How to Make a PDF

If you are preparing your interior pages or cover yourself, you will need to provide us with an Adobe PDF file. Use the methods below to create your PDF. If PDF options are not available in your software, you can provide us with a postscript file instead.

Why can't I give you a MS Word file instead of a PDF?

We do not accept MS Word documents or any other native files in lieu of PDFs for print-ready books. Opening a customer-supplied Word file can result in a variety of potential problems, including but not limited to: missing fonts, text reflow, embedded images, and many more. When you convert your Word document to a PDF, you lock your layout into place so that no changes will occur when the file is opened. IMPORTANT: After converting you Word document to a PDF, check the PDF closely to ensure no unwanted changes have occurred in the conversion.

Make a PDF from Adobe Indesign:

  • Make sure your document is setup to the proper Interior page specs or Cover specs. (If your interior pages have bleeds, please follow the Interior page bleed instructions. Set them first in "Document Setup" and when exporting, set again in the "Marks and Bleeds" section of the PDF dialog box.)
  • With your document open, go to: File/Export. Set the "Save as type" to PDF. Click Save.
  • In the "Adobe PDF Preset" choose "PDF/X-4". Do not add printers marks, or change any settings (unless you have bleeds included in your quote). Click "Export".

Make a PDF from Microsoft Word:

  • Make sure your document is setup to the proper Interior page specs or Cover specs.
  • With your document open, go to: Adobe PDF/Change Conversion Settings. In the Conversion Settings box, choose "PDF/X-4". Click "OK".
  • Go to Adobe PDF/Convert to Adobe PDF. Save the file to your harddrive.

TIP: If you have pictures, check your settings to make sure image compression is NOT on.

Make a PDF from Apple Pages:

  • Make sure your document is setup to the proper Interior Page Specs or Cover Specs.
  • With your document open, go to: File/Export. Make sure "PDF" is selected. Under "Image Quality" choose "Best". Under "Security Options" make sure nothing is checked. Clck "Next".
  • At this point you can rename your file or leave it as is. Save your PDF to a known location, click "Export".

Requirements for PDF Files:

  • We can use RGB or CMYK for color printing. Do NOT use spot colors.
  • Embed all fonts.
  • Black-and-white images must be Grayscale. If you are printing a mix of color and black-and-white pages, and your black-and-white images are not grayscale, they will increase your color page count and cost.
  • Black type should be 100% K (black) or 0% grayscale.
  • Image DPI should be 300 dpi. DPIs smaller than 300 will result in a lower-quality printout. DPIs larger than 300 will only result in a larger file, not a higher quality printout.
  • Images and transparent areas should be flat and contain no layers.
  • Interior PDFs should be in single page format (no spreads).
  • Cover PDFs should be back, spine, front in one PDF.
  • Text should be vector.

About PDFs

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. When a file is converted to a PDF, all the fonts, formatting, colors and graphics are "locked" into place. Adobe Acrobat is a group of programs that includes Acrobat (used to view and edit PDF files) and Distiller (used to create PDF files). Many people are familiar with Acrobat Reader, (a portion of Acrobat) which is limited to only viewing and printing PDF files. Making a PDF is the last step in the setup process. Before making it, you should be sure you have all details taken care of for your particular project. We will print directly from your file. If you will be supplying both your text and your cover, you will need to supply a single PDF file (trouble-free) for the text and a single PDF file (trouble-free) for the cover. Don't forget to check your PDF carefully.