DESKTOP publishing, the modern world's giant in communications, has recently established a strong foothold at the City Polytechnic - with the opening of a state-of-the-art studio. The studio serves the tertiary institution's first batch of students taking English for Professional Communication (Higher Diploma). The special facilities will enable students to be ''taken on board'' their place of employment the moment they graduate this summer. Opened in February, the $1.2 million facility has the most up-to-date hardware and software available to help students carry out high quality projects. ''The facility simulates real-world communication,'' said Bruce Ma, lecturer and the studio's manager. ''Students can produce professional quality documents, create colourful presentations, send electronic mail, do video editing or use phone and fax.'' For her final-year project - a newsletter on China tourism - Joanna Chan used a flat-bed scanner to study scenic images from publications before inserting them into her document. Adding her touch of design, Joanna had the choice of extracting fonts and clipart (drawings and photo images) from CD-ROMs, editing her drawing, and using graphics with ''Corel Draw'' or ''Harvard Graphics'' before getting the final product of a neat laser and colour inkjet printout. City Polytechnic will continue to expand and upgrade the facility. A $200,000 laser colour printer has already been ordered. A great help to second-year student Amon Yu is one highly efficient communication tool - electronic mail (E-mail). ''We are jointly organising a conference with Chinese University students on tourists' impressions of accommodation in Hong Kong,'' Amon said. ''E-mail saves us many phone calls and meetings because we can send messages to Chinese University partners in seconds.'' Final-year student Kevin Chang described what the studio's video-editing machine helped him to do. ''Our project is to make a video introduction to the Electrical Engineering Department of the Haking Wong Technical Institute. With this machine, I can duplicate, and add voice-over and background music to my tape.'' For word-processing, students have the latest Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0 at their disposal. They can also do page layout and composition with ''pagemaker'', or scan and reproduce text without keyboarding, by using ''Optical Character Reading''. Although English for Professional Communication students have a semester-long module on Desktop Publishing, they also spend time on their own to gain and perfect additional skills. ''We hope to be able to use our skills in the public relations or media industries when we graduate,'' said final-year students Hilda Leung and Kitty Sun.