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Essential Software Tools

Toolbox Overview for Desktop Publishing Software

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toolbox desktop publishing software

Selection, Text, Graphics, Magnification Tools

Desktop publishing software applications share certain common attributes. They allow the user to easily arrange, format, and rearrange text and graphics. Each program may have its own approach to these tasks but there are four basic tools found in almost all professional and many consumer level desktop publishing software programs: Selection, Text, Graphics, Magnification.

Selection
Also known as the pointer or item tool, this is the most basic tool in almost every desktop publishing application. Usually represented by an arrow, use it to select one or more objects and move them around on the page. The selection tool can also grab "handles" on frames or objects for resizing.

Text
Generally represented by the letter T or A, the text tool is used for inputting text. Select the text tool then position your cursor on the page to start typing or use it to draw a text frame (varies by program). Use this tool to select an entire text frame or to highlight text to apply formatting options (fonts, font attributes, etc.).

Graphics
Most desktop publishing software applications have some type of basic graphics tools for drawing boxes and lines or manipulating imported graphics. Symbols representing these tools include pen, pencil, rectangles, circles, and straight or curving lines. Use these graphic tools to draw rules to separate columns or boxes to set apart sidebar text. Some programs allow you to create additional shapes such as stars or put rounded corners on boxes, crop imported graphics, or apply clipping paths.

Magnification/Zoom
The magnifying glass button lets you zoom in for closer look at different parts of your document or zoom out to see the big picture.

View a larger version of the sidebar graphic showing the toolbox for three popular desktop publishing programs.

Getting to Know and Using Your Desktop Publishing Software

Learning Desktop Publishing Software
Reset Software Dcoument Defaults
Use Zoom/Magnification in Desktop Publishing Software
Use Guides in Desktop Publishing Software
Desktop Publishing Software Tutorials

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