Preparing a Publication for the Printer

If you’re publishing a book or a magazine, you can easily prepare your files for printing using Adobe Pagemaker, Photoshop, Distiller and Acrobat. Picture and ad files are created in Adobe Photoshop. All text is done in Adobe Pagemaker. Files are converted to PDF’s with Adobe Distiller and can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat.

First, you’ll need to create and prepare your files that contain photographs or ads. If you’re creating a color ad, you’ll need to open a new file and specify your ad size and set the resolution to 200 pixels/inch and the mode to CMYK. For black and white ads, you’ll set the resolution to 150 pixels/inch and the mode to Grayscale. After you’ve finished creating your ad, you need to save it as a .tif file.

For pictures, you’ll need to open the file that contains the image. Next, you’ll click on Image and then Image Size. In the Resolution box it will tell you how many pixels/inch your file is. If it is a color picture and the resolution is more than 200, you’ll need to change it to 200. For black and white pictures, it should be changed to 150. If it is less than 150, changing it to 150 will only make your picture blurry or fuzzy when it prints. However, if the size of your picture is much larger than size that it will print, it’s possible that when you scale it down in Pagemaker it will print clear. For example, my digital camera takes more pictures when it is set on a lower resolution, but the print size of the picture is 11 inches x 14 inches. In my publication, the picture is going to be sized down to 7 inches x 5 Ã?½ inches. Even though the resolution of my picture is 72 pixels/inch, because I’m reducing it by 50 percent, it will print like it is around 150 pixels/inch, which is fine.

Most pictures that are saved off of the internet are around 72 pixels/inch. If this is the case with your picture, you can try printing the picture and then scanning it. When you scan pictures, you just need set the resolution to 200 dpi. If you need the picture to be larger than the original, you need to change the scan setting for the size that you need or bigger. You can always scale the picture down when you’re laying out your publication, but it’s not a good idea to scale up.

After checking and/or changing the resolution of your pictures, you’ll then need to click on Image and then Mode. You’ll need to click on CMYK for color pictures and Grayscale for black and white pictures. Save all your image files as .tif file types. If your printer uses a Mac, you’ll need to save the Byte Order as Macintosh.

Next, you’ll open Adobe Pagemaker and create a new file. After laying out your text for your publication, you will then add your pictures and/or ads. Click on File and then Place. Select the file that contains the image that you want to include in your publication. When asked if you want to include complete copy in the publication, you should click No. Move the cursor to where you want to place the image and click. You can right-click on the image and click on Text wrap to change the way the text wraps around your image. You can also change the size of the image by either entering the exact size you want in the Control Palette or by placing your cursor over one of the black boundary squares of the image and clicking and dragging. As I mentioned earlier, it is best to scale down and not up.

When you’ve finished laying out your publication and placing all pictures, you’ll need to print your document to a postscript file. To do this, click on File, then Print and then change your printer to your Postscript Printer. Next, click on Paper and then change the size to the correct size of your publication. Then click on Options. Change Send Image Data to Normal. If your printer has a Mac, you’ll need to change Data Encoding to Send Binary Image Data. Download Fonts should be set to Postscript and True Type Fonts. Checkmark the box beside Write Postscript to File. It will automatically fill in the File Name box for you. If you want to save the files to a specific folder, then click on Browse and select the folder where you want the files saved.

The next thing you’ll need to do is convert your files to PDF files. You’ll do this by opening Adobe Distiller. Your printer may have a Job Options file that it would prefer for you to use. If this is the case, then you’ll need to save the file in your Settings folder for Adobe Distiller. Select the Job Options file from the dropdown box or select PressOptimized. Next click on Settings and Job Options. Click the tab that says Fonts. It is a good idea to set the option for When Embedding Fails to Cancel Job. If embedding does fail, you’ll need to change the settings for Font Locations and add the folder where the fonts are located.

Now you’re ready to convert your files. You’ll click File and then Open. If your publication has more than one page, you should have a file for each page. Select the first postscript file and then click Open. Another box will come up asking you to save the PDF file. Select the folder and change the name of the file, if needed and then click Save. Repeat this process for each postscript file.

Your PDF files are now ready for the printer.

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