Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer.

Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 12, 2017)

When it comes time to do your final output, you may want to consider working with a service bureau to prepare camera-ready copy. A service bureau is a company that will take your files and output them on a high-resolution printer or phototypesetting system. Camera-ready copy is final output that is suitable for final printing. A service bureau could be anyone, ranging from your local print shop to a national commercial printer.

If you decide to work with a service bureau, make sure you contact them as early as possible. Chances are good that they will want your output in PDF format; it seems to be the accepted standard for generating final output these days. Some service bureaus, however, may want your original Word document, as well. This is particularly true if they will be doing more than just printing for you. If this is the case, you will need to discuss the following points with them to make sure you both understand what is necessary in order to get the highest quality final product:

  • What fonts are used in your document? Does the service bureau have the same fonts, from the same font vendor?
  • What printer driver are you using? Does it match the printer driver used by the service bureau to output to its equipment?
  • What is the size of your final printed output? Will the bureau's equipment handle the dimensions you are using?
  • Exactly what does the service bureau need from you? Does it need the original Word files, a PDF created from your Word files, or perhaps a PostScript output file?
  • What is the timing of your project? When must you have the files to the service bureau in order to receive the camera-ready copy when you need it?

When looking for a service bureau, consult the Internet or the Yellow Pages (if you can still find one) under the heading typesetting or typesetters.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8308) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing the Default File Name

When you first save a new file, Word bases the name of that file on the contents of the start of the first paragraph in ...

Discover More

Speeding Up Opening and Saving a Workbook

Use a workbook for some time and you may find that it gets progressively slower to open and save. Here are some ...

Discover More

Limiting Who Can Delete Data

Excel allows you to protect your worksheet data in several different ways. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to protect ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Printing a Full Style Sheet

Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet ...

Discover More

Printing Only Selected Pages

I often need to print only select pages of a document, rather than the whole thing. Word makes it easy to be judicious in ...

Discover More

Reversing Print Order

When you print a document, does it come out of the printer in the order you need? Here's how to reverse the print order ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.