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How to create a press ready PDF file?

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by Fab Cardsd32er 5424v, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Helloooo everybody.

    My printer has asked for a press ready PDF file, can somebody explain how I create one please, I use Adobe Photoshop but have not used it for anything other than web based graphics.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Hi there and welcome to the Graphic Design Forums :icon_smile:

    To answer your question, I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 so not sure if the older versions are different, however, once you have designed your artwork all you have to do is click:

    FILE at the top of your screen and then SAVE AS..., then select PHOTOSHOP PDF, then...

    At the top of the box will be a drop down menu, select PRESS QUALITY. That should be it although you must always select NO COMPRESSION from the Compression section, by default this is set to JPEG and I think Minimum Image Quality, this will really reduce the file size but you will lose sharpness/clarity in your design which WILL be noticeable when printed, so ensure NO COMPRESSION is selected. You will end up with a VERY large file size so ensure you use winzip prior to sending it.

    On another note, if you are used to working with web graphics then they will be 72dpi and most probably RGB colour, ensure your current artwork has been designed at 300dpi which is the minimum for print, if it is 72dpi then you need to start from scratch i'm afraid. You can convert from RGB mode to CMYK mode which is required for full colour print by clicking:

    IMAGE at the top of your screen and then MODE, now select CMYK COLOUR.

    If you get stuck just give me a shout.
  3. Thanks for such a thorough explanation, luckily the artwork is 300dpi but didn't know about the CMYK thing, thank you so much for your help :icon_smile:
  4. Pixels Ink

    Pixels Ink Member

    Pretty good explanation there Damon (I like the new forum name).

    I hate using Photoshop to save as PDF, I find I get glitches now and again and some alignment issues.

    If I know I'm going to have to save something as a PDF for printing I'll usually compile it all in Illustrator I'll import (place) any graphics from Photoshop then use Illustrator for the text.

    Just my tuppence :)
  5. Thanks Guys

    Only got Photoshop at the mo, on another note I have been advised that my artwork now needs a 3mm bleed, anybody got 5 minutes to explain? :icon_rolleyes:
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    The dreaded printers bleed :icon_biggrin:

    It is not possible to print all the way to the edge of a sheet of paper. To achieve this effect it is necessary to print a larger area than is needed and then trim the paper down to the required size.

    Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended 3mm beyond the cut line to give a bleed.

    For example, the finished size of an A4 leaflet is 210mm x 297mm, a 3mm bleed needs to be added to each edge of the artwork, this makes the artwork page 216mm x 303mm.

    Hope that makes sense, as always if you get stuck just give us a shout.
  7. Pixels Ink

    Pixels Ink Member

  8. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Great link Col :icon_thumbup:
  9. LovesPrint

    LovesPrint Member

    Can I ask, being new to this, why you don't use a page layout programme? Is it better quality this way? Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you!
  10. Pixels Ink

    Pixels Ink Member

    I will only use a DTP package like InDesign if I have to do a multi page job like a brochure or annual report.

    You don't get any better quality from using Photoshop / Illustrator over a DTP package (as long as your resolution is 300dpi+). it is also a matter of what people are more comfortable at using.

    Photoshop to PDF tip:

    Creating a Photoshop Press Ready PDF can often leave you with a very large file size if you have lots of layers.

    One way to cut down on this is to merge all graphical layers into one base layer and have all text layers above. This way you won't be exporting multiple image layers which bloats up your final PDF.

    You don't want to merge the text layers as you want the PDF to contain the actual font outlines for nice crisp lines.

    Hope that makes sense :icon_dunno:

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