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Preparing Files

Proper electronic file preparation is the key to a successful project. Please take a moment to review the following application specifications and tips.

Preferred applications
For best results, we recommend the following applications:
• QuarkXpress
• Adobe InDesign
• Adobe Illustrator

Avoid using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Corel Draw when creating files for eventual imagesetting – they can be problematic.

Embedded fonts and high-resolution images
If you are submitting PDF files for imagesetting, embed all fonts and be sure that the images are “high-resolution.” (Adobe Acrobat will embed “low-resolution” versions of your images unless you specify otherwise.)

Preferred files for links
Preferred files for links within QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe PageMaker include:
• EPS files, created from Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand
• TIFF format files

Do not save linked files in GIF, PICT, JPEG, or Microsoft PowerPoint formats, as these can lead to unexpected and undesired results.


Tips for successful file preparation
Our prepress department will carefully review every file you submit. We try to catch anything that might cause a problem with your project when it reaches the press. Here are some file preparation tips to facilitate the process.

Image files
Do not embed images. Save them with a link outside the document.
Do not use QuarkXPress outline features. Photos must have their own clipping paths saved as EPS files, not TIFF.
Do not use Adobe Illustrator for lengthy multi-page documents. It makes them expensive to impose.
Save Adobe Photoshop files as CMYK or Grayscale, not RGB.
The standard resolution for photo files is 350 dpi (used at the same size in the layout) for continuous tone images, and 1200 to 2400 dpi for bitmap line art.
Do not enlarge images more than 150 percent or reduce them lower than 50 percent in your layout.
Delete all extra channels and paths that are not being used in TIFF files.
In Photoshop, when you save your EPS file, there is a “choice of preview” mode. Save your preview as a Macintosh 8-bit file and not as a JPEG file.

Fonts
Use Type 1 fonts unless there is no alternative. TrueType and Multiple Master fonts can cause difficulties within trapping software.
Avoid using “style” menus to set fonts within a document unless there is no choice (e.g., use “B Helvetica Bold” rather than Helvetica which is “bolded” in the style menu).

Color
All colors should be converted to CMYK or “spot,” not RGB. Within QuarkXPress, the “process” box must be checked. It is not enough just to specify a CMYK build.
Colors within all files need to have the same names as those within the final output document or they will come out on separate plates (e.g., Pantone 300, Pantone 300CV, and Pantone 300CVU will print as three separate plates).

Layout
Build your file to the exact document trim size. If there are bleeds, allow 1/8 inch on top, sides, and bottom.
Do not build your layout into “printer spreads.” It is easier for us to impose reader single-page documents.
Do not specify rules finer than .25 point including “hairline.” Some applications allow you to define narrower rules, which will appear in a preview and may even print on a laser printer, but not show up on press.

Final tips
Be sure that you provide ALL images used in your files. Double check your Adobe Illustrator files in particular. Even if you do a “collect for output” in QuarkXPress, it may only pick up the placed Adobe Illustrator file, but not its links.
Provide lasers of your files and note if they are scaled down to fit the paper.
Indicate what program, platform, and version you are using for your files (e.g., Adobe Illustrator CS4, QuarkXpress 8.0, MacOS 10.6, Windows 7, etc.).