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Press Ready PDF
Tips for creating reliable Pdf files . :-

What is a "Press Ready" PDF??
Since PDF is a medium with many purposes it is easy to create PDFs that are unsuitable for print. Just sending us any old PDF file will very likely cause more trouble than it saves.
A press ready PDF file meets the following criteria :
1.) It contains all required fonts.
2.) Fonts are not subsetted
3.) If your job is CMYK then it contains ONLY CMYK/Greyscale objects.
4.) If your job is spot colour it contains ONLY the required pantone colours.
5.) Bleeds and gutters are correctly set.
6.) It contains only print artwork - ie no extended PDF features
6.) For best results create your artwork in accordance with our Artwork Checklist

How do I know my PDF is Press Ready?
To be useable your PDF file must be capable of being converted into a CMYK bitmap since ultimately that is how it will be printed. You can check this by opening the PDF in Photoshop or by running it through our online proofing system. Check the results very carefully. If your PDF fails this test IT IS NOT PRESS READY and you should fix it before sending it for print.

How are PDF files produced?
Various methods are available. Many programs have a direct pdf export option - some of which are at present not suitable for generating pdfs for print. Creating a pdf that is suitable for viewing on your monitor is NOT the same as creating a pdf that is suitable for print.

The best way to make a pdf is to create a postscript (.ps or .eps) file and use Adobe's Acrobat Distiller to convert it to pdf format.
If you don't have access to distiller you can download free tools to do the job or you can use one of the various free internet services to create a pdf online. Adobe offer an online pdf distilling service on their website.  

Export Settings
You need to use the correct settings when creating a PDF. Below are some common examples of settings often required by PDF creation software.
Version compatibility : Acrobat 4, version 1.3
ASCII format : No
Resolution : 2400dpi - 3000dpi (target device resolution NOT picture resolution)
Colour Bitmaps : Resample to 450dpi, JPEG compression at maximum quality
Greyscale Bitmaps : Resample to 450dpi, JPEG compression at maximum quality
Mono Bitmaps : Resample to 1200dpi using CCIT 4 compression
Text and Lineart : Compress
Fonts : Embed all fonts or convert to paths/curves. Turn off subsetting.
Colour : Either convert to CMYK or leave colour unchanged.
Overprint/Trapping : Preserve document overprint/trapping.

REMEMBER : To add required bleeds and gutters. Convert everything to CMYK that should be CMYK and everything to greyscale that should be greyscale. Colour bitmaps should be CMYK only and greyscale bitmaps should be greyscale only. There should be no RGB objects in your final pdf.