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 Adobe Indesign


Here are some useful tips and information on how to set up your files for trouble free output. Please contact us if you need any further help. We look forward to working with you on your next publication.

Other Programs
We strongly suggest that you review your program reference guides in conjunction with any instructions you may receive on our site. Look for information under Printing, Printing to disk (PostScript), Preparing files for a service bureau or service provider, Preparing documents for High Resolution Imagesetting.

Before working with and creating PostScript print-to-disk (PTD) or Acrobat PDF files it is imperative that you be familiar with your applications, how to print, and have a good general working knowledge of your computer and its operating system.

General Info In general if your program is not covered you will definitely have to create a PostScript print-to-disk or PDF file. If you've never created prepress type files for output before, we recommend you familiarize yourself with both PostScript and PDF file preparation (click the tabs above).

Most programs will allow you to create these files relatively easily. Today's modern operating systems have built-in methods to create both PostScript print-to-disk as well as PDF files. One word of caution, however, PDF file creation is still in it's infancy and many programs do not properly handle these kind of files. If in doubt go the PostScript print-to-disk route. Be careful to understand the differences between EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) and PostScript print-to-disk, there are ways you can successfully use EPS files exported from your program, however they are not preferred (especially in multipage documents).

In some cases you may also have an option to create Prepress files known as .sep files, these are primarily used in trapping environments and are not the standard file format we accept (although we do offer trapping as an option, contact us if this is the case). Generally you want your file (in Windows) to end in a .prn or .ps (or .pdf if PDF).

General Guidelines The following are some general guidelines for setting up your job for our image setters as PostScript print-to-disk files. Usually you will need to set up a few things to successfully produce your job.

  1. Use the correct PPD file AND Printer Driver (although this usually comes with your system), you can find the required files on this site (click on the Printer Drivers/PPD tab).
  2. Set up your page dimensions properly, giving extra room for page marks (such as registration and crop marks). Generally we recommend at least one inch added to each dimension to account for marks (i.e. Letter size pages would be set up for 9.5 x 12 inches). Add additional 1/4" for  bleeds; some programs require you to set these up manually.
  3. Set your job up using Transverse paper sizes if possible (usually only available for letter size or smaller). If you are not comfortable or unsure of the result omit this step.
  4. ALWAYS set your pages up positive right reading (RREU), even if you are requesting negatives! We set that part up at the image setter. NEVER set up Negative wrong reading (RRED) - sometimes this is referred to as page flip and mirror.
  5. If prompted, our media width is 14", use a page gap of approx 0.1" (that's 1/10 of an inch), and do not set any offsets amount.
  6. Save your PostScript as level 2 compatible and you may save as Binary.
  7. If available as a selection, include ALL fonts, this is VERY important!!!
  8. Always set the correct resolution (if available), this usually is either 1800 or 2400 dpi. Remember there are extra charges for higher resolutions, you will be charged if your job is set for 2400 whether or not you specify this. There are cases where we cannot override the resolution setup in your PostScript file.
  9. Be careful not to specify unusual screens and/or angles, we use Agfa Balanced Screening which uses optimized screen angles and resolutions to prevent moiré and unwelcome artifacts in halftones.
  10. If producing duotones (or tritones) with spot color make sure to define different angles for each spot color (usually you would use corresponding process color angles).
  11. Try not to select any override functions, if available. Things like Mirror Print, Spot Override, Ruling Override should be left off or set to default.
  12. If in doubt call or email us for an answer. We usually like to get a test page to prevent wasted output and wasted cost!
Always consult your program's instructions as well to insure you are preparing your files correctly. With a test file and some patience you will have excellent results! Just be sure to give yourself some extra time!

Photoshop settings for photographs

Color Settings: CMYK Setup 

For coated stock

Ink Options: Dot gain - Standard 25%

Separation Options

Separation Type - GCR

Black Generation - Light

Black Ink Limit - 90%

Total Ink Limit - 275%

UCA 30%

For uncoated stock

Ink Options:

Dot gain - Standard 30%

Separation Options

Separation Type - GCR

Black Generation - Light

Black Ink Limit - 85%

Total Ink Limit - 255%

UCA 30%

Photoshop settings For Cartoon Color

(This should never be used for photographs)

Ink Options:

Dot gain - Standard 0%

Separation Options

Separation Type - GCR

Black Generation - Maximum

Black Ink Limit - 100%

Total Ink Limit - 300%

UCA 0%

Grayscale Preparation - Film - Coated Paper

Highlights should be around 1%.

Shadows should be around 90%


Grayscale Preparation - Film - Uncoated Paper

Highlight should be around 3%.

Shadows should be around 85%.

Unsharp Masking in Photoshop

This filter is used to increase the sharpness of photos.

Filter menu to Sharpen.

Sharpen to Unsharp Mask.

% = visually adjust to increase sharpness.

Radius = 3

Threshold = 3

How to balance highlights and shadows in


•When your image is open in photoshop, go

under the image menu to adjust and then to


•Double click the highlight eyedropper ( right

eyedropper) to bring up the color picker. Enter 4

in the Cyan field, 2 in the Magenta field, 2 in the

Yellow field and 0 in the Black field.

•Click on the OK button to accept.

•With the highlight eye dropper selected, move

your cursor over the picture and click on the

lightest area in the photograph. This will balance

the highlights.

•For shadow balance, double click the shadow

eyedropper to bring up the color picker. Enter 87

in the Cyan field, 82 in the Magenta, 82 in the

Yellow field and 80 in the Black field.

•Click on the OK button to accept.

•With the shadow eye dropper selected, move

your cursor over the picture and click on the

darkest area in the photograph. This will balance

the shadows.

All pictures should be light and bright, not dark or

color cast. Light pictures will reproduce well.

Flesh tones should contain equal parts yellow

and magenta, with a smaller amount of cyan and

no or very little black.


Copyright © 1994 Marrakech Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 05, 2001

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