Formatting Images for Print

What do we need to print your file?


A printout that is ready for photocopying or scanning, or your original electronic file which you may submit though a USB drive or attached to an email.


Files that you create on your computer use fonts that are stored on your computer. Occasionally we do not have the fonts used in your document and we may need a copy of your fonts to install on our computer in order to print it.


When you place graphics in your document, some programs merely create a link to where that graphic is stored on your computer and show you a preview of the image, while others simply embed the image inside the file (creating a larger file size). If these links are missing the printout is bitmapped or the resolution is very low. We may request that you supply the linked files in order to give you the best quality print.

Work Order:

If we do not have a completed work order, it may delay the printing and processing of your job. These work orders give us detailed information about your job and they are used to prioritize and control our workflow.

Please call us at 626-6107 if you have any questions about preparing your file for printing.



Copiers cannot print right to the edge of a sheet of paper. To create that effect, we must print on a sheet that is larger than the finished document size. Then we print beyond the edge of the document (usually 1/8”), and cut the paper down to the document size. It is the designer's responsibility to set the bleed correctly, and it can be critical to the look of the finished piece. Due to the larger paper size needed, bleeds can also increase the cost of a printing job. Magazine covers are usually a good example of the use of bleeds.


Preparing your files with Office Applications

With word processors and Publisher, it is important to remember that your fonts don't transmit with your file and need to be sent with your file. Even with the same fonts, these file types tend to reformat whenever they are transferred to another computer. Converting your files to PDF files is the best way to ensure consistency when we go to print.

Most of these applications now have the ability to create PDF files, though Microsoft applications may require you to download an extension to make it possible. When exporting a PDF choose the "Commercial Printer" or "Copier Quality" option if possible.

If the software you're using doesn't have the option to create a PDF, you can print to a PDF file through the print command on a Mac, or by installing the CutePDF writer on a PC.


PDF icon

Preparing your files with Adobe InDesign

Exporting a PDF with Bleeds

Choose File: Export.
Specify a name and location for the file.
For Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS), choose Adobe PDF, and then click Save.
Select the "Copier" Adobe PDF preset.
Select "Marks and Bleeds" on the left and check the Crop Marks box, change the offset to .125 in.
(Marks and bleeds should have been set up in page setup first)
Next, set the bleed at .125 in. on all four sides.
Click Export (Windows) or Save (Mac OS).

Packaging your file with fonts and links

When you package a file, you create a folder that contains the InDesign document, any necessary fonts, linked graphics, text files, and a customized report.

Choose File: Package.

If a dialog box appears alerting you to possible problems, do one of the following:
Click View Info to open the Preflight dialog box where you can correct problems or get further information. Make sure that you don't have any missing fonts or broken links. When the problems are fixed begin the packaging process again.
Click Continue to begin packaging.
Fill in the printing instructions. Click Continue, and then specify a location in which to save all packaging files.
Select the following: Copy Fonts, Copy Linked Graphics, and Update Graphic Links In Package.
Click Package to continue packaging.

If you like to submit your packaged file through email, you'll need to create a .zip file. On a PC, right click the folder and choose "Send To: Compressed (zipped) Folder;" and on a Mac, right click or control click on the folder and choose "Compress" or "Archive." You can then attach this file to an email or send it using