If you need to send either ourselves or any printing company files to print, PDF files are the most common and best files to use to ensure consistency across platforms. PDF stands for Portable Document File.
Why you should use a PDF file over a Word file.
When working with a commercial print company, PDF files have a perfect balance of both file size and quality. Word files can change from computer to computer without you realising, which means what you see on your screen won’t necessarily be the same as we see on our screen.
Word files can also do something known as ‘flow’. This means that the bottom line of text from one page can move to the top line of the next page. This leaves your original document looking out of sync to your printed product.
Fonts can also change in Word documents when viewed on different computers, which again means that what gets printed will not match what you see on your screen. Another thing to be aware of is that images and photos can disappear, and Word will not tell us when things are missing so issues like this aren’t flagged with the printing company.
Always send a PDF file when using a commercial print company
If you have an older (or newer) version of Word when you send to any commercial printer and they don’t have the same version that you have then the file might save up or save down. Saving up or down can cause fonts, spacing and other minor elements to change, which could seriously impact your printed document.
Exporting your Word document as a PDF ensures that the print company can view your file as you see it. Almost every industry uses the PDF file format, so it is an industry-standard. PDF files can also be opened on almost every device which allows for consistency across platforms.
When your files are saved as a PDF it will make sure that the file size isn’t too big or too small, which allows you to upload it to a website should you need to. PDF files are usually a lot better to send via e-mail than Word files as some corruption can occur through no fault of the user or the recipient.
It is harder, but not impossible, to edit PDF files. Ideally, any print company should not need to edit your file in any way but saving your file as a PDF will ensure that what you have sent will be printed as you see it. When saving your file as a PDF, you can check and make sure what you have saved is exactly as you want your printed document to look.
This also helps ensure that your print company is only using the most recent and current version of your Word file.
When saving a PDF, you should always use a 300dpi (dots per inch) setting if possible. This will ensure a high-quality print will be produced by your printer. Never go by how your artwork looks on screen. If it looks good on-screen it doesn’t mean that it will print that way as there are different image settings for web and print.
Once you have saved your Word file as a PDF file, you can always check the quality on-screen, although this will not be 100% accurate. If it looks pixelated or low-resolution in your PDF, then this is how it will look on your printed document.
Sending a PDF is the best way to give your artwork files to your prefered print supplier. The PDF file is easier for print companies to process, using less time to process and export your files. It also allows you to quickly upload your files where needed.
To convert your Word file to a PDF file, click on the link here to get started. https://www.ilovepdf.com/word_to_pdf
This is a great tool to use to convert your files easily to PDF. This site also has multiple tools available to convert most filetypes to PDF should you need it.