How should I save my files for print output?

Preparing digital files properly for print is different than for the web. In most cases, a Press Quality PDF (Portable Document Format) file is desirable. In all cases, the following parameters are best practices:

  • Color Space: CMYK
  • Bleeds: 1/8″ (0.125" or 3mm) on all sides
  • Resolution: 300 dpi (Graphics and images pulled from the web are typically low-res at 72 dpi and will print poorly.)
  • Fonts: Convert to outlines, embed in file, or supply us with all fonts used in your file.
Adobe InDesign

Export to a PDF file from directly within the application. If we will need to modify your file, use the “Package” feature for bringing to a commercial printer. This will collect all assets (fonts, graphics, etc.) so we shouldn’t have a file conflict on our end.

Microsoft Publisher

Once again, PDF files are the most convenient for commercial printing. You can also use the “Pack and Go” feature found under the “FILE” drop-down menu. Be sure to embed your graphics and include the links. This will create a compressed file that we can then expand on our end, with all file assets intact. Because some fonts have licensing restrictions, they may not transfer properly.


Export to a PDF file from directly within the application.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a text editor, not suited for design layouts. Also, it restricts the file to an RGB color space, which means colors will shift when printed. It is best to save your Word files as a PDF to avoid formatting corruption, color changes, etc.

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