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PDF Creation Settings (How can I be sure my PDF will print correctly?)

by Community Manager Community Manager on ‎01-18-2011 12:52 - edited on ‎06-26-2014 01:29 by Community Moderator Community Moderator (208,757 Views)

 When creating a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro, use Lulu's Adobe Job Options (Available at the bottom of this page). After downloading to your computer, double click the icon to install the Job Options into your Adobe Acrobat Pro products.

 

If using Apache OpenOffice, follow the instructions here: How to make a PDF using Apache OpenOffice

If you are uploading your own PDF, follow these guidelines:

 

  • Fully embed all fonts used in the document. Take care that all fonts are only embedded once. Subsetted fonts over multiple pages can cause problems when your PDF is rasterized for print. Your document may be printed with symbols instead of fonts, garbled text or missing text.
  • Ensure that your page spreads are lined up properly in your source file. The first page of your print-ready PDF will be on the right hand side of your book, opposite the inside of the front cover. Accordingly, odd numbered pages in your file will be printed on the right side of the book and even numbered pages on the left.
  • Bleed is necessary if you want images, lines, or colors to go all the way to the edge of the book's page. Click here for more information about bleed settings.
  • Set compatibility mode to PDF 1.3 (PDF 1.3 does not support transparencies and will flatten them when creating the PDF).
  • Leave the PDF's colorspace in its original profile. For full color books, the source document and/or images should be in the original colorspace. If it was created in RGB, it is not necessary to convert it to CMYK and vice versa.
  • Solid blacks will print solid at 100% with no other colors added. If you do add colors to improve the richness of the black, TAC (total area coverage) should never exceed 270%.
  • Avoid very light color builds of less than 20%. Below 20% tint variation is very difficult to control on a consistent basis.
  • Turn off Overprint and Simulate Overprint
  • The PDF filesize should not exceed 1 GB
  • If your image DPI is greater than 300, downsample to 300 DPI.
  • Flatten your images.
  • Flatten all transparencies.
  • Do not use any security / password protection. The printer will not be able to print the PDF.
  • Image compression should be set to ZIP if you want lossless (no artifacts/distortion-free) images. To reduce filesize, use JPEG -> High. Do not use CCITT or LZW compression. LZW compression creates multi-strip images, which may show white lines when printed.
  • If you are printing a color book that has black & white images in it, the black & white images should have the colorspace set to grayscale.
  • The gamma of a grayscale image should be between 2.2 and 2.4.

 

For more information, see Recommended PDF Creation Programs.

 

There is also a community generated list of PDF Converters and Readers available in the Lulu forums.