1423 Desktop publishing operators and related occupations

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Lead statement

Desktop publishing operators use computers to enter copy into a typesetting system or operate typesetting output equipment to produce text that is ready to print. They are employed by firms that specialize in typesetting, commercial printing companies, publishing and printing companies and various establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments.

Example Titles

  • copy marker – typesetting
  • desktop publishing (DTP) operator
  • computer typesetter
  • markup person
  • input operator – typesetting
  • typographer
  • photocomposition typesetter
  • phototypesetter operator
  • desktop compositor
  • output operator – typesetting
  • compositor – typesetting
  • braille keyboard operator


  • terminal operator

Main duties

The following is a summary of the main duties for some occupations in this unit group:

  • Desktop publishing operators operate desktop publishing software and equipment to design, lay out and produce camera-ready copy and may perform pre-flight operator duties.
  • Markup persons mark copy with computer codes and typographic instructions before it is typeset.
  • Typesetting input operators input copy, codes or commands and subsequent corrections into typesetting device or system; operate media conversion equipment to process and format copy transmitted through telecommunications.
  • Typesetting output operators operate and tend typesetting output devices, load and process photosensitive material and perform routine maintenance.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of a college program in graphic arts, or other training in typography, computer typesetting or desktop publishing, is usually required.

Additional information

  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible through experience.


  • Graphic arts copy stylists and paste-up artists (in 52235223 Graphic arts technicians)
  • Desktop publishing operator supervisors (in 12111211 Supervisors, general office and administrative support workers)
  • Graphic designers and illustrators (52415241)
  • Pre-flight and file preparation operators (in 94729472 Camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations)
  • Proofreaders (in 14521452 Correspondence, publication and regulatory clerks)