Desktop publishing (abbreviated DTP) is the creation of documents using page layout skills on a personal ("desktop") computer primarily for print. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images comparable to traditional typography and printing. This technology allows individuals, businesses, and other organizations to self-publish a wide range of printed matter. Desktop publishing is also the main reference for digital typography. When used skillfully, desktop publishing allows the user to produce a wide variety of materials, from menus to magazines and books, without the expense of commercial printing.
Desktop publishing combines a personal computer and WYSIWYG page layout software to create publication documents on a computer for either large scale publishing or small scale local multifunction peripheral output and distribution. Desktop publishing methods provide more control over design, layout, and typography than word processing. However, word processing software has evolved to include some, though by no means all, capabilities previously available only with professional printing or desktop publishing.
The same DTP skills and software used for common paper and book publishing are sometimes used to create graphics for point of sale displays, promotional items, trade show exhibits, retail package designs and outdoor signs. Although what is classified as "DTP software" is usually limited to print and PDF publications, DTP skills aren't limited to print. The content produced by desktop publishers may also be exported and used for electronic media. The job descriptions that include "DTP", such as DTP artist, often require skills using software for producing e-books, web content, and web pages, which may involve web design or user interface design for any graphical user interface.