Daily Dose of DTP

48 Days and 48 (or more) Lessons for Learning Desktop Publishing

Learn desktop publishing one or two words at a time and one rule at a time with this free desktop publishing class. Available as an email course also, below you'll find the online version. It's designed to be read one day at a time for 48 days. Of course you're free to read as many or as few lessons each day as you want. The numbers refer to the day of the lesson in order from day 1 to day 48.

This is an introductory class designed primarily for those with little or no experience or training in desktop publishing and graphic design. The Daily Dose of DTP is not a hands-on how to do desktop publishing course. However, once completed you will have a much better understanding of the desktop publishing process which will make future classes and other tutorials on this site easier to understand.

General Concepts

There are 4 lessons in this section that focus on defining desktop publishing and related terms. You'll find definitions, trivia, and extra credit articles that allow you to dig deeper into the subject if you want.

What is Desktop Publishing?
(Desktop Publishing, Graphic Design, & Web Design)
Paging All Designers
(Page Layout)
It's a Print!
(Printing, Printing Presses)
It's Just Fonts, Right?


Learn the basics of fonts.

Be True to Your Type
(TrueType, OpenType, PostScript Type 1)


The Art & Science of Graphics
(Bitmap and Vector)
Pictures in Print
(TIFF and EPS)
Pictures in Pixels
(GIF and JPG)

Prepress & Printing

There are 5 lessons in this section covering concepts and tasks related to file preparation and the type of printing used in desktop publishing.

How Many Colors?
(CMYK, Spot Color)
How Many Separate Colors?
Here's the Proof in B/W or Color
(Contact, Digital, Overlay, & Laminate Proofs)
PS, Check Your Toner
(Laser Printing, PostScript)
(Inkjet and other ink-based Printing)

Rules & Tasks Part 2: How a Desktop Publishing Document is Created

For these lessons we revisit everything learned previously but show how it is all connected and fits into the desktop publishing process when working on a specific document. There main focus is on becoming familiar with the steps that are involved although you're free to dig deeper into the outlines and explore all the tutorials in-depth (or come back later).

Bring Out the Designer in You
(doing graphic design)
Where the Desktop Publishing Begins
(creating your document; using the software)
It's Not What You Say But How You Say It
(working with text)
Getting Ready to Get it Printed
(prepress tasks)
Getting It Printed
(printing methods and choices)
This last lesson explains the final exam but also shows you what steps you can take to continue learning more about desktop publishing. More »