Preparing a File For Commercial Printing using Microsoft Publisher

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1 Preparing a File For Commercial Printing using Microsoft Publisher Microsoft Publisher was built for casual home use and is setup to print on a home inkjet printer using the default Windows RGB print drivers. While this will work for a standard desktop printer, it presents several challenges when it comes to preparing files for commercial printing. To get the best quality out of Publisher and reduce your prepress costs, we suggest that you follow the guidelines listed below. Example of a well organized Publisher job folder. Sending us your files like this will make printing your job easier and safer. 1. Upgrade to newer versions. Newer versions of Publisher (2007 and later) handle high end output much better than older versions. 2. Fix the colorspace on your file. Publisher uses RGB color by default. While this will work for home printers and process color printing, this is completely wrong for spot color jobs. Change the color settings to use Spot or single color printing if your job is quoted to print that way. 3. Check and Include your images. Always embed or include the images used in your files. 4. Send the fonts used in the file. If you choose to embed the fonts in your Publisher file, check carefully to make sure that they are really being included. Some common Windows fonts cannot be embedded because of licensing restrictions. If you are using one of these fonts, you will need to send the separate font files or switch to a different, embeddable font. If fonts aren t sent and can t be embedded, the text used in the document will reflow sometimes with disastrous results. 5. Proof your files carefully. Check your work to make sure it prints as you expect. If your files don t print with the correct colors and fonts for you, they won t print that way for us. These files often require extra prepress work that can increase your costs or delay your job. 6. Send print-ready PDFs (Optional). When properly set-up, PDF files can avoid many of the production issues Publisher presents.the end of this guide contains PDF creation info, or feel free to Contact J.S. McCarthy Tech Support with questions about PDF creation. Older versions of Publisher produced the best results when working with separate links. Publisher 2007 and later can work fine with embeded images. Every image used should either be embedded or have a corresponding link here. All of the fonts used in your file must either be embedded in the Publisher document or saved in this folder. REV 09/ , J.S. McCarthy Printers

2 Color Settings Color problems are a major issue when trying to use Publisher for commercial printing work. The latest versions handle color better than older versions, though they still have some problems. Pick the correct colorspace when you start the job It is very important that you set the Color Printing settings in your file to match the way that your job will actually print. Ideally set this before you design your job. That way you will see how your job will look when printed, instead of seeing it as it looks in RGB on your monitor. Leaving this set to the default may cause production delays on spot or single color jobs as the issues are worked out and could lead to surprises when you get your proofs back. Select Tools > Commercial Printing Tools > Color Printing. Pick the correct setting for the type of printing you will be doing. If you are printing with a single color or CMYK process colors, this is all that is necessary. If you are printing with spot colors, proceed to the next page to limit the number of spot colors Publisher uses in your file. Any Color (RGB) This is the default setting, it works for web pages, home inkjet printers and in process color jobs (if files are automatically converted to CMYK during processing). NEVER use this setting for spot color jobs. Single Color This mode is best for jobs that are printing with a single color. Usually this is black, but it can be set to any single spot color ink. Spot Color If your job is going to print using multiple Pantone or spot color inks, pick this setting. You will probably need to change the total number of inks used in the color tab (see the next page). Process Colors (CMYK) If your job is quoted to print as Process (CMYK) you may choose this setting or keep the job in RGB. The default RGB to CMYK conversions settings in Publisher don t always produce the best results so it may be better to leave the files as RGB and convert later in Acrobat. Process colors plus spot colors If your job is quoted to print with CMYK inks plus one or more separate spot colors you should choose this setting. You will need to go into the color tab to pick which inks print on a spot plate and which are converted to Process. For more information about the differences between RGB, Spot and Process color, see JSM Technotes 5 on our website. 2

3 Fixing Spot Colors If your job is printing with spot colors, you need to check the inks and colors being used. Because of the way that Publisher deals with RGB color, it is possible to end up with a half dozen extra inks when converting to spot color. The extra colors must be removed before printing plates are made. 1. Delete Extra Colors Delete the extra colors by clicking on the submenu arrow next to each color name and choosing Delete. Unused colors will disappear, while used colors will bring up the Replace Ink dialog Replace Extra Colors. If the Replace Ink dialog appears, it means that the color you have tried to delete is in use and needs to be replaced with another color. Pick the spot color that is closest to the one you want to print. In this example we kept Spot Color 2. At the bottom of the window, you have the option to Maintain luminosity or Keep tint percentage. Choose which ever one most closely matches the original color. Usually, luminosity will do the best job unless you are trying to maintain an exact tint percentage. Continue until you have removed all extra spot colors. In the examples shown here, the job is quoted to print with two spot colors, so all other colors except for Spot color 1 and Spot color 2 will be removed. 3. Fix spot color names (if necessary) If you would like your job to use specific Pantone colors, you may redefine the color to print in an official Pantone ink. a) Click on the side menu and choose Change. b) Click on the Pantone tab and pick the correct Pantone Color type from the pulldown menu. This will usually be Solid Coated. You can either pick the number you want from the color wheel or you can type it into the find field to select it. Click on OK twice to get back to the color printing tools. In this example, the ink chosen was Pantone Blue 032. Pantone tab 2 3A Pick Color type (usually Pantone Solid Coated) Type Pantone color number here to automatically select it 3B 3

4 Placing Images In Publisher The first thing to remember when working with graphics is to never copy and paste graphics from other programs. This will not give you a high-resolution image. Instead, use the Insert menu. (Insert > Picture > From File...) By default, Publisher tries to force you to embed links in your document. This is an attempt to simplify things, making it so you only have to keep track of your Publisher file and not all the associated linked pictures, logos and graphics. Older versions of Publisher would often degrade embedded images, but Publisher 2007 and later do a better job of embedding. So it s acceptable to embed images in those versions if that is your preference. Advantages to embedding Embedding copies all images into the Publisher file, which makes file management easier. If everything is embedded, you don t have to send separate tiffs or jpgs with your file. Advantages to linking Embedding images makes the Publisher file size much larger. Sometimes these larger files are more cumbersome to work with and move from place to place. Any changes made to the linked image is automatically reflected in the Publisher file. With embedded images, this is not always the case. Linked images are easier for your printer to edit. How to Link Images By default, images will be embedded. To link an image instead, choose Insert Picture and pick From File. In the dialog box that appears, navigate to your image and click once on it to select it. Next, click on the small submenu triangle NEXT to the Insert Button. A pull down menu will appear. Choose Link to File from it, instead of Insert. Your file will be placed as a link instead of embedded. Other Issues with images When placing images in Publisher it s a good idea to know some of the common problems to look out for. Resolution For color or greyscale images, the final effective resolution should be between dpi. For black and white Line art, the resolution should be dpi. Scaling an image up or down in size will cause it s effective resolution to go up (when reduced) or down (when enlarged). It s important to keep this in mind when working with images. A file that will have enough resolution to print at 3 x 5 may not have enough to print at 10 x 12 You can find the effective resolution of an item by selecting it in the Graphic Manager (Tools > Graphics Manager...) and choosing Details from the pull down menu on the left of each image name. File Format Generally, it s best to place your images in TIFF, JPG, PNG, or EPS format. Other formats like GIF, WMF, Word Art, or BMP will not always print correctly. Colorspace If your job is printing with spot colors, an image that is saved in RGB will not automatically convert to the correct spot color. You may need to select the image, right click on it and choose Format Picture. Then choose Recolor Picture and pick the appropriate spot color. When dealing with linked graphics, it usually works best to create a separate Images folder to store the graphics you use in creating your file. Simply copy your links into it before placing them into the file. When you get ready to send us the job, just send us the entire lmages folder as well as your Publisher document. 4

5 Fonts Missing or incorrect fonts are one of the most common problems when trying to use Microsoft Publisher for professional printing. For a job to print correctly we need to receive and load exactly the same fonts that you used when creating the files. Any difference in the version, format, or name of the font will cause problems. Publisher allows you to embed fonts in your document, however, font license restrictions and other technical reasons sometimes make this unreliable so it s important to double check. Never blindly rely on Publisher to embed fonts in your document. Always check each publication to make sure fonts are listed as embedded. If the font isn t embedded, send the separate font files. Finding the Fonts used in Publisher Choose Tools > Commercial Printing Tools > Fonts... This will bring up the Publisher Fonts Usage Window. Make sure to uncheck Do not embed common system fonts and Subset fonts when embedding. Check all fonts on the list carefully. Any fonts that have a may not embed tag or say no under Embed Fonts will not print correctly. If a font is listed as missing here, that missing font must be found or permanently replaced by a different one. Never send a job with missing fonts, as this will lead to text rewrap and major production problems. Write down the name of every non-embeddable font on the list. If you want to be really thorough, write down and send every font on the list. Manually copying the fonts used in Windows Go to your Start menu > Control Panels >Fonts. On some versions of Windows, this may be under Settings >Fonts. The Windows Fonts folder will open (see the example to the right). If you haven t already, create a new folder in the Files for Printer folder called Fonts. Copy all the fonts you wrote down earlier into this Job Fonts folder. The font names will change when you copy them out of the Windows Fonts folder. Don t worry about this, but be sure to COPY the fonts. If you move fonts out of the Windows Fonts folder, they will no longer be accessible to your programs. Make sure to send every problem font listed in the Font Usage window, even if they are common fonts that we probably already have. It is usually safer to send an entire font family, instead of a just a single style. You may have used the Style menu to change a font from Roman face into Bold or Italic. So if your document uses Arial send Arial, Arial Bold, Arial Bold Italic, and Arial Italic. Do not send us your entire font library, just include the font families you used in your file. COPY, don t move these fonts into your job fonts folder. When you send us your Publisher file, include this Fonts folder. 5

6 Checking and Packing Publisher Files Publisher has several built in utilities to help you send your files to a printer. To Pack and Go... Choose File > Pack and Go > Take to a Commercial Printing Service. Publisher will ask you to save to a directory or to burn to a CD/DVD. It will also run the Design Checker to look for potential problems. If any problems arise, you can click on the submenu next to the problem to see an explanation and options for dealing with it. Select other from this menu to access PDF creation settings If you choose other from the how will this publication be printed menu, you can access the PDF publishing functions shown on page 8 and automatically make a PDF for press. Pack and Go is not foolproof. It may not gather all fonts or fix issues with non-embeddable fonts, so you still must check your files carefully for problems and manually include fonts if they are not embedded. Design Checker The built in Design checker can be run anytime by selecting it from the tools menu. This will open the Design Checker toolbar. In the toolbar, you can choose the preset checks you wish to run. General design checks are optional, but you should always run the commercial printing checks. Any issues will be highlighted in the sidebar and you can fix them or get more info by clicking on the submenu next to each item. If you click on the Design Checker Options button at the bottom, you can pick the checks you wish to include. In Publisher 2010 the Design Checker and Commercial Printing tools can be found under Info in the File menu. 6

7 Creating PDFs using Publisher PDF Export When sending a Publisher job to a printer it may be easier and safer to send it as a PDF. This avoids many of the problems that occur when processing native Publisher files and can speed up the processing time required. Microsoft offers a free PDF export plugin for Office 2007 and later. If it s not already installed, you can get from the Microsoft download page, just go to and search for Save as PDF. Advantages to PDF Sending PDFs is more reliable than the standard Publisher format. There is less chance for type rewrap or missing fonts or images. PDFs are auicker (and usually cheaper) to process. A correctly created PDF will not change: what you see is what you get. Native Publisher files can sometimes change as they are moved from machine to machine. Revisions are generally cheaper to process, you fix the page(s) with the problems and send those to us again. We replace the revised pages on our workflow server. Disadvantages to PDF PDFs are not easy to edit. It s harder to make last minute type changes to PDF files so it requires you to be more careful when creating them. You need to make most corrections to your files. For a PDF to work, it must be created correctly Publish as PDF Choose File > Publish as PDF or XPS. Choose the PDF format, a place to save your file and click on the Change button 2. Choose PDF Publishing Options Select the Commercial Press PDF settings. Click on the Advanced button. Change the downsample resolution to 450 dpi for all color and greyscale images over 450 dpi. Downsample all line-art to 1200 dpi for images over 1800 dpi. Check the Design Checker Option to warn about transparency and color use. Click on the Print Options Button. 3. Change Print Option Settings Turn on all the options under Printer s Marks. Set the Page Orientation to Portrait and the Page Size to Custom. 2 The actual page size to enter depends on the size of your document. To allow for extra room for the crop marks and any bleed items, you should add one inch to each dimension of the actual size of your piece. So if you re working on an 8.5 x 11 file, you should enter 9.5 x 12. If your original is 8.5 x 14, then enter 9.5 x 15, etc. Note that this size is different from your actual document size, which should always be set to the quoted trim size. 4. Click on OK in the next two windows then click on Publish to save your PDF file. 3 7

8 Creating a PDF with CutePDF 1 CutePDF is a free program designed to make print-ready PDFs. If you don t have the Microsoft PDF export filter installed, or have trouble with it, you can also get good results using the Cute PDF print driver. For more information see the CutePDF website: First, download these installers to your hard drive. The latest can be found on the CutePDF website or from 2 Next double click on the CuteWriter.exe to start the install process. Accept the License Agreement (figure 1) and Install the program. (figures 2 & 3) The installer will quit when done. Cute PDF uses the open source Ghostscript postscript drivers. Install them now by double clicking on converter.exe. When the installer launches, click on the Setup button to install Ghostscript (figure 4). 3 CutePDF is now ready. Go to the Start Menu and choose Printers and Faxes. In the Printers window you should now see the Cute PDF print driver (figure 5). To create a PDF from any program, print to the CutePDF printer (figure 6). Choose a name for your PDF and a location to save it (figure 7). Your PDF should now be ready. Open it in Acrobat to make sure it looks correct and then send it to us for printing

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