Additional software – DTP, fonts and clip art

Desktop publishing software (DTP) allows you to design page-based products with greater ease than working with word processing applications – however powerful the text processor. With DTP applications, you can handle images and enter flexibly and fluently. Microsoft Publisher (PC only), Serif Page Plus (PC only) and Appleworks (Mac only) are inexpensive and suitable for basic publishing needs, such as newsletters, short brochures, or simple books printed on ink jet or laser printers. Consider QuarkXPress, CorelDraw or Adobe InDesign (all PC and Mac) for professional work.

A good collection of carefully chosen fonts helps distinguish your presentations from others – look for elegant faces that complement your design and avoid using standard surfaces like Times, Helvetica and Arial. Don’t use typewriter-like (so-called mono-spaced) fonts like Courier unless you know what you’re doing. Fonts are cheap to buy and many hundreds are available for free or at very low cost. For work intended for book publishing, high quality fonts are important to give the text a clean look. A font management tool, such as Font Reserve or Extensis Koffer, is inexpensive but invaluable for handling large collections of fonts.

Fonts for web-based work must be selected not only on design criteria but also with legibility in mind, especially when used in dense text. For this, Verdana or Georgia are good choices as they remain legible down to quite small sizes.

If you need a simple illustration – for example, a phone, road sign or animal symbol – it may be quicker and easier to use or change an already created one. These clip art collections are very cheap – the biggest problem you have is choosing from the myriad of choices available.