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FILE PREPARATION


Fonts

Adobe postscript fonts are supported by ROP, and we urge you to use them as they are predictably the most reliable fonts on the market. Missing, or incomplete fonts that are not embedded (ps or pdf files) are the number one reason for a file being delayed for output. Using the correct version of the font instead of stylizing your font (bold, italics) is also important. There is information in each font that tells a printer whether it's allowed to alter the basic font to get the style you've chosen. It can forbid the obliquing of a font when you use the italic style, while it can allow a bold derivative through smearing the existing font. ROP recommends not to use styles at all. The results can be unattractive or the style can be dropped in the ripping process completely.

Fonts should never be renamed, when you go to print the computer will not be able to find the printer font and therefore cannot print your file correctly.

Multiple Master Fonts/Master Design are postscript fonts. These fonts define the extremes in one or more categories, such as weight or width. Multiple Master fonts can be manipulated to create new fonts only in programs that "understand" them.

True Type is like postscript, an outline font format; it's files contain mathematical descriptions of the shapes of letters, that can be drawn at any size and resolution. True Type fonts take more room on your hard drive (about double), and a lot more memory to process. True Type fonts often don't mix well withs postscript fonts.

Postscript Fonts are described mathematically as outlines, which the interpreter in the postscript printer draws and fills in. Postscript fonts are the industry standard and also give the best display for how your job will print.

Open Type or Open Face Fonts are soon to be released it will likely become the standard for our industry. Open Type promises to solve cross platform font problems. We will see.

AFM Files(Adobe Font Metrics) are files that come with each of your fonts, the afm file contains information that describes font dimensions. Programs now don't use or need the afm file.

Graphics in Photoshop

All graphics should be linked not embedded. If you embed the graphics ROP will be unable to correct any faulty graphics i.e. RGB images, incorrectly saved graphics.

Images should be saved in tiff or eps fomat, and in CMYK or grayscale mode. Four color images need a minimum resolution of 200 dpi when placed at 100% and printing at 100 lpi. Whenever possible scaling or rotating should also be done here also instead of in the page layout program.

Tiff format, a dialog box will appear asking IBM or Mac format witha box at the bottom asking if you want LZW compression. Do not check the LZW compression box. When this box is checked it compresses the file, and when the file is ripped, it has to uncompress the file and that adds to processing time and/or can sometimes error the file.

EPS format, a dialog box comes up that says include transfer functions, include halftone screen, Postscript color Management; do not check any of these boxes.

Include transfer functions will transfer any extra channels (alpha channels) which can make your image print incorrectly.

Include halftone screens will include any preset line screens in your document to the page layout program. Quark or PageMaker will not override these line screens on output, ie If your Photoshop document has a present line screen of 35 lines and you check the include halftone screens box, when your job is output to film, the Photoshop document will be 35 lines and the rest of the document will be 100 lines.

Photoshop file format, If you have an image that was created with multiple layers and is saved as Photoshop file format, you should also send this file in the event any changes to that image are necessary.

JPEG's and GIF's are compressed formats. Each time they are opened and saved the quality of the photo is lost. JPEG and GIF formats are not adequate for printing and should not be used.

Graphics in Illustrator and Freehand

Illustrator and Freehand files should be saved as EPS's. In freehand it should be saved as an editable EPS in case corrections are needed, and Illustrator as an EPS (which is editable also) not an Illustrator document or pdf. All imported graphics should be linked not embedded.

When Freehand and Illustrator graphics are placed in any page layout program, the fonts that are used are not listed in the page layout program. It is imperative that these fonts are also included in your package to ROP.

Both Freehand and Illustrator have a function that will convert all text to outlines. In Freehand it is 'Convert to paths' and Illustrator has 'Create Outlines'. The advantage of this function is that you no longer have fonts in your art you have paths. The disadvantage is if type corrections are needed we will need to know what font it was in order to make the corrections.

Color

Use Pantone spot colors and CMYK builds for all colors in your page layout program. Do not use RGB or HLS colors. Metallic and fluorescent inks cannot be printed on open web press.

Collecting for Output

Quark Xpress has a feature called "Collect for Output". It will gather all your graphics that are placed in the document, and put them into a new folder designated by you. It will not gather up the necessary fonts, however it will give you a report that lists all graphics and fonts used. With this report, you can use it as a check-off for gathering your fonts, (printer and screen). This report will also tell you what fonts were used in placed graphics.

PageMaker has a plug-in called 'Save for Service Provider'. It will also gather your graphics and your fonts and put them into a designated folder. The report will also tell you what fonts were used in placed graphics.

A useful tool for preflighting and sending your job is Flighcheck by Markzware. Its cost is about $350.00 and can make sending your file extremely easy.

Flighcheck will diagnose your file and let you know if any of your images are RGB, which means they will not print correctly, if any images cannot be found or are not at an acceptable resolution, what 'type' the images are placed as (eps, tiff, jpeg), if fonts are missing, and it will gather everything your document needs to print correctly including the screen and printer fonts.

ROP uses this same tool when we receive each job. If Flightcheck was used before we received the job it would cut down on the time it takes to process and may prevent rescheduling of jobs due to waiting on missing or incorrect items.

Submitting laser proofs

ROP requires hard copy proofs (composite and separations) for each page to assure our output is correct, and matches yours. Running out separations will show us the proper separation of color.

Postscript Files

Providing a postscript dump of your files can be used as an effective way of reducing the cost of prepress services. These files must be thouroughly prepared as they are un-editable.

If postscript dump is the way in which you want to supply your files to ROP we will provide you with our print driver, if needed and info on how to postscript your files for correct output. Postscript files can be very large and therefore may need to be broken up into sections.

PDF Files

PDF files are more efficient than postscript dumps. PDF files are smaller in size and are a cleaner, more stable file. Fonts and graphics aren't an issue because they are embedded into the file, if it is done correctly. ROP can provide samples of what the settings should be in Acrobat.

A quick check to make sure your fonts are embedded is to turn off all your fonts on your computer. Open your pdf file and print your job to your printer. If you get a font error, they are not embedded.

PDF files must always be composites. We will not accept separated ps or pdf files.

PrePress Services

File Preparation

Transferring Files

Digital Checklist

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