Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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 May 1, 2014)

2

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. 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?
  • 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 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 and 2010. 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. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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. 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 9 - 7?

2014-05-01 19:36:28

Rob

Pdf files were designed for printing, but again, it's important to talk to the service bureau about creating the .pdf file - setting the correct options will make the the difference between the document printing perfectly or poorly.


2014-05-01 19:33:57

Rob

Embedding fonts in the Word document may ensure there are no font mis-matching issues.
If there are graphics in the document they need to be of sufficient resolution for the output device's resolution. If possible, use vector artwork as this holds quality at any resolution. The size of bitmaps is more complex. Often people will say "use 600 dpi resolution", but the actual resolution depends on the dpi of the image AND the size it will be printed. It's important to talk to your service bureau to be guided on bitmap resolution.


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