It is notable as the first affordable DTP program. In appearance and operation, it was a Ventura Publisher clone, but it was possible to run it on a computer without a hard disk.
The TOS version of Timeworks relied on the GDOS software components, which were available from Atari but were often distributed with applications that required them. GDOS provided TOS/GEM with a standardized method for installing printer drivers and additional fonts, although these were limited to bitmapped fonts in all but the later releases. GDOS had a reputation for being difficult to configure, used a lot of system resources and was fairly buggy, meaning that Timeworks could struggle to run on systems without a hard disk and less than 2MiB of memory - but it was possible, and for many users Timeworks was an inexpensive introduction to desktop publishing.
Version 2 of Timeworks Publisher included full WYSIWYG, paragraph tagging, manual control of kerning, text and graphics imports and more fonts.
In the US, Timeworks Inc. marketed the program as Publish-It!. Released in 1988, there were versions available for IBM PC (running over the GEM Environment), Apple Macintosh, and Apple II (Enhanced IIe or better) computers.