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Printing FAQs

Printing

How do I print from AutoCAD?

Use Plot Preview to make sure everything is correct before plotting. If you want to make sure your file will print in black & white only, go to Page Setup or Plot under the File menu (either one will bring up the same option box), chose the Plot Device tab, and for the Plot Style option, select monochrome.stb.

How do I print from Adobe Photoshop?

Print w/ Preview is always a good way to check and make sure that everything is going to print on the page. If the image looks cropped or Photoshop gives a warning that some of the image area may be cropped when you go to print, double check your page setup options and the image size.For the "Encoding" dropdown menu, select "ASCII" when printing to the plotter and either "ASCII" or "JPEG" when printing to the color copier.

How do I print from Adobe Illustrator?

Always check your printable area (generally represented by a gray or dotted line). Use the page tool (found under the hand on the tool palette if not visible) to reset the printable area if necessary.If you are also using any nonstandard fonts (i.e. something other than the usual Times, Helvetica, Courier, etc.) consider converting the type to outlines in order to prevent possible type substitution problems (unless you'd like your perfectly chosen typeface to come out in Courier).

Note: Like InDesign, Illustrator often makes links to placed files instead of saving a copy of the file inside the Illustrator document. To check for linked files, use the Links palette. It will also report missing or modified links.

How do I print from Adobe InDesign?

When importing images into an InDesign file, the image is not actually saved in the InDesign file itself. Instead, a reference link is made back to the original placed file. This is designed to reduce the file size of the InDesign document. The downside to this method is that if the link is broken or needs to be updated, it can cause problems such as missing images or reduced image quality when you print your document.

How to find broken file links:

When you open an InDesign layout, it automatically checks all the links in a file. If any are broken or have been modified, be sure to select the "Fix Links..." option.

The Links palette shows all linked files in the InDesign file. It will also report missing or modified links.

How do I print from Adobe InDesign using Windows?

1) After making sure you have all your links and fonts updated in your document (see above section about links) select "Print" from the "File" menu

2) Make sure you have the correct printer selected from the "Printer:" dropdown menu at the top of the window.

3) From the list on the left side of the print window, select "Setup" to check the page size. The window should change to show paper setting. Use the "Paper Size:" dropdown menu to select the correct paper size an use the "Page Position:" dropdown menu to select the correct page position. Use the preview graphic in the lower left corner of the window (the rectangle with the "P" on it) to determine if you rpage setup is correct (shaded areas will be cut off, white areas will print). Make sure you have "Centered" selected

4) From the list on the left side of the print window, select "Graphics" to check the font and image quality settings. Select "All" from the "Send Data:" dropdown menu to send image data at maximum quality (if you're just doing a quick proof, "Optimized Subsampling" will send faster, but have less image quality). Select "Complete" from the "Fonts:" dropdown menu to make sure all the fonts used in the document will be sent to the printer otherwise type substitution errors may occur (Example: non-standard font used in document appears/wraps differently than on your machine-missing fonts will appear with pink shading around them).

5) From the list on the left side of the print window, select "Advanced" and make sure the Transparency Flattener settings are set to "[Medium Resolution]"

6) Continue to check other options from the list as necessary (crop marks, color management, etc) and when you are done click the "Print" button.

7) Once you've sent your job it goes into a hold queue within the Media Center. We have a desk in the middle with two back to back monitors, this is where you preview your job and communicate your printing specifications to the Media Center staff (i.e. media type, single or double sided, quantity, etc.)

8) Once printed, pay at the cash register-be sure to tell the cashier if your prints were single or double sided (we charge full price for the front and half price for the back)

How do I print from PowerPoint?

The default blue in Microsoft PowerPoint may look good on the screen but it generally prints as purple on most printers. The cause of this is the RGB (monitor's color space) to CMYK (printer's color space) conversion for printing. If you look at RGB Blue in Photoshop, the RGB value (R=0,G=0,B=255) translates into C=100,M=100,Y=0,K=0 in CMYK. Full Cyan (a light blue) and full Magenta (a shade of red) makes purple. The simple way around this is to use a more print-friendly shade of Blue. C=100, M=50, Y=0, K=0 produces a comparable shade of Blue that will print Blue. PowerPoint for Windows does not allow the choice of CMYK colors in which case use R=0, G=127, B=255 or R=30, G=113, B=184 which will print blue.

How do I print to the color copier from Adobe Acrobat (Windows)

1) Open your file in Adobe Acrobat. Check your file for any errors, typos, etc. When ready, select "Print" from the "File" menu at the top of the screen.

2) Choose "Xerox Ex-i C60" as your printer.

3) Things to double check: Print range, Page scaling (we recommend "None"), make sure "Auto-Rotate and Center" is checked, make sure "Choose paper source by PDF page size" is NOT checked.

The default paper size is Letter (8.5"x11"). If this is correct for your file, then press OK and proceed to Step 7.

4) If your page size is larger, click on "Properties" at the top next to the Printer name.

5) Under the "Page Size" heading scroll through for the size you need. We stock 8.5"x11", 11"x17" and 12"x18" media for the C60, you must choose one of those options. Note: if 12"x18" is grayed out you can still choose it.

Once you've chosen your page size click "OK".

6) Check your preview to make sure it is showing the correct page size. Sometimes in order for the preview to update correctly it helps to uncheck and recheck "Auto-Rotate and Center" Once it looks correct, click "OK".

7) Once you've sent your job it goes into a hold queue within the Media Center. We have a desk in the middle with two back to back monitors, this is where you preview your job and communicate your printing specifications to the Media Center staff (i.e. media type, single or double sided, quantity, etc.).

8) Once printed, pay at the cash register-be sure to tell the cashier if your prints were single or double sided (we charge full price for the front and half price for the back).

Color

Why is my blue printing purple?

The short answer: RGB Blue = 0 Red, 0 Green, 255 Blue (RGB) = 88% Cyan, 77% Magenta 0% Yellow, 0% Black (CMYK). When you mix roughly equal parts red (magenta) and blue (cyan), that's purple, folks. If you want blue, pick something with less magenta in it.

The Long answer: When an RGB image file is sent to a four-color printer (just about every printing device out there from a lowly ink-jet to a megabuck color copier or printing press works this way), the color values are converted from RGB to CMYK. If you're ever curious what the conversion values are, just pull up Photoshop's color picker and you'll find both values listed for your color.

Why can't I just print in RGB?

The answer is printers create images with pigment (toner, ink, etc.) as opposed to beams of light on your monitor and light and pigment don't mix the same way.

Your computer monitor creates an image by projecting beams of light onto the screen made up of three primary colors: reg, green, and blue. If you add equal amounts of them together at full intensity, you get white light. This is referred to as an additive color model.

Printers, on the other hand, use a four-color process. The primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow, with black added to darken the other three primaries. When a printer mixes together equal parts of cyan, magenta, and yellow at full intensity, you get a dark color that could pass for black. This is referred to as a subtractive color model.

The color range, or gamut, of each color model produces a finite number of colors. The added kicker is the possible color range of CMYK is smaller than that of RGB. Net result: there are RGB colors that just do not exist in CMYK. What happens when an out of range RGB color is converted to CMYK? The computer is forced to make the best possible match. Sometimes it will come close, other times it will be way off.

What is color calibration?

Color calibration was created to try and take some of the guesswork out of getting what you see on screen to match what you get out of the printer. The system generally works by comparing profiles of each devices known color characteristics to get some degree of consistency in a world with so many variables (CMYK vs. RGB, lighting conditions, monitor settings, printing technologies, etc.). No system is ever going to be 100% accurate, but when combined with good color management, you can produce much more accurate results than if you just picked the default blue in PowerPoint and clicked print.

Does my file need to be optimized or rasterized?

View this PDF for more information on optimize or rasterize? (PDF 704KB)

File Extensions

What are some application-specific file extensions I should know?

The following formats are for a program's native file format. Most of the time you will need the program that created the file
to open it (ie PageMaker to open a .pmd file, etc.). File extensions, the .xxx seen at the end of a file name, are used to tell the computer and the user what kind of format a file is. The list below gives details on some of the more common file formats.

AutoCAD dwg
Excel xls
Illustrator ai
InDesign indd
Photoshop psd
PowerPoint ppt
Windows Media wmf
Word doc
Microsoft Works wks, wps
Rhino 3dm

What are some generic file extensions I should know?

The following formats are for more generic file formats. These tend to be open standards an readable by a wide variety of programs and on different computer platforms. File extensions, the .xxx seen at the end of a file name, are used to tell the computer and the user what kind of format a file is. The list below gives details on some of the more common file formats.

Acrobat pdf
Drawing Interchange Format dxf
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) gif
JPEG jpg
MPEG Audio (Layer 3) mp3
Postscript eps, ps
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) png
Text (ACSII) txt
TIFF tif
QuickTime mov
Windows Bitmap bmp
Zip zip