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Preparing Files for Your Printer

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 8:00 am by Henningd 1 Comment

FONTS – (Importance of this step is commonly misunderstood)

  • Send all fonts that are used with each job, including EPS graphics. (Graphics can also be handled by converting all type to outlines within the EPS).
  • Organize all fonts in one folder
  • Copy the entire contents of the typeface folder from the manufacturer;
  • (Do not mix type faces in the same suitcase it can create conflicts)
  • When sending Postscript Fonts, supply both screen and printer portions
  • Send the screen fonts in suitcases (removing them can create conflicts)


  • Files should be built to trim and drag the bleed items off the page an additional .125” for text pages (.25 for perfect bound covers)
  • Account for short folds/trims (ex. Tri-fold brochure; the 3rd panel is short to fold in clean)
  • Avoid using “Facing Pages” on single-page documents or prefect bound books.
  • Using the stylized version of the font to create “bold” and “italic” etc.; the “style palette” in the application does not always have an equivalent printer font and will not print properly.
  • Name spot colors consistently across applications
  • Edit color menu:  uncheck “Spot” for custom or PMS colors that convert to a process build
  • Delete any unused colors from the color lists
  • Include marks to indicate fold or perforation areas
  • Open the output document(s) from the media you’re sending and make sure all placed elements are linked


  • Avoid “hairline” rules and use .25 instead (“hairline” uses the resolution of your screen for a measurement so the size may very at output)
  • Avoid setting white type to “overprint” – the text will be transparent when imaging to plate.
  • Use photoshop when possible to scale, crop and rotate images (can save processing time in quark)


  • Supply all fonts used in graphics or convert them to outlines within the application
  • Delete unused colors within EPS files
  • Supply “placed” images, even if they are embedded
  • Supply the native document if the EPS file is un-editable


  • Be sure high resolution 4/color images are CMYK mode (avoid RGB)
  • Scale images within 50% of original size (avoid <50% or >150%)
  • Consider import size when determining input scan resolution:
    • 4/color scan (CMYK) – 300ppi (pixels per inch) or 120 ppc (pixels per centimeter) at 100%
    • Halftone scan (Grayscale) – same as above
    • Linework scan (Bitmap) – approx. 1200ppi @ 100%; if possible scan @ 600ppi and convert to a vector EPS using Streamline
  • Spot color handling:  Mono, Duo, Tri or Quadtones – convert the image to grayscale and apply the desired color(s) in the Duotone mode menu item in Photoshop


1 Comment on "Preparing Files for Your Printer"

  1. Nisha Huffstutler · May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am · Reply

    Hello.This post was really fascinating, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this matter last Wednesday.

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