Desktop Publishing, a term coined way back in the 1980s, was originally aimed at printed documents such as newsletters, brochures, books and other items which were originally designed without the use of a computer. Yet, like most things, this definition has become outdated as technology moves forward. So a new updated definition is needed, while keep in mind the original intent for the phrase. So, for the 21st century, Desktop Publishing is expanded to include the electronically delivered items such as:
- PDF files
- Web sites
- Slide shows
- Email newsletters
- and even the Web itself
Open Source Desktop Publishing
Michael Mann Desktop Publishing realizes that clients should not be paying into software licenses of a company doing work for them. With this in mind, we sought out a better method of acquiring software, which was legally obtained. We do not, nor will we ever, use illegally obtain software, that is software which requires the purchase of a license but the license is subverted through the use of illegally obtained serial numbers, cracks, or illegally obtained full versions.
To lower our business costs and to be able to pass those savings on to our clients, we entered the realm of Open Source software in 2008. We were delighted that for our purposes we were able to find viable alternatives to proprietary software, with little to no price tag and the freedom to use the software as we see fit. But most of all, it was software that was usable and not needing to be modified for general purposes. Mature software, available at little to no cost is something we love and are doing everything we can to spread the word of the software we use.
What Software Do We Use?
Glad you are interested in the software we use. After all, it is software you can use as well. We have provided a short list of the software we are using on a day to day basis and even how we are using it to lower our costs.
Disclaimer: We feel we need to put this disclaimer, even though it should be common knowledge if you have ever used different software. Each piece of software listed below will have a learning curve as not all software is designed with the same end purpose in mind by the same designer. Keep this in mind and feel free to ask questions or use a search engine such as Google.
LibreOffice, an off-shoot of OpenOffice.org (owned by Oracle), provides most of the basic features of Microsoft Office without the hefty price tag. The components of LibreOffice include: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations), Base (database), Draw (diagrams) and Math (equation editor).
We mostly use Writer, Calc and Impress for items such as content creation or basic print-ready items.
Vector-based graphics. Uses scalable vector graphic (SVG) format, which allows for a graphic to be resized without loss in quality or pixelation which can happen when enlarging a raster-based graphic, such as a JPG or PNG.
We use Inkscape when ever possible for items such as Business cards. We are able to export completed projects as PDFs and send directly to one of the few printer we use.
Raster-based graphics. Can import and export in many different common formats.
We use GIMP mostly for photo editing and some graphic creation. Most of the graphic creation though is done under Inkscape.