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Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web

The DTP Forum was founded on CompuServe in 1989 and became independent in January 2005. December 12, 2007 was our 18th anniversary.

The forum is managed by Kathleen Tinkel, Ann Clarkson, and Elyse Chapman.

Forum rules

The Desktop Publishing Forum exists for the exchange of information on any and all aspects of publishing, in print or on the web. It is operated by a volunteer staff.

We do not have many rules — those we do have can be summarized in two lines (and are amplified in detail below):


Be polite to everyone all the time. Debate is good. Insults, personal attacks, name calling, obscenities, profanity, and other types of rudeness are unacceptable. We are all here to ask for help and to give it, and to discuss the theoretical, historic, and pragmatic aspects of design, production, and other aspects of print and web publishing. Anyone who is not courteous to other members — which includes our volunteer staff — may be locked out or banned from the forum.

Stay on topic. If you are introducing a new subject, create a new thread. For help with using the forum software, post in How to Use the Forum. For chatting about non-DTP topics — as many of us often do — post in The Corner Pub.

Help restrain file sizes. Not everyone is on broadband. It is better to attach images (rather than embed them) and to keep signatures brief and avatars small (preferably smaller than 8K).

Quote, but briefly. It is useful to quote short passages from the message you are replying to, but please use the editor’s Quote function. This helps make threads navigable: the title will show the first few words of your reply in the thread view layout and the boxed format makes the quotation unambiguous.


Respect copyright. If you quote from published information or attach or post images from print or online sources, you are responsible for making sure you have the right to do so in accordance with United States copyright law. (For a helpful discussion on copyright and online communication, read 10 Big Myths about Copyright Explained.)

The concept of “fair use” permits limited quoting of copyrighted material under specific circumstances. However, it is more prudent from a legal point of view, more polite to forum members (because it is shorter), and generally more economical of forum resources to quote briefly, and then provide a link to the original rather than posting it.

Other no-nos. Libel is a published statement (i.e., posted online) that defames a person or group of people. Whether the statement attacks a forum member or some other person or organization, it is not permitted in the DTP Forum. Piracy is the unauthorized distribution of software (including fonts, clip art, or other graphic products), and we do not allow that either, whether by linking to another site or directly.

Advertising policy

You cannot advertise your business on the forum. If you offer a product or service related to web or print publishing, you may post a short press notice, without prices or sales pitches. The announcement should provide contact information so interested forum members can contact you if they are interested in what you have to offer.

Disclaimers to forum members

The Desktop Publishing Forum is an electronic bulletin board. Forum management and staff are not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, or legality of messages, links, or images that are posted here.

Members are free to express opinions on all the topics covered by the forum so long as postings comply with applicable laws, forum rules, and reasonably good taste. The staff reserves the right to remove any message, image, or file (including avatars and signatures) that forum management concludes violates any of these guidelines.

The forum staff may edit, re-title, or otherwise alter posted messages. Normally, this will be done to move messages to more relevant sections, correct navigation links, or make the title more effective. But changes may also be made if, in the sole editorial judgment of the staff, they are needed.

Forum management does not investigate the accuracy of information contained in messages or other postings to the forum. Nor does it evaluate the suitability or usefulness of any comments or advice contained in postings. Forum management also makes no warranties, express or implied, that files posted, uploaded, or linked to will function or be free from viruses or similar hazards.

Forum members are advised to observe caveat emptor with this (and most every other) source of opinion or advice, online or in print.

Forum management and staff, individually or collectively, and their agents, refuse to accept any responsibility whatsoever for any offer, enquiry, or contract attempted or concluded from contacts made in this forum.

Finally …

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation in adhering to the Desktop Publishing Forum’s rules and guidelines.

Participating in this forum constitutes understanding and acceptance of our rules and policies. Failure to adhere to these policies can result in being banished from the forum without prior notice. Any decision to banish a forum member will be made solely by managers of the forum.

If you have any questions about these policies or about the operation of the forum, please contact us by e-mail.