Best File Format for Submitting a Document for Printing

PDF is the Winner

This is a question that gets asked a lot. And, not matter who you are, or what computer or device you are using, you can create a PDF.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system.

Basically, that just means that no matter what device you view the PDF on, the file should look exactly the same as it looked on the original device that was used to create it. There are two main reasons that designers use (or should be using) PDFs when they send the final to their customer.

  1. Most people do not have the Adobe applications, or other design applications, that were used to create the graphic design file. So, in order to save the image at its highest quality, and still allow the client to view the image, a PDF file is needed for a final.
  2. Many times, people will create a file in a Microsoft application, like Word or Publisher and use some non-standard fonts. If that file is taken to another computer that does not have the font that was used, the Microsoft application will replace that font with another font, without a warning.

Most applications, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word have the ability to be saved as or exported as a PDF file. Honestly, I have yet to come across any typesetting or design software that is missing the ability to create a PDF file.

How Do I Create a PDF for You?

In most cases, you can go to File, select Save As (or Export As) and a PDF will be an option. If you are trying to send a PDF to me, and are having issues creating that PDF, please contact me and I will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

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