How to Properly Setup a PDF for Printing

   Need to setup a file for printing? Well, you're in luck, because creating a print-ready PDF file is easy. You only need to know a few things, check a few boxes and we'll be ready to send it to the printer. With the following steps, we'll make sure your print is aligned properly, your colors are going to replicate accurately, your resolution is going to clear and crisp, and a few more things that will help your print look perfect! Let's get started.

      You can print and create a PDF from many programs, but we're going to focus on Adobe Illustrator. This is the program we use most often here at SnooozeWorks, as it's robust enough to help us create pretty much anything we can dream up. Let's make sure your file is properly setup prior to saving.

First, verify your "Document Raster Settings". 

  • Choose Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings.
  • Set your Color Model to CMYK.
  • Set your Resolution to High (300 ppi).
  • Click OK to save.

Document Raster Effects Settings

     We've set our color model to CMYK, representing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the four main colors used in printing. Additionally, we set the Resolution to 300, as this level of resolution ensures your file will retain it's quality when printed.

Great, now, we can move onto saving the file. 

  • Choose File > Save As or File > Save a Copy.
  • Specify a name and location to save your file.
  • Select Adobe PDF (*.PDF) as the file format and Save.

     This will start the process of saving your file. You will now see a pop-up titled, "Save Adobe PDF". This is the last piece of the puzzle. After we finish here, you'll be ready to start printing.

  • Under the Adobe PDF Preset menu, select "Press Quality".
  • Select Marks and Bleeds.
  • Under Marks, Select Trim Marks, set the weight to 0.25pt, with an offset of 0.0833 in.
  • Under Bleeds, select Use Document Bleed Settings.
  • Select Save PDF.

PDF Save Settings

     We're all done! You've successfully created and saved a PDF print-ready file. Saving your file with these settings will give it a small bleed, to ensure your print covers the entire print surface, the resolution is high, and your colors will print accurately. If you have any questions, drop a comment below and we can help you out!  Until next time.

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