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PDF file submission help - Document construction

 

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Document Construction Choosing Software
• We strongly recommend publications be produced using software dedicated to page layout, such as In-Design, QuarkXPress, or the Adobe Creative Suite.
• Different packages have varying strengths and weaknesses. Some are more difficult to master than others. Matching the type of publication you plan to produce to the appropriate software package will make the entire process more successful.
• Many high-end typesetting systems support PostScript, as well as now support the PDF standard, and some can be used to produce imposition-ready files. If you are unsure about the compatibility of your system with electronic imposition, you should submit a test file to your printer or service bureau.
Using Software
Some of the features offered in page layout programs can include:
• Master pages and templates on which to place repeating items such as running heads, footers, folios and guidelines.
• Control palettes that give the precise mathematical coordinates of any item on the page. A 4-point "bounce" won't be noticeable on a computer monitor, but will become very evident when imposed electronically and very costly to correct at that point.
• Style sheets to establish a publication library and keep font usage consistent.
• Picture and story libraries to manage importing and updating of graphic files and text.
• Automated table of contents and index creation and updating.
• A variety of drawing and image control tools including rules, frames, tints, cropping and scaling.
Taking advantage of these features will help automate the production process and maintain consistency throughout the publication.
Manage Fonts Responsibly
• Use the actual face (Times Bold) rather than applying "Bold" to Times Roman from the style menus. This will avoid "bolding" an already bold style (which will occasionally revert it to the light version of the same face!) or italicizing a face which has no italic printer font.
• If you use TrueType fonts, make sure there are no license restrictions with regards to embedding the font within PDF files.
• Some applications build different width tables for different printing environments. If you are proofing on a non-PostScript printer you still need to have a high-resolution (Postscript level 2 or 3) printing environment defined. Kerning and tracking may not reproduce as nicely on your proof pages, but line endings and page breaks will be consistent with the final film output. Changing environments to produce the PostScript file often results in reflowing text.
• If PostScript, or PDF files are produced on different computers, or the font list has been changed between files, what printed as Palatino in the first file may print as Zapf Dingbats in a later file! Some applications number fonts at the beginning of each PostScript file according to what is available on the workstation, then refer to those numbers rather than the font name.
• Purchase fonts from a high quality source such as Adobe. "Bargain" packages generally won't reproduce as well as their more intricately and expensively designed counterparts, and in some cases may not image at all.
• Most imaging services support the Adobe Font Library, but if you are using non-Adobe fonts (Bitstream, Font Company, etc.) or specially created or altered fonts, you will need to make arrangements to supply those fonts in some format acceptable to your printer or service bureau.
Manage Graphics Responsibly
• Never use the "hairline" setting for rules or borders imagesetters will reproduce a rule which is almost invisible and completely unprintable.
• Avoid the "paint" pattern fills available in FreeHand, PageMaker and some other programs. These were designed for screen representations and low-resolution dot-matrix or laser printers and will either image incorrectly or not at all at high resolutions.
• Don't use "white" boxes to cover up unwanted elements edit the art or recompose the text. Covered data may be invisible on-screen, but still exists in the file and can increase file complexity to the point that it may not image at all.
• You can use low-resolution scans as FPO art for proofing purposes, but make sure you replace them with high resolution images before generating Postscript or PDF files.
• Beware that what you see on your monitor (72 ppi), the proof from a laser printer (typically 300-ppi), and printing plates produced from a 2400-ppi platesetter are not the same. When choosing screen tints, type faces, etc., refer to a printed sample book or have a test file imaged at high resolution first to avoid disappointing results.
• Keep color names consistent between imported graphics and the page layout program to prevent unnecessary plate output and incorrect color separations.
• Don't forget to include fonts used in imported graphics in your document font list.
Organize Your Files
• Use naming conventions that will make sense to whomever is looking at them. For instance, a file titled "My Book" might mean something to the author but tells the operator nothing about where it belongs in the book. "MyBookCH1pp23" provides the details needed to correctly place the file in the imposition sequence.
• Support files should also be clearly labeled, as in "CH1.TIF" or "CH1pp26logo.EPS."
• If you are sending a variety of files (PDFs, PostScript, application, graphics, etc.), they should be placed in different files or directories and clearly marked. No Duff Stuff will always try to use the PDF files supplied first, then Postscript, then the application files. If we must use application files to produce a print ready PDF file, a surcharge may be added.
• Please supply a single postscript, or single PDF file for the text. Multiple files submitted may have a surcharge added to combine them into a single file. The suggested way of combining PDF files is with the use of Adobe Acrobat Professional
• Compressed or archived files should be identified as such, with directions for decompressing or restoring provided.

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