How Do I Become a Paginator?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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The skills necessary to become a paginator often include a combination of earning a two- or four-year degree, becoming proficient at using industry software and developing design skills. In addition, it is also helpful to understand how to use and manipulate text and photos, select fonts and create visually appealing pages. When studying to be a paginator, it is a good idea to start a portfolio of your work in order to demonstrate your skills and abilities for potential employers, such as publishers of books, newspapers and magazines.

A paginator job applicant is typically required to demonstrate a mastery of common software used in the publishing industry. One of the first steps to take to become a paginator is to complete college-level courses to learn the skills required for the position. These skills include the ability to use a variety of computer programs used in most pagination jobs. Paginators also need to be able to successfully work with photos, graphics and text.

The ability to properly select appropriate text sizes and fonts as well as being able to manipulate their placement is important for someone seeking to become a paginator. Paginator duties often include editing text and combining a variety of fonts within a page. As paginators typically work with text, grammar skills, word usage and the ability to edit text for a particular format is helpful. Editing formats include certain editing styles used specifically for specific publications.


Learning to create and manipulate graphics and logos is another skill required for most people studying to be a paginator. Many publishers seek paginators who can create on-demand artwork, such as logos and graphs. Photo skills, from the ability to take photos to being able to make adjustments to create a desired color, contrast and tone, are also desirable skills. Photos used in the pagination process are typically required to be processed with a computer program in order to be compatible with computerized software used during the printing process.

Paginators are often accountable for the correct spelling, punctuation and usage of text on the pages they are laying out or designing. In addition to honing design skills, a person who wants to become a paginator should also focus on perfecting his vocabulary and grammar usage skills. A paginator with exceptional writing and editing skills is often a very valuable and versatile employee, as his skill set enables him to perform a variety of duties within a company.


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Post 4

@Melonlity -- learning pagination software on your own can be tough as modern software packages are incredibly complicated. I would hate to wade into that field without at least a little training. Fortunately, you are right -- newspapers train paginators regularly and get them up and running in a hurry.

For those who have pagination skills and are out looking for work, keep in mind that later night shifts are the ones most commonly open at a lot of publications. Why? People tend to dislike that shift and the turnover at most publications is high as people move on to shifts with "normal" hours. Still, the late night shift is a good place to get into the business -- you'll learn a lot and can eventually get a better shift as your skills improve.

Post 3

It is a great idea for a would-be paginator to take the design courses in college necessary to learn layout skills. However, not all paginators hold degrees in the field. They learned on their own or got a crash course in how to paginate from the newspapers that have employed them. It is not at all unusual to see a reporter make a career choice to get into the layout end of things. Papers are very good about training people quickly on how to use pagination software, the house style everyone must follow, etc.

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