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Go Online to Learn Desktop Publishing

With the ready availability of professional quality desktop publishing (DTP) software, more and more businesses are seeking the services of in-house DTP professionals. The Internet provides a wide-range of educational services for novices or skilled designers to gain or to enhance their DTP skills. These classes and tutorials range from free courses like those offered by About.com to certification curriculum and multi-media instructional materials.


About.com offers the "Daily Dose of DTP," a series of free mini-tutorials spread out over seven weeks via email or directly accessible at desktoppub.about.com/cs/quiz/a/dailydoseexam.htm. Among other topics the material covered includes:

general desktop publishing concepts
corporate stationery
font specifics
image specifics
pre-press and printing
desktop publishing rules and tutorials

Other "e-courses" offered through About.com include the following. (See: desktoppub.about.com/od/freeonlinecourses/Desktop_Publishing_Courses.htm)

12 Rules of Desktop Publishing - 12 Day
Start a Desktop Publishing Business - 10 Week
Windows Font Basics for New Users
Adobe InDesign Basics

Adobe Online Training

Available at adobe.elementk.com/home.asp, Adobe Online Training provides the necessary materials for a student to become an Adobe Certified Expert. Users sign up for a one-year unlimited subscription, which allows them to work at their own pace. The curriculum is designed so that students may create a customized training menu according to their individual progress. (Cost for the full one-year course is $399 with various elements available individually from $49 to $199.) Course offerings include:

Adobe Photoshop CS2
Adobe InDesign CS2
Adobe Acrobat 7
Adobe Premier Elements

Allied Business Schools

Allied Business Schools offers a distance education course in desktop publishing with an emphasis on basic design concepts. The goal of the class is to provide skills that will be applicable to any software environment.

Allied operates on an open enrollment basis so students may begin whenever they like and work at their own place. The program is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Training Council. Prices vary by course with more information available at www.online-education.net/desktop-publishing.html.

CornerMark University

CornerMark Online University (www.cornermark.com/training) specializes in pre-press training for print shop owners, freelancers, print consultants, and others. Their offerings include topics like color management, layout, imaging, proofing, and imposition with the industry's most popular programs including:

Enfocus Pitstop
Enfocus Instant PDF
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator

Courses may be purchased individually or as components of a library subscription at a price of $300 per user.

Penn Foster Career School

In a distance-learning program estimated to require six months to complete, Penn Foster (www.pennfoster.edu) offers a course in Desktop Publishing and Design tailored to those seeking to begin a career working in-house at advertising agencies, corporations, universities, and other venues in need of DTP professionals. The total price for the course is $1,198 with payment plans available. The curriculum includes:

hands on experience with Adobe PageMaker
modules on layout, the elements of design, illustrations, and printing
planning and designing single and multi-page documents
placing and sizing art in documents
creating online documents

Serebra Learning Corporation

Serebra Learning Corporation offers its "Microsoft Publisher 2002" class on CDs for $149.95 and online with a one year license for $82. The content is basic for users with a need to easily create professional-looking publications. Topics covered include:

identifying features of the Publisher interface
creating a personal information set
identifying methods for creating publications
creating and using text boxes
inserting and modifying photos
inserting pages

Other DTP offerings in the Serebra catalog include:

Basics of Publisher 2000
Microsoft Publisher 2003
Using Publisher 2002

Universal Class

Universal Class (www.universalclass.com) offers "Desktop Publishing with Word - Beginners" for $20. The class focuses on creating newsletters in Word and includes:

paragraph formatting and the use of drop caps
understanding and using fonts
incorporating graphics and lines
formatting headers and footers
using page borders

The course material is primarily targeted for users of Word 2002 (XP) but can be modified to Word 2003 as the current instructor is conversant in both versions. Students are assumed to possess a basic working knowledge of Word.

Virtual Training Company

"Professional Desktop Publishing for the PC" by the Virtual Training Company (www.vtc.com) teaches students to integrate CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe PageMaker. Topics covered include:

business cards
letterhead and envelopes
magazine and newspaper ads
limitations of laser printers and inkjets
vector vs. bitmap formats
color modes

The individual course may be purchased on CDs for $99.95 or this and other offerings can be accessed online for a fixed price of $30 a month. Other VTC titles include:

Adobe Acrobat (individual courses for versions 5-7)
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Pagemaker 7
Adobe Photoshop (multiple classes)
QuarkXPress (individual courses for versions 4-6)
Scanning and pre-press
Desktop Design


For an annual fee of $149, subscribers at WorldWideLearn.com have unlimited access to more than 525 online training courses. The site's desktop publishing offerings include:

Microsoft Publisher 2000 Introduction
Corel Ventura 8.0 Introduction
QuarkXpress 4.0 for Windows Introduction
Adobe Illustrator 6.0 Introduction Reference Guide
Scanning for DTP

Online DTP Offerings Growing

The courses listed here are but a representative sampling of the online desktop publishing instructional offerings currently available. New and updated classes appear regularly to keep apace with evolving software versions and other improvements in the field. Consequently, online courses are not only excellent for the novice, but are a valuable resource for existing DTP professionals seeking to stay abreast of cutting edge developments or to broaden their skills to different software or skill sets. Thanks to these distance education opportunities, the growing field of DTP consulting is available to anyone with an Internet connection and the discipline to tackle the core concept and principles of the process.

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