Newspapers use a variety of computer programs to design both physical and digital editions. Newspapers need design, photo adjustment and website software as well as routine office programs. Most newspapers use Macintosh systems, because key design programs tend to run better on Macs.
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Mac vs. PC
Publishing companies have traditionally relied on Macintosh systems. According to Consumer Research Magazine, Macintosh computers offer superior graphic design and publishing options. This is because Macs offer flawless "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWIG) printing. That means a printout looks exactly the same as the image on the computer screen.
Newspapers and magazines use desktop publishing software to arrange stories, photographs and other graphics. The two main options are Adobe's InDesign and QuarkXPress. The original desktop publisher, Aldus PageMaker, could not compete with Quark in the 1990s. Adobe purchased Aldus and released InDesign as an alternative to Quark.
Consumer Research notes that Adobe Photoshop runs better on Macs than PCs. Since photography is at least as important as copy, newspapers and magazines need reliable graphic processing software. Most newspapers use Mac in all departments to avoid compatibility problems. Columbia University's Journalism School, for example, recommends that students who will be doing design work use Macs.
Reporters can write stories in the InDesign and Quark story editors, but both programs allow designers to import stories from Microsoft Word and other word processors. This allows reporters to write stories in traditional word processing programs.
Nearly every newspaper and magazine has an Internet presence. Newspapers that can afford a professional web designer can create custom pages with programs like Dreamweaver and Fireworks. Other publishing houses use hosting and design services like Movable Type and WordPress. Still others rely on speciality hosting services like townnews.com.
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