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File Preparation

Overview for cold offset web

FP Producing any product, whether it is a single ad or an entire publication, takes the correct tools and software. Using the correct tools would be utilizing some of the many Adobe products or bundles like Creative Suite. Printers prefer that a customer use InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat to create files.

Quark is acceptable and still used, so long as Acrobat Distiller is used to create the final PDF. A few users still use Corel Draw and Photo with some success through trial and error. Improper tools or document programs that are not widely accepted in printing are Publisher and any freeware type program.

These tools appear to do the job and have the correct file extension, but they leave out many of the features that create a proper file for print. They will look good on the screen and print to a low-end printer. When they go to a printer that is using very high-resolution equipment, plates and press however, the printed piece will show images that are not clear and colors that are not vibrant and do not pop.

Most of these files lack the ability to convert to process color and hold color spaces and embed fonts. When it comes to the parts of a document that make up a publication, having the correct images, logo and art depends on how they are handled.

To design eye-catching, award-winning products, you want to choose clear, high-resolution objects that can sway a customer to look at the ad or publication. Customers do not take the time to look at an ad or publication built with poor artwork and blurry photos.

Print Specifications

Here are some specs to help you with your file!
Printing process: Cold Web-offset Newsprint
Screen ruling: 120 lpi
Full color / Gray-scale resolution: 300 dpi
Line-work resolution 1200 dpi
Total amount of ink (TAC) 220%
Edit color settings: North American Newspaper – US Newsprint (SNAP 2007)
Text: Black only no process black or buildup (aka “rich black”, “stacked black”)
PDF preset: Suncoastpress.joboptions (preferred) or PDF/X-1a:2001
Our Press: Goss Urbanite and Community

Getting Started…

Have Questions? We have answers.

Give us a call! Our team of experienced press engineers and graphic designers are ready to help you with your pre-press needs.

Call (941) 206-1401 or email

Venice Print Center

200 East Venice Avenue
Venice, FL 34285

Port Charlotte Center

23170 Harbor View Road
Port Charlotte, FL 33980


“Sun Coast Press has been printing our weekly newspapers special sections for over 25 years and I wouldn’t change a thing. They provide high-quality printing, competitive pricing and prompt delivery. The staff members are skilled in their fields and take pride in their work. Most importantly, they go out of their way to take care of their customers.”

Lorin Arundel • co-publisher, Island Sun/The River Weekly News

File PreFlight

Check preflight and PDF for cold offset web

InDesign does have preflight ability as you work. A common issue is when a placed graphic is moved or deleted from where it was originally pathed to. Then the PDF is created and error warnings are ignored. The bottom left of the document shows a green button indicating that the document is preflighting correctly.

InDesign shows when a placed graphic has been moved or deleted from a folder. The red ball shows an error and this should be identified and corrected. The files palette can also be used to show file properties.

File Export

File Name Adobe PDF for Print File Location

Adobe Preset PDF x 1a 2001 Page Range Radial Pages or Spread (double truck)

File Check List

Ads and Publications for cold offset web

Vector Image

V Illustrator
Resolution 200%
Convert to File type .EPS/PDF

Raster Image

R Color – Grayscale/Process color converted in PhotoShop
Size / Crop
Resolution 200% (cold web offset)
File type .tiff or .psd

Portable Document Format

P View Acrobat or Reader
Place as original file
Do not open in Photoshop or save out of Photoshop. Last resort to press

Copy Check

C Page numbers are numeric
Jump pages correspond
Spelling and grammar
Folio’s – correct date, page number, product name


F Post Script or True Type
Reverse text at least 12 pt non serif font
Reverse text single color 10 point
Check color channels for color text. Acrobat Tools Print Output preview
Stylized fonts are not acceptable. Using the tool bar to bold or italicize
Copy paste from the web can cause color text. (reselect text convert to black)
Text rendered in PhotoShop can split into color. (type text in document)

Ad Size / Page Size

A Determine document-Ad size
If there is a bleed, ask for Bleed, Trim, Image area