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Amber Gauthier
August 03, 2017

Online Printing Services PDF File Checklist

Online Printing Services PDF File Checklist header image

Our prices and times are based on you providing error-free, print-ready files. Correcting file errors may cost extra money and time. Take a few minutes to check your files using our handy online printing services checklist! Download the white papers throughout to learn about how to correct the problem itself.

Correct image resolution for online printing

1. Bleed, Trim & Safety

There are three main elements to know when setting up a document with a bleed. They are the bleed line, trim line, and safety line. If you plan on creating more printing projects in the future, bleed should be at the top of your online printing checklist.

Bleed Line

Bleed = 1/8” (.125)

One important custom printing term to know is a bleed. Bleed refers to an extra 1/8" (.125) of image that extends beyond the trim area of your printing piece. The project is printed on an oversized sheet that is cut down to size with the appearance that the image bleeds off the edge of the paper.

Trim Line

Trim line indicates where to trim the printed sheet or where the edge of the paper is to ensure that the edges of the printed document are printed correctly. Similar to register or crop marks. The trim line is the final document size.

Safety Line

The safety line or inner margin is the area in which to keep all important elements (text, logo, and/or content) within to prevent them from trimming off. All important elements should be at least 1/8" (.125) inside the edge of the trim line. The cutting of your printed piece is done in large stacks and may vary from the top and the bottom of the stack.

Free Templates

Download White Paper: Adding Bleed


2. Page Count

We prefer that any booklet files be sent as single pages, not spreads. In your files, page 1 should be the front cover and the last page should be the back cover (see below).

Example for an 8 Page Document:

  • In the image below, Page 1 is the Front Cover
  • The Inside Front Cover is Page 2
  • The last page is the Back Cover, Page 8.

page count for an 8 page booklet

Download White Paper: Page Count

3. Accepted Files

accepted file typesThe preferred file format is a PDF file but we will accept  native files from these applications:

  • Photoshop (.psd)
  • llustrator (.ai or .eps)
  • InDesign (.indd)
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Word
    • If any Microsoft Word document is submitted, we require that you also submit a printable PDF document with your order.

We prefer PDF files but also accept .TIFF, .JPEG, .INDD, .PSD, .AI and .EPS file types. If you're working in a program not mentioned above, files must be exported as a PDF.

Download White Paper: File Formatting

4. Image Resolution

high resolution images vs low resolution imagesFile and/or image resolution should be set at 300 dpi to ensure that the final document is not pixelated (fuzzy) when printed.

Enlarging an image will lower the resolution while reducing an image will increase the resolution. Enlarging an image in a layout is NOT recommended. Images that are less than 300 dpi could reproduce poorly looking fuzzy or pixelated.

Images from the internet are not recommended, as most images are only 72 dpi.

An unfavorable image cannot be resaved as a different type of file. For example, you cannot place a gif file in Photoshop and resave it as an EPS file. This does not change the compatibility of the file. If you have to use low-resolution images we will print only after you consent to the quality.

Download White Paper: Image Resolution

font & transparency5. Font & Transparency

We recommend that all transparencies be flattened before file submission. We also ask that you set your fonts to outlines prior to file submission. Not flattening or outlining fonts can cause some items to fall off during file preparation for printing. Any files submitted without these things being done may result in items dropping out from your artwork during the conversion process needed to prepare your artwork for printing.

Download White Paper: Packaging Files Our prices and time frames are based on ordering online and providing error-free, print-ready files. File errors or extensive design edits may incure additional charges and/or delivery dates cannot be guaranteed. Ensure your files are correct before submitting them by following the requirements listed in the pdf file checklist above!

Request Free Samples      Get Started!      Free Templates

Download Our White Papers for More Information:

Bleed Page Count File Format
Image Resolution Packaging/Embedding Fonts



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