What is a Press Ready PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is used for transferring files between computers and ensures that the file displays exactly the same to the end user as it did to the creator, regardless of differences in their computer systems. Whilst a PDF might look OK on screen it must meet certain criteria to ensure that it prints correctly. A PDF meeting these criteria is print-ready. The most important criteria that must be met for a print-ready PDF are:


Any fonts used must be embedded or the text outlined (turned into a graphic). A font used on your system might not be available on our system, and this can cause the PDF to display incorrectly.


If printing to the edge of the page the PDF must have bleed information. For more information on bleed please read this page.


The PDF must contain colours defined in CMYK or Pantone spot colours. It must not contain RGB colours, as these are only suitable for viewing on screen. For more information on RGB please read this page.


Images must be at least 300 ppi at the size they will be printed. For more information on resolution, please read this page.

These settings can usually be found as settings in the PDF dialogue box for your particular application, but some also need to be set up correctly in your document. Please contact us if you would like help in creating press-ready PDFs. We can also help you with more advanced PDF settings such as overprinting and transparency.

Posted in: Artwork and Technical Printing Questions

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