What is the difference between pdf "print ready" and just straight pdf?


I am about to get a book printed and the term: "pdf print ready" has come up. How is this different from an ordinary pdf file?

5/21/2018 3:24:00 PM

"Print ready" is a term of art used in the printing industry to describe a PDF that has been correctly prepared so that it can be printed by a commercial printing company.

The exact requirements for a PDF to be "print ready" depend on the specific printing company that will be printing the PDF. Their printing equipment and technological setup determine what standards a PDF must meet in order for it to be deemed "print ready" by that company.

That being said, there are some "print ready" standards that are well nigh universal:

  • Fonts are embedded into the PDF.

  • Colors in the document use CMYK color space rather than RGB.

  • The color black in the document is the correct kind of black (e.g., CMYK black/100K black, Photoshop black, rich cool black, rich warm black, registration black).

  • Images are embedded into the PDF.

  • Images are JPG, TIFF, or EPS format.

  • Resolution of images is 300dpi or higher.

  • Line weight of hairline rules is not less than 0.25pt.

  • The page size (a.k.a. trim size) of the PDF pages is correct.

  • Crop marks are present if they are required by the printing company.

  • The filename of the PDF meets a specified convention (if required to).

If you visit the website for a printing company, you will probably be able to find without looking too hard a document they make available describing their "printing standards" or "file standards" or "printing guidelines." That document will probably include most of the bulleted information above plus anything else they require.

1/24/2015 2:05:00 AM