FAST HELP

Technical Assistance

What kind of file formats can I send you?
How do I set up my plot file so that it turns out the way I designed it?
How do I check the size of my PDF file before I send it to you?
What does HALF SIZE mean?
What is the difference between a PDF, a TIF, and a PLT file?
Why can’t I send you my DWG files?
What does “print ready” mean?
When you scan a project, what kind of file formats do you offer?
What are some of the problems with PDF files?

What kind of file formats can I send you?
For Large Format B+W printing: PDF, PLT, DWF, TIF, CAL
For Small Format B+W or Color: PDF
For Large Format Color: PDF, TIF, AI, EPS, JPG

How do I set up my plot file so that it turns out the way I designed it?
Be sure, when creating your PLT file, to use the correct driver. The print driver you should be using is for an Oce’ 9800. If your version of AutoCad does not have the correct print driver, you can use this link to find the appropriate version:
http://www.oceusa.com/tss/tss_product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302162637&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441899964&SKU%3C%3Esku_id=1689949372029360&bmUID=1224957999668
Using the correct print driver is the number one, most important way to ensure that your prints will turn out the way you intended.

How do I check the size of my PDF drawing file before I send it to you?
After opening your PDF file in Acrobat, move your cursor to the lower left hand side of your screen. The size of your drawing will appear in the lower left hand side of your screen. This is the easiest way for you to check to see if your file is a full scale drawing or not. The most common mistake we encounter with PDF files is incorrect scale.

What does HALF SIZE mean?
When we use the term “HALF SIZE” we are referring to the 50% reduction of a “FULL SIZE” drawing. The scale or size of the orginal drawing is the determining factor as to how large a “HALF SIZE” drawing will be. “HALF SIZE” is not an arbitrary page size. In order to print a “HALF SIZE” drawing correctly, it is critical to establish that the “FULL SIZE” drawing is rendered at the correct scale.

What is the difference between PDF, TIF, and PLT files?
TIF files are the most commonly used file in printing and archiving. The TIF file format is the fundamental building block for our industry. Most TIF files are either scanned drawings created by a reprographer or derived from processed PLT or PDF files.

PLT files are generated in AutoCad by plotting to file with the appropriate print driver. These files are specifically used to print only. Most users cannot preview PLT files which is why their popularity is fading.

PDF files which can be created within AutoCad in tandem with Adobe Acrobat are gaining in popularity because they can be printed and viewed by most users.

Why can’t I send you my DWG files?
DWG files, which are originally designed in AutoCad, are not print ready files. Several factors can cause a DWG to be printed incorrectly. These are some but not all of the potential factors – incorrect scale, missing fonts, missing graphics, missing externally referenced files, layering problems, pen settings, multiple drawings set up within the same file and so on. Because of the complex nature of DWG files, we require print ready files such as TIF files or the next best thing such as PLT, PDF, or DWF files. This is to ensure that your prints come out correctly, every time.

What does “print ready” mean?
We use the term “print ready” when referring to either individual files or all the files in a project. In Large Format B+W printing, a print ready file is one that does not need to be processed in any way. A TIF file without LZW compression is a print ready file. A PLT or PDF file still need to be ripped or processed before they can be sent to the printer, and therefore are not technically print ready files. A Large Format B+W project is ready to print when all of the settings for the project have been checked or corrected. These settings are basically, but not confined to the following: drawings are in order according to the drawing index, drawings are rotated, images are oriented on the page correctly, images are not blank nor off the page, fonts appear to be correct, layers are showing correctly, pen settings are correct, drawings are not missing according to the index, and drawings are of a uniform scale.

For Small Format B+W or Color files, the most common problems we run into are file format issues and Construction Specifications that are not set-up correctly for double sided printing. Ideally, a print ready Spec file should be a single PDF file, which includes the necessary blank pages in order for it to be printed double-sided so that the print that comes out of the printer does not have to be manipulated, corrected, or rescanned in any way. Multiple file formats within the same project can also lead to unnecessary complexity, yielding unexpected results. Word documents can have formatting and font issues. We strongly urge you to submit PDF files for all Small Format printing requests. This will save you time, printing errors, and processing charges.

For Large Format Color, print ready files become a lot more complicated due to the potential size of the files. Working with our Color Production Dept., we can help you decide what file format would be the best to send us, based on the file format your artwork was created in. Basically, the following should always be done, regardless of file format – layers should be flattened, text should be outlined, scale and proportion of file should match the requested print size, and any text mark-ups should be identified prior to printing. You may or may not be required to sign off on a proof before the final project is fulfilled.

When you scan a project, what kind of file formats do you offer?
Large Format B+W and Color jobs are scanned as TIF files. If need be, we can convert these TIFs to PDFs for an additional charge. A Large Format scan is simply a scanned unmanipulated TIF file. If you have special requirements, such as image orientation, file naming criteria, or file format issues, please make these requirements known before the scanning project is requested.

Small Format B+W and Color jobs are scanned as PDF files.

What are some of the problems with PDF files?
PDF files are becoming the most common file format sent to a reprographer. They are easy to open and view and most PDFs can be printed on any desktop printer. However, there are issues with PDFs that can cause problems. The biggest problems we run into are scale issues and layering issues. The most common mistake occurs when a drawing file is set up to fit a certain page size and not a certain scale. Within one project we may receive drawings with multiple scales. This is an issue that must be resolved before the project can be printed, thus causing considerable delays for the client. PDF files may also have multiple layers that need to be flattened before they can be printed. Flattening layers during processing can also cause delays and should be avoided if at all possible.

Font issues do occur from time to time, but not very often. Another problem can occur when a drawing file is created using light colors in their pen settings. If a yellow or another light color are not converted before creating the PDF file, these light lines may become invisible when printed. Translating a yellow line into a grayscale print is always going to present problems. The only way to correct such a problem is in the design phase. Once it gets to us set up that way, there is almost no way to correct it.