Even though, DTP and graphic design help to make documents look more presentable, DTP is about much more than appearance. DTP, if used properly, can enhance visual communication and streamline the process of disseminating information of all kinds. The importance of DTP is that it is a tool that can enhance communication by making it possible to quickly and efficiently produce printed and electronic (online or on-screen) documents. DTP allows users to rearrange text and graphics on screen, change typefaces as easily as changing shoes, and re-size graphics on the fly, before finally committing a design to paper. Therefore, education in basic principles of graphic design are equally important to use DTP. There are a few rules that users should follow when using DTP in order to produce attractive pages that effectively communicate the intended message.
First rule is that professional typesetters, designers, and desktop publishers should use one space only to enhance readability. Double spaces are for typewriting, email, and term papers but not for DTP. The second rule is that double returns should not be used after a paragraph because it gives the text and old fashioned typewriter feel. The third rule is that fewer fonts should be used in order to maintain consistency in the project. The fourth rule is to use ragged right or full justification properly when aligning text to make the design more effective. The fifth rules is to use centered text sparingly because there are fewer situations where this type of alignment is appropriate.
The sixth rule is to make sure line length and type size are balanced because an unbalanced line of type can slow down the readers comprehension of the project. The seventh rule is to use all caps in moderation because online typing in all caps is considered shouting. The eight rule is to use proper typographical punctuation and adjust the spacing of text for the best visual appearance and professional polish of the project. The ninth rule is to use frames in moderation and consider alternative ways to group, set apart, or emphasize information to avoid cluttered pages.
The tenth rule is to avoid using too much clip art because too many pictures on a page make it hard for the reader to concentrate on what the document says. The eleventh rule is to use more white space because it provides visual breathing room for the eye. It breaks up text and graphics. Add white space to make a page less cramped, confusing, or overwhelming. The twelfth and final rule is to reset software document defaults because they are are time savers and can help the user get started faster.