Acceptable graphic formats
- Submit only TIFF or EPS file formats.
- Make sure color graphic files are CMYK not RGB, including any
nested or embedded elements.
- The following are unacceptable file formats for the imagesetter
output: PICT, PAINT, RGB TIFF, RGB EPS, QuickTime, Windows Metafile.
Note: Embedding unacceptable
formats in an acceptable format does not make the resulting
file correct. Also, duotones and files with clipping paths
must be supplied as EPS.
- Supply a composite proof at 100% size of the final file provided
- For color jobs, include a composite color proof and separated
laser proofs of each color with the color indicated on each sheet.
Preparing a File for Output
- Some page programs create a link to access the image that is required
when it is output. Just because there is an image showing up in
your layout program, doesn't mean it's really there!
- Scale, rotate and crop the images in an image editing program
instead of the page layout program. Editing in an image editing
program saves a considerable amount of processing time on the RIP.
- In illustration programs, limit the number of anchor points to
the fewest possible in order to minimize ripping problems.
- Include all the screen and printer fonts used in the file, including
fonts used in embedded files.
Remove any extra versions or files that don't pertain to the job
Name all FPO images for APR with the same names as the scanned
images. If the names have been changed, the links will be broken,
and will not work.
Make sure "Tiling" is unchecked in the print dialog
box. Tiling is used for printing to a laser printer and if it is
unnoticed and is left checked, several sheets of film could be exposed
Set the line screen correctly. The default for laser printers
is 65 line screen which is not usually what you would want for the
Are the colors all set up correctly?
- You can also convert your text to outlines in the illustration
program and then import it into the page layout program.
- Don't mix PostScript and TrueType fonts. PostScript fonts are
the standard in the printing industry so stick with them. TrueType
fonts can cause many problems.
- Avoid fonts with names of cities like New York and Geneva. They
are system fonts used by the Mac OS, but they should not be used
for anything you want to print.
- Set the fonts to be bold, italic, etc. with the true font face
and not with the style palette. It may look correct on the screen,
but if the printer font is not available for that style, it will
print in Roman. Don't use bold in the style palette for a font
that is already bold. You will get uneven spacing.
Make sure the trapping and bleeds were created correctly and let
the service provider know if they are required to take care of this
Do not use "hairline" for any rules or boxes because
it will provide different results on different systems.
Use standard compression programs. Check with your service bureau
provider to see what software they use for to do their compressions.
Send the service bureau provider copies of your files and keep
the originals for yourself.
- Do you have them set to be either Spot or process and is that
the way you want them to print?
- Make sure your Pantone colors have only one name per color.
Illustrator and Quark give Pantone colors different names, creating
two separate swatches for the same color.
- Have you removed the colors from the palette that aren't being
used and have unused patterns been removed?
Imaging Request Form
Always include an "Imaging
Request Form" with your electronic file. Please
download a copy and save it. You can then use
it for each job you send out. The Imaging Request Form
includes the following information:
- Software used (including version number)
- File names
- Fonts used and font type
- Graphics used and the selected format
- Spot or process colors used
- Due date
- Contact name including business and after hours phone
numbers and e-mail address
Another method to double check that everything
is correct when sending your files to a service bureau is
to use this Preflight Checklist. Download
a copy and save it for use later.
Files can be sent to service providers with
the use of floppy disks, Syquest disks, optical disks,
Zip disks, and Jaz disks. Some providers also accept files
via the Internet, either through FTP, e-mail attachments,
or through a direct connection. Check with your supplier to
see what they can accept.
Other important questions to ask your service bureau:
- Does the service bureau use the same software that you designed
your project with and is it the same version as your software?
- What electronic services do they support?
- What font libraries do they support?
- Should the file be prepared as printer or reader spreads and who
Download Imaging Request Form.
Note: Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader will be required to read
the Imaging Request Form and the Preflight Checklist. If you do not
have one of the Adobe programs installed, click on the "Get Acrobat
Reader" icon below to download a free copy of Reader from Adobe's