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Swift Publisher

Preparing Your Document for a Print Shop
(using Swift Publisher)

If you decided to print your documents in a print shop, you'll probably find helpful to get some tips on how to prepare the correct design, and which format to use to meet the print shop requirements. Below you can find these requirements and tips.

Document Design Requirements

Resolution

You may want to use photos and images obtained from a digital camera, scanner or from the Internet. Resolution is crucial for high quality of the printed picture. A picture that looks all right on the screen, may have jagged edges and appear fuzzy when printed. So, your image must be at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. To check whether your image has enough resolution, zoom in on your document until 600%. If the image looks acceptable, it will look fine when printed.
If you still decided to use a low-resolution image, resize it in Swift Publisher to make it smaller — the print output quality will increase.
With Swift Publisher you get the collection of high quality images. When you use images from the Internet, make sure their quality is good enough for your work. Usually, resolution of such pictures is too low for commercial printing.

Colors

When you design your document, the colors you see on the screen are made up of the following three color components: red, green and blue (such color scheme is known as RGB). The monitor mixes these three colors to produce other colors. However, printers and other polygraphic equipment use another set of color components: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (this scheme is called "CMYK"). Consider this when designing your document — avoid using colors that are too bright, because the colors on paper may not always match those you see on the screen.

To get printed colors look like on your screen:

Preparing Your Materials for a Printing Company

File formats

Before you carry / upload your work to a printing company, find out printing companies file format preference. Almost all print shops accept materials in the PDF and TIFF formats. Swift Publisher allows you to save your design in both these formats, with the required quality (the standard for high quality printing is 600 dpi resolution). Use the File / Export menu command for this.
JPEG file format is not recommended. It loses quality because of compression. Also JPEG images usually are not sharp.

PDF and Fonts

To display and print a PDF document correctly on another machine, all used fonts should be installed on it. Otherwise, the system will try to find replacement fonts. Such fonts may look differently than on your computer. To avoid this problem, two methods are commonly used. The first, the used fonts are embedded into the PDF document. The second, all text is converted to a vector image that looks exactly like your text (no quality loss when you scale it up). Note that both methods inflate the size of PDF document. In Swift Publisher, you can use the second method. For this, activate the Convert Text to Curves option in the PDF export settings.

Passing your materials to a print shop

Once you've designed your document, save it on the disk in the required format (the filename extension — PDF or TIFF — should not be omitted). Before sending the file, compress it to decrease its size. It's especially important if you submit your design via the Internet. Compress your files using the Aladdin's StuffIt to create a SIT file, or a Zip archiver (choose the File / Create Archive menu item in Finder).

There are several ways to deliver the prepared material to the print shop — ask your company which method is appropriate for them:

Don't forget to consult your print shop for their preferred method.

Some More Tips

Text background

To make flyers, brochures and other printed production more attractive, designers use background images. If you have such background images behind text, make sure, that the text is readable. Don't make background too dark behind the black text.
In Swift Publisher, you can adjust opacity of images or tint them so they are in contrast with text.

Check spelling and punctuation

Before you send your documents to a print shop check spelling and punctuation. Some text editors can do this for you. Don't let an unfortunate misprint bring your work to nothing.

Make a hard copy of your document

Before ordering thousands copies of your document, print one to see that all is done well. This will help you to avoid mistakes. May be you will see something what you miss on the screen.

See Also

Paper Sizes and Formats Explained
Read about different paper layouts and sizes as well as quick tips for copying and printing.


Last reviewed: April 2008