text box

Formatting Text

  • Character and paragraph formatting commands are found on the Home tab of the Ribbon. To apply any of the formatting options, first select the text and then click the button for the option(s) that you want to apply

formatting text

Inserting Graphics

  • The use of graphics will enhance your publications and allow you to provide the reader with additional information in the form of a visual aid. The following will explain how to insert pictures and shapes to you publication.

Insert Pictures

  1. Under the Insert tab, click on the Pictures button 
  2. The Insert Picture dialog box will appear. Select the picture you wish to insert from your computer.
  3. Click the Insert button. The picture will be added to your publication.

Inserting Online Pictures

The Online Pictures tool provides access to online picture resources such as Microsoft Clipart and Bing Image Search. The following explains how to insert online pictures into your Publisher publication from a variety of internet sources.

  1. Under the Insert tab, click on the Online Pictures button (see Figure 50).
  2. The Insert Pictures window will open. In the search box next to Bing Image Search, type a word or phrase that describes the desired image (see Figure 51).
  3. Press Enter.
  4. A list of your search results will appear. Select the desired picture you wish to add and click the insert button (see Figure 52).
  5. The picture will be added to your publication

Inserting Shapes

The following explains how to insert a variety of predefined shapes into your Publisher publication.

  1. Under the Insert tab, click on the Shapes button 
  2. A dropdown window will appear with a library of shapes to choose. Click on a shape to select it
  3. Your cursor will change to a crosshair and you will be ready to insert your selected shape.
  4. To draw your selected shape within your publication, hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor to draw your shape (see Figure 55).
  5. Release the left mouse button when you are finished drawing your shape. The shape will be added to your publication.

Modifying Shapes with Drawing Tools

  • You can modify shapes in a number of ways. The following describes some of the ways that shapes can be changed:

Resizing a Shape

  • Click on the shape. The sizing handles will appear around the border of the shape (see Figure 35).
  • To resize the shape, place your mouse over one of the sizing handles, click and drag.
    Note: The sizing handle at the top of the shape allows you to rotate it


  • After clicking on a shape, the shaping handles will appear (along with the sizing handles) as yellow squares. A two-dimensional shape can be altered by clicking and dragging the yellow squares to alter a certain aspect of the shape.

Adding Headers/Footers

  • Editing the header/footer of your publication will allow you to place text that repeats every page (e.g. adding an issue number to the bottom of your page).

The following will explain how to add a footer to your publication:

  1. On the Insert tab, click on Footer 
  2.  The Master Page toolbar will appear and the footer section of the publication will be selected
  3. Add your text to the footer, and then click Close Master Page.
  4. The footer will be added to your publication.
    Note: The process for adding a Header is similar.

Adding Page Numbers

The following explains how to add page numbers to your publication:

  1. On the Insert tab, click on Page Number
  2. A dropdown menu will appear. Select a location to insert a page number 
  3. The page number will be inserted into your document

Saving your Publication

  • Saving your publication will create a file that will allow you to access the publication at a later time for editing. You can also save your work to share the file with others.

To save a Publisher 2013 publication to your Desktop:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. The backstage view will appear. Click on Save As to access the save options (see Figure 99).
  3. The save options will appear. Click on Computer to choose your location to save
  4. Click on Desktop to save the file to your desktop (see Figure 100)
  5. A dialog box will appear. In the File name: field, type a name for your publication
  6. Click the Save button.
  7. Your publication has been saved to the desktop.


Save as a PDF

  • Saving your file as a PDF will ensure that your printed or viewed file retains the formatting you intended, and is useful if you wish to send your publication to a commercial printer.

To save your file as a PDF:

  1. Click the File tab (see Figure 102).
  2. The backstage view will appear. Click on Save As to access the save options (see Figure 103).
  3. The save options will appear. Click on Computer to choose your location to save
  4. Click on Desktop to save the file to your desktop (see Figure 104).
  5. A dialog box will appear. In the File name: field, type a name for your publication
  6. Next to Save as type, click the dropdown and select PDF (see Figure 106).
  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Your publication will be saved as a PDF.

Print your Publication

If your computer is connected to a printer, you will be able to print your publication to share a hard copy with others.

  1. Click the File tab
  2. The backstage view will appear. Click on Print to access the print options.
  3. The print options will appear. Under Printer, click the dropdown arrow to select a printer
  4. Click the printer you want to use to print your publication.
    Note: Your list of available printers will be determined by the printers currently installed.
  5. Set the number of copies you want to print 
  6. Click the Print button. Your publication will be sent to the printer you selected for printing.
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