Business Courses / Course / Chapter

Desktop Publishing & Word Processing Software: MS Word, InDesign & WordPerfect

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Martin Gibbs

Martin has 22 years experience in Information Systems and Information Technology, has a PhD in Information Technology Management, and a master's degree in Information Systems Management. He is an adjunct professor of computer science and computer programming.

Individuals who prepare academic papers, work reports, and other written documents usually use word processing software. Learn about the different types of word processing software and applications, as well as desktop publishing software and applications, including MS Word, InDesign, and WordPerfect. Understand the role of PDF files in sharing documents.

The Written Word

What if you were asked to complete your term paper using a typewriter? How long would it take you to fix errors, insert new text, or incorporate pictures? Although the days of the typewriter are long gone, replaced by multimedia files such as digital imagery and video, the written word is still as vital as ever.

In business, we still create documents consisting of texts. While thoughts of an old typewriter bring nostalgia to some, technology can not only improve productivity but also reduce errors. One addition to today's toolbox is presentation software, like InDesign, used to produce professional material for online or print distribution. Let's start by looking at Word processing software, the replacement for that old typewriter.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Presentation Software & Graphic Suites: Purpose & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 The Written Word
  • 0:51 Word Processing Software
  • 2:51 Desktop Publishing
  • 5:14 PDF Documents
  • 6:04 Lesson Summary
Save Timeline
Speed Speed

Word Processing Software

Word processing software is used to create and manipulate a text document, such as a resume or report. After keyboarding the text, the software provides tools for copying, deleting and formatting the material.

Some of the functions of word processing software include:

  • Creating, editing, saving and printing documents
  • Copying, pasting, moving and deleting text within a document
  • Formatting text, including choosing the font and bolding, italicizing and underlining it
  • Creating and editing tables
  • Inserting images and multimedia
  • Correcting grammar and spelling issues

Word Processing Applications

Currently, Microsoft Word (MS Word) is the most popular word processing software. Another program is WordPerfect by the Corel Corporation. This product is still in use, and its niche market is the legal profession, given its built-in support for legal templates. While Microsoft Word and Word Perfect are commercial software, a third program, Writer, which is part of OpenOffice by Apache, is open source and can be downloaded and used free of charge. Finally, there is Pages, which is part of iWork by Apple.

Although there are minor differences found among the different word processing software programs, they all accomplish pretty much the same thing, and the one you use is partly a matter of personal preference. However, it is also important to consider what type of software the people you normally collaborate with use. In many cases, people within the same organization will use the same software. This makes it easier to share and work on the same document together.

That said, Word processing applications allow you to change formats. Let's say a colleague created a file in iWork; they can save that document into a Doc or DocX file so you can open it in Microsoft Word.

Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing (DTP) are used to create page layouts of documents for publication in print or online. It's a way to combine text and illustrations in a way that is not possible or very difficult to do when using word processing software. For example, consider a product catalog, where the visual impact of the document is very important. While the text describing each product is important, just as important is the quality of the images and how the text and illustrations are organized on a page.

Typically, DTP software is a little more difficult to use than regular word processing software, partly because there are so many different options and design concerns to consider. Graphic designers, who create documents using a combination of images and typography, typically use DTP programs.

While word processing and desktop publishing software programs both involve the use of text and images to create documents, there are some key differences between the two. For example:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Resources created by teachers for teachers

Over 30,000 video lessons & teaching resources‐all in one place.
Video lessons
Quizzes & Worksheets
Classroom Integration
Lesson Plans

I would definitely recommend to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.

Jennifer B.
Jennifer B.
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account