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2 Copyright Vision Graphics Inc. Eagle:xm_2014 All Rights Reserved Production Notes: This How To Guide was printed at Eagle:xm location in Denver, Colorado Printed on a HP7500 Indigo Press. Cover is Endurance 111# Digital Silk Cover. Text is Endurance 80# Digital Silk Book Renderings created by David Boardman Premedia Manager, Vision Graphics Inc.

3 discover the possibilities CREATING PRINT READY PDFS ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES This guide has been created by the Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm Premedia team. By using it you will learn how to create PDF files that will be commercial and digital print-ready and of the highest quality. No smoke, no mirrors just good solid advice from the helpful, friendly people at Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm.

4 creating print ready pdfs FOREWORD Dear Valued Client: Commercial printers are changing how they accept digital documents created by customers. Because of new workflow methods, printers are bypassing native application files and asking customers to submit their documents as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. PDF/X compliant files are the new commercial and digital printing standard for Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm. The PDF/X standard eliminates many of the color, font and trapping variables that could cause printing problems. This document will help you prepare, adopt and understand the advantages of the PDF/X format. When you create documents on your computer for Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm to print you become part of our workflow. We would like to work closely with you to make sure your document is assembled according to our digital specifications. We have established parameters for dealing with digital files that will allow your files to flow easily through our system. If you do not follow our specifications and procedures your order could be delayed or costs increased. Although we will still support files in their native applications many customers will enjoy time savings and lower their printing costs by correctly preparing commercial and digital print ready PDF/X files. Our goal at Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm is to make print ordering easy for you, We don t want you to face delays or additional charges because of problematic files. We hope this document will help you in preparing correctly built print ready PDF/X-4 files and enjoy the benefits. David Boardman Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm PreMedia Manager 2

5 essential techniques INTRODUCTION You can create Adobe PDF files from almost any application, using a wide variety of settings and features. Unfortunately this also means that it is very easy to create PDF files that are unusable in a prepress environment. The solution to this problem is to define a set of rules that forbid the use of certain PDF functions that are irrelevant for printing purposes and to enforce others that improve usefulness in prepress. This set of rules is called PDF/X-4, a series of well defined subsets of the PDF standard that promises predictable and consistent PDF files. To successfully exchange these files with others and achieve the expected results, it helps to have a set of agreed-upon parameters. PDF/X-4 makes it possible for you to deliver us files ready for commercial and digital print production, knowing with the highest confidence that they will print as you intended. Please refer to the relevant sections in this guide depending on your required workflow as based upon the following: QuarkXpress Users should also reference the section dedicated to Quark. Commercial Offset Printing Use PDFX-4_2014_Vision-EagleXM_Offset parameters. PDF/X-4 is the latest variant of the PDF/X standards and supports live transparency artwork and effects, as well as layers and is becoming the standard for high-end commercial printing worldwide. Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm commercial print workflow system uses the Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) and supports processing of PDF/X-4 jobs natively, without flattening artwork or converting the file to postscript. Digital Printing Use PDFX-4_2014_Vision-EagleXM_Offset parameters. PDF/X-4 is also used for digital printing, supports RGB and flattens transparency artwork and effects. Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm digital workflow uses a HP RIP that does not necessitate flattening of transparency effects and does not require conversion of RGB images. Important: You can replicate the relevant settings shown in this guide to emulate these parameters, or you can download the settings above from us and load them into your applications and use when exporting your files. We have made them available on our website at: click on the PDF Guide then click to download the PDF preset. 3

6 creating print ready pdfs BEFORE YOU BEGIN CREATING PDF/X FILES: File preparation and preflighting Even with a PDF/X workflow, print projects are still created using programs such as InDesign and QuarkXpress. A poorly constructed InDesign or QuarkXpress document will create a PDF/X file that is just as flawed. So it is necessary to perform preliminary preflighting of the native application file before PDF files are created. InDesign provides a built-in preflight option that will check the most blatant potential errors in a document, including detecting if the fonts used are available, checking image links and color use. There are many specific preflight standalone software packages available that will check many other aspects and provide detailed reports on the condition of the files. For the purpose of this document we will focus on some specific items to check for before creating a PDF/X file from a native layout application. Images and Graphics If you are printing via commercial offset the document should contain no RGB images as it is intended to print in four-color (CMYK) process. Files that are sent to us using RGB will be automatically converted to CMYK which may cause some shift change in colors. If you are printing digitally it is OK to leave or contain RGB graphics and images. All links to placed graphics, images and text elements should be unbroken and all present. Unless it is part of a design technique use only high resolution image data - 300dpi is a good benchmark for effective high resolution printing. Most images found on the internet are 72dpi and are generally not suitable for professional printing. Resolution and image size are inversely proportional to each other. Enlarge an image, the resolution decreases; reduce an image, the resolution increases. Example: a 2 x 2 image at 300 dpi (acceptable) enlarged to 4 x 4 has a new resolution of 150 dpi (now bordering lo-res). 4

7 essential techniques This image demonstrates side by side the quality difference between the preferred 300dpi resolution and 72dpi. 300dpi Fonts 300dpi 72dpi 300dpi 72dpi Make sure all fonts used in the document or in placed graphics are available and embedded wherever possible. Do not use style buttons to create font styles (for example: bold, italic or bold italic). Designate the correct styles from the font menu only. If the styles you want do not appear in the font menu, you do not have them and cannot use or print them accurately. Although the style buttons will make them appear correct on the screen, they will not print as styles. Font with bold italic version available in font menu: 300dp abcdefghij Font with bold italic applied using style buttons, after ripping abcdefghij 5

8 creating print ready pdfs Bleeds Please make sure to include a minimum of.125 bleed on each side of your artwork. Bleed is the area of a image or graphic element that is outside of the final trim of the printed piece. Bleeding a image, graphic element or line beyond the artwork edge enables us to guillotine the finished product without leaving a white line. For example, if you want your business card background to be entirely blue, you must bleed the blue color past the edge of the final size of your business card. This prevents a white line down one or more edges of the printed card caused by very slight variations in guillotining and trimming. PDFs with missing bleed is probably the number one problem found by commercial printers when being submitted as PDF for final output. STORE HOURS MONDAY SATURDAY 9:00 AM 5:00 PM SUNDAY Kate Moore CEO Marketing cell: main: :00 AM 4:30PM 5432 MAIN STREET, TOWNSVILLE,, STATE STORE HOURS AY SATURD MONDAY 5:00 PM AM 0 9:0 SUNDAY ore Kate Mo ting ke CEO Mar cell: main: 80 4:30PM 11:00 AM 1 E 5432 AT ST ILLE,, TOWNSV, COM. ET KY RE C ST PI N ETTY 5432 MAI This business card will print and trim as expected. It meets the requirement for the minimum.125 bleed on all sides 6

9 essential techniques File Layouts Set all documents to final trim size. Create files as 1-up, single pages or single facing pages. Although files may contain multiple pages, do not build as reader or printers spreads. Good Housekeeping When using spot or Pantone colors make sure all color names are consistent. The letter codes indicate the intended paper type: C = Coated; U= Uncoated; M = Matte. Try to avoid using CV = Computer Video; and CVC = Computer Video Coated. Do not set traps, we will handle all trapping of the PDF/X files. Single pages set as facing pages, this is the best way to set up saddlestiched documents that will print as a catalog or newsletter format. If the final printed piece will be bound as a wire-o, spiral-bound or just loose-leaf. Set up your pages as single pages but NOT facing pages, then extend any applicable bleed elements beyond ALL four sides of each page. 7

10 discover the possibilities CREATING PRINT READY PDFS ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES USING ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE INDESIGN COMMERCIAL OFFSET

11 essential techniques Creating Commercial Print Ready Files using Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign 4, 5, 6, or CC The following examples show a document created using Adobe CS InDesign 6, the document was exported using the settings shown and produces a PDF/X-4 certified file that is ready for offset commercial printing. With the screen mode set to Normal, note how the document image windows have been opened up and sized accordingly to allow for necessary bleeds. 9

12 creating print ready pdfs This is how the final piece is intended to look after printing and trimming. 10

13 essential techniques When the file was exported out of Adobe CS InDesign 6, bleed and trim marks were included to allow for efficient trimming in the finishing department. 11

14 creating print ready pdfs Step-by-step the PDF/X -4 file was created as follows: Chose the export option under file, then select Adobe PDF as the chosen format and then navigate to the folder you wish the files to reside. 12

15 essential techniques Name the file, choose Adobe PDF (Print) format and select a folder to navigate to. 13

16 creating print ready pdfs A word about Adobe PDF Presets: InDesign s Export Adobe PDF dialog box offers many options. The best decision is to download the premade presets available on our website or made available through the PreMedia Department and/or your Salesperson. You could also edit an existing preset. This exercise will continue using the Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm preset, upon conclusion you will be shown the process of importing this preset or how to create your own. In the Export Adobe PDF dialog window the preset selected is the version that is available from Vision/Eagle:xm. This and the following windows will review the settings and how in general they affect files. 14

17 essential techniques Compression settings allow for downsampling of all images using ZIP compression. ZIP compression is considered lossless because it does not remove any image data. As a result, image quality is not affected but file sizes are reduced to a much smaller degree. 15

18 creating print ready pdfs Marks and Bleeds: Very important settings. Crop marks and bleeds should be set to a minimum of.125 in. This is a key step in producing files that can be used for print purposes. 16

19 essential techniques Output: Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers). Colors will be converted to destination profile space only if embedded profiles differ from our destination profile which is CMYK. Output Intent Profile Name is set to the Coated Gracol 2013 profile. This condition ensures quality proofing output from all of Vision/ Eagle:xm proofing devices which are all calibrated to G7 Certified specifications. 17

20 creating print ready pdfs Advanced: A very important setting is used here. Subset fonts. Set to 0%. This will make certain that all fonts will be embedded in the PDF and no subsetting of fonts will occur. Vision Graphics Inc/Eagle:xm Premedia Department, if needed by the client, will be able to - in most circumstances - make type edit changes to the PDF. This is very useful for those last minute changes without having to go back to the original files. 18

21 essential techniques Security: No encryption is generally needed with print output. All fields can remain as default settings. Summary: This is an overview of all the settings. Select the Export button to activate the PDF/X-4 file creation. 19

22 creating print ready pdfs Open Acrobat and display the final PDF/X-4 file. Note the crop marks and bleed displays as required. This is the file you will send for output. This is the file we will refine (RIP) and impose into the final layout per the job specifications. You can use Acrobat 8 or higher to access preflight features to verify the files meet PDF/X-4 specifications. 20

23 essential techniques Under Advanced menu, open to Print Production/Preflight. When Preflight options open, select Verify Compliance with PDF/X-4 then select the Analyze button or the Analyze and Fix button. 21

24 creating print ready pdfs The results show a successful result with no errors found. A successfully created PDF/X-4 file. Opening the document information tab reveals the PDF Version is a PDF/X-4 file. You can continue from here to make reports etc with additional information on all elements of the file. This file meets PDF/X-4 Commercial Offset Printing requirements. 22

25 essential techniques Creating PDF/X-4 files including Spot Colors, using the Ink Manager: In this version two spot colors are used, Pantone 408 U (gray) and Pantone 179 U (orange). Please note that any unwanted Pantone colors should be converted to CMYK or deleted if necessary so as not to appear in spot colors being separated. Use the Ink Manager in InDesign to do this. 4 Color Process + 2 Spots Ink Manager under the output tab controls what will or will not print in spot colors or be converted to process. 23

26 creating print ready pdfs Ink Manager lists Process and Spot Colors. To convert all existing spot colors in the file, select this check box, the file will now convert and print with process colors only. 24

27 essential techniques Loading PDF/X-4 Presets: For best results it is recommended to load the Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm Preset. Download it from our website at: click on the PDF Guide, then click to download the PDF preset. Or contact your sales person for more details. After downloading the Vision Graphics/ Eagle:xm Preset to your computer, open InDesign. Under File go to Adobe PDF Presets and go to the define option. Select the load button. Navigate to the PDF/X-4 preset file and click open to load. It will then appear listed in the options as shown. If you wish to adapt a existing preset make a selection and click the edit button. Make necessary edits and resave under a preferred name and location. Note: It is NOT recommended to save over the downloadable Vision-EagleXM PDF/X-4 preset file. 25

28 creating print ready pdfs Creating Digital Print Ready Files using: InDesign 4, 5, 6, or CC File Preparation and Considerations Before you start a design that will be output using Digital Printing methods, observe some of the recommendations that follow. Doing so will help you design a document that will generate optimum printing results. Digital Printing at Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm is on a HP Indigo Color The Indigo 7500 can produce colors that are outside the gamut of traditional SWOP offset systems. Except vivid blues, deep and bright purples and brilliant magenta. Digital printing may show slight variations in color within large areas of mid-tone tints. Color variation may also be emphasized with coated paper due to the smoothness of the paper. This is common and inherent within the Digital Printing world. Adding a texture or noise to large areas of mid-tone tints will improve color uniformity and appearance. Design with smaller areas using tints and/or design with colors that are less than 40% or greater than 70% in value. Gradients Use Postscript Level 3 format. Saturated colors generally produce the smoothest blends, however avoid creating gradients that blend from a very dark color to white. For gradients blending to white, set the SAME color to a 0% tint. Do not use white. Adding noise or a gaussian blur can improve a gradient. Images All images should be at their final resolution size of 300 dpi and placed at 100% for best most reliable results. Images should be in RGB, CMYK or grayscale color spaces. 26

29 essential techniques Additional The Indigo 7500 is designed to accept a total ink density of 325%. Basic imposition can be performed by the RIP Exporting Use PDFX-4_2014_Vision-Eagle_Offset parameters. PDF/X-4x is also used for digital printing, supports RGB and flattens transparency artwork and effects. The Indigo 7500 does not necessitate flattening of transparency effects and does not require conversion of RGB images. Important: You can replicate the relevant settings shown in this guide to emulate these parameters, or you can download the settings above from us and load them into your applications and use when exporting your files. We have made them available on our website, please go to: click on the PDF Guide, then click to download the PDF preset. 27

30 creating print ready pdfs NOTES 28

31 discover the possibilities CREATING PRINT READY PDFS ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES USING QUARKXPRESS COMMERCIAL OFFSET

32 creating print ready pdfs Creating Commercial Print Ready Files using QuarkXpress The example shown was created using QuarkXpress 8. The document was exported using the settings that follow. These settings use a premade preset PDFX-4_QXP_2014_Vision_Offset this preset is available on our website at click on the PDF Guide then click to download the PDF preset. This preset is based upon a PDF/X-3 format. PDF/X-3 does NOT support live transparency. QuarkXpress does NOT support live transparency. Therefore, the benefits of PDF/X-4 and its support for live transparencies are not at available if you use QuarkXpress as your primary page layout program. 30

33 essential techniques Importing the Preset PDFX-4_QXP_2014_Vision_Offset into QuarkXpress We advise you to use the premade preset we created specifically for QuarkXpress. Upon downloading from Vision Graphics website, load the preset into your version of QuarkXpress using the following methods. Under the Edit menu choose Output Styles. This is where premade presets are loaded. 31

34 creating print ready pdfs In the Output Styles dialog box select Import. 32

35 essential techniques Navigate to the location of the the preset and proceed to import it into the Output Styles selection. The PDF/X-4_QXP_2014_ Vision_Offset preset will now be available when export to PDF options are chosen. 33

36 creating print ready pdfs Exporting PDF files using the Preset PDF-X_QXP_2014_Vision_Offset in QuarkXpress Under File choose Export_Layout as PDF 34

37 essential techniques Choose a name and place to navigate your exported file to. Under PDF Style choose the preset that you imported in the previous steps. Select Save, then open the PDF and preview. 35

38 creating print ready pdfs NOTES 36

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