PDF Print Presets & Tips

Adobe Acrobat PDFs. A standard and complete file.

A document format that is portable.

The industry standard. Because of the many file formats that exist for design programs, and to make sure we produce the same output that you see on your computer, the printing industry has adopted the PDF file format standard. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a universal file format that can be accepted from any program or operating system (PC or MAC). For this reason, we recommend that all print files submitted to Metzgers for output be in PDF format.

We recommend saving your images to the file at a minimum of 300dpi, converted to CMYK color, with all fonts outlined and embedded.

There are many ways to create a PDF file. Please refer to the following guidelines to ensure the best possible print quality:

  1. Use Adobe Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Professional. High-quality PDFs can also be created using the Adobe PDF printer driver from almost any program.
  2. If you are using Adobe Photoshop you can create print-ready PDFs directly from that program. Otherwise, files from Photoshop can be imported into Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign and then be converted directly to PDFs.
  3. On the Mac, you can use the Adobe PDF printer driver that is usually installed. However you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional or Adobe Acrobat Standard to use the Adobe PDF printer driver.
  4. Another way to create the necessary PDF file is to select Print on your Mac computer, click the PDF button, and choose Save as PDF-X. (Do not choose the first option: Save as PDF.)

If you have other programs or know other ways to create your PDF file not covered here, keep in mind the following:

  • Save your images at 300DPI
  • Use JPEG compression, High quality, for all images and graphics
  • Embed all fonts as described in the font section of these How-to’s
  • Use CMYK color or embed any RGB profiles you are using (tagging)

If you are preparing your files to send to us, you may download and use the following PDF presets. These are what we use on all of our production computers when sending files to press. They will ensure your files are of the highest quality and in the correct format for your job.

To install and use these, download and extract the preset above and move it to the custom PDF preset folder, found in the following locations:

Windows (XP or lower) - C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings
Windows (Vista or higher) - C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe PDF\Settings
Mac OS X - /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings

Once the PDF presets are copied to this location they will be available in all programs where the Export as PDF option is available.

As always, please send our experts an email with any questions you may have about PDF file creation.

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