R & L Printing makes every effort to use the electronic files from the authors. We are well equipped and trained with many of the graphics software programs that are used in the Commercial Print Industry. Quark Xpress, In-Design, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Freehand are the main "true" graphics programs that all publishers and printing industries support. The file formats from these programs are universal and can easily be read by high-end imagesetters and platesetters. Canvas, Corel Draw, Powerpoint, MS Word, MS Xcell, MS Publisher and SuperPaint are typical graphics programs that excel at creating visual presentations, slides, and overheads. They may print well to a laser printer and look great on the computer screen (from within their own application format), but they do not always export in file formats that can be printed through high-end imagesetters or platesetters.

We use electronic files to output film or plates off of our high-end devices. Graphics created from Canvas, for example, can sometimes lose text or the screens may fill in as solids when outputting film from these high-end imagesetters. Canvas does not actually create screens, as Illustrator and Photoshop do. Canvas creates patterns to simulate screens and this can cause problems on press. Also, we print in CMYK. Most authors submit their files in RGB. When we convert these files to printing industry standards, the colors often change completely. This is why it is very important for the artwork to be created as CMYK and for us to have a printout of your artwork. If we do not have at least a laser printout of your artwork, we will not know if type has been lost. A good quality print is preferable, because we will be able to make sure that the color and data have not changed.

We understand the frustration designers have when printers say they cannot use their files when everything looks fine on the computer screen and prints well to the laser printer. Please understand that printers want to use the files, but these files MUST comply with printing industry standards. The problem arises when we have to take these files and transfer them into a file format that a printer can use. Illustrator, Photoshop, and Freehand support the printing industry standards.


It is recommended that all digital files received by R & L printing be “press-ready.” If the supplied digital files are not press-ready, the client may incur additional charges to prepare the digital files for press.

Files that do not require alteration, fonts, or linked graphics are “press-ready” and preferred, as this significantly lowers the number of errors introduced prior to output.

All files must be accompanied by a proof that is output at 100%.

All files must be received at the final size they will be printed plus our bleed standard of .125" if applicable.


Print-ready high-resolution PDF files made according to PRESS READY job-option settings. Click here and we will show you how to do this, or call (973) 800-6122 for correct job-option settings and guidelines for PDF file submission. Quality cannot be assured if directions for PDF creation are not followed. PDFs of full-pages that contain bleeds must be made to the correct page size to include bleed for trimming. PDF ad files without the correct bleed cannot be accepted.

Vector-based EPS files, ie, (Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand), or EPS files exported from page layout applications. Vector-based files should have all fonts converted to outlines, or fonts must be included with file submission. [Please note that files exported as EPS files from QuarkXPress do not retain or embed fonts, so fonts must be included with QuarkXPress EPS files. EPS files exported from Adobe InDesign will embed fonts when they are exported.]

Raster files (image files or Photoshop files) saved as .TIFF or .EPS formats. Raster files can be saved from any of the image-editing software programs. Color images should be saved as CMYK, not RGB or LAB color spaces. B&W should be saved as Grayscale, not RGB and line art saved as Bitmap (.BMP) or .TIFF files.


R & L Printing prefers files submitted in press-ready formats; PDF, EPS, or TIFF, as described in the previous section. A second choice for ad submission, if necessary, would be to supply native application files from the following applications:

Adobe InDesign 2.0 or higher

QuarkXPress 4.0 or higher

Adobe PageMaker 6.5 or higher

Adobe Illustrator 8.0 or higher

Macromedia FreeHand 9.0 or higher

These application files require that ALL FONTS, IMAGES, AND GRAPHICS that are USED to be sent along with the native application file. They will not output correctly without them. Both the screen and printer fonts must also be supplied. PageMaker, QuarkXPress 5.0 and InDesign have a “collect for output” element built into the program that will allow you to collect all graphics and fonts used. There are several software applications that can analyze files prior to submission. Two of these are:

FlightCheck (Markzware) for native application files

and Pitstop (Enfocus) for PDF files.


The following files and formats are NOT ACCEPTABLE for print production:
Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher,Corel Draw, Corel Word Perfect, Corel Ventura, Adobe FileMaker, Adobe FrameMaker, JPEG files (.jpg), Windows Metafiles (.wmf), BMP files (.bmp) GIF files (.gif).


RGB, LAB Color, or Index Color, cannot be used for print production; color must be CMYK or Pantone Spot Color.


4-color CMYK graphics: No less than 300 ppi when output at final size.
Grayscale/Continuous Tone: No less than 300 ppi when output at final size.
Line Art (b/w text no screens): No less than 600 ppi when output at final size, 1200 ppi optimal.


Our presses can print a rule as thin as 0.3 points; do not use rules any thinner than .3 pts. (0.004). “Hairline” setting is thinner than .3 pts and will print inconsistently, or not at all. When working with graphics that have rules or keylines applied to them in the page layout application, be sure to view them at a high enough magnification to ensure that the graphic and the rule are touching each other. A gap between these elements will not always be visible when printed to a 300 or 600 dpi laser printer, but it will show when printed in high resolution. This also applies to rules coming together at corners and any rules that are meant to be touching a graphic.