make a PDF file

Make a PDF file ready for printing

make a PDF filePrinters love the pdf format; it is easy to view on a wide range of computer systems, it has a good chance of containing high quality images at relatively small file sizes and it contains all the relevant font information they require to make accurate prints. This is why whenever our customers bring us PDF files to work with we can complete their print work to the best of our abilities. Whilst file formats like Microsoft’s Office or even Adobe’s range of creative files can change when transported from one machine to another, the good old PDF format stays resolutely still.

How To Make A PDF File

But how do you make a pdf file ready for printing?

Well the answer in 99% of cases these days is very simple.

Rather than messing about with special pdf creation programs or printing your work to a special pdf ‘printer’ the vast majority of programs can simply save to a pdf format directly. So when you have completed your work follow this routine:

  1. Give it one last save in your chosen format so that you have a working copy
  2. Choose ‘save as’ from your file menu
  3. Choose pdf from the list of formats shown at the bottom of the dialog box that follows
  4. e-mail us the resulting pdf

This simple routine will work across the board of modern Microsoft Office products. Adobe users may have to use an export option (for example whilst using InDesign) but the idea is the same. If you’re producing files on a tablet or phone the options for making a pdf file will probably be under your ‘share’ button.

For further information on how to make a pdf file with Microsoft Office try this link: Making pdf files with Microsoft Office . For more information regarding using Adobe creative suite to make a pdf file: Making PDF files with Adobe Photoshop – link is specific to Photoshop, but same information applies for Illustrator and Indesign.

I’m Still Having Difficulties

Don’t worry too much if you can’t sort this all out for yourself, Print Colchester is happy to accept a wide range of file formats – things might just take a little longer. If you send us your working Microsoft Office or similar file we’ll convert it to a pdf for you, highlight any issues and take it from there.

Advanced Users Read On

To get the very best out of your pdf it may well be worth tweaking your settings a little, particularly when it comes to images. With Microsoft Office products you should find an options button on your save as dialog box – click it and choose the Standard or High Setting for print quality. This will include the best quality information for your images inside the pdf file. Adobe users should find when they create a pdf they are presented with a dpi option under the “compression” section of their dialog – make sure the settings here are set to 300dpi (at least – 600dpi at most). The other option to remember here is to make sure your compression is set to jpeg with the ‘medium’ setting selected for good reproduction and reasonable file sizes. If you want the absolute best turn the compression off, but remember you might end up with a very large file that could prove problematic to email.

Once you’ve got the hang of this part it’s time to set your bleed and crop marks – for more information on that please head towards this link – bleed and quiet border

The Wrap Up

If you’ve got any questions regarding this topic please feel free to pop a comment in below so that we can discuss them with the community, or if you want some one to one help – get in touch.



Football stickers at print colchester

Make Your Own Football Stickers

Football stickers at print colchester

Football Sticker Generator

Whilst the world warms up for World Cup Fever, Panini have come up with a clever way to make your very own Football stickers, with you as the star! Just upload your likeness to their website, choose your teams kit, add a caption and you are ready to go.

A brilliant example of print on demand your stickers are delivered to your door in no time.

Need labels?

If you’d like to make your own personalised sticker of course we offer them too (if not officially sponsored by FIFA!). Any design can easily be achieved with our digital printing methods. Just get in touch to let us know what you need.


Printing and that tricky dpi (revisited)

DPIThere are many numbers in life that are considered a measure of quality. Most are confusing to some extent, as they are often twisted by marketers into selling points. Lets take effort for example – it’s no longer acceptable to give 100%, it’s 110% minimum these days!

How Digital Made The Dpi Go Up

Remember when we invented the digital camera? In the first instance we were just pleased to have them. A camera that doesn’t need film? Brilliant! No more chemicals, no more waiting two weeks to see your pictures? Absolutely amazing. And then the advertising guys stepped up. Our camera is so great – (they said) that it shoots at a VGA resolution. That’s exactly what you get on the screen! Perfect we thought. WRONG! What you need, say the marketers, is something better. A 1 Mega Pixel camera is what you need. Mega! That’s got to be better than that old fashioned what you see is what you get resolution. Next is was 2 mega pixels, then 3. Time went on and so the numbers went up and up and up. Fast forward to today and we’re in a situation where you can shoot a 41 mega pixel picture with your telephone. I’m not sure what these guys are going to come up with next year, but let’s just assume it will be better. Or at least the numbers will be bigger.

Put that on my screen

So that’s viewing things on screen covered really. The point I’m making is that when viewing things on a screen, any captured pixels you’ve got are basically wasted. Sure if you zoom in you get more quality, but the vast majority of images are left just as they are. Now pixels on a screen are getting more dense, more closely packed together. Back in the old days of the Classic OS, Mac users used 72dpi (dots per inch) for work on screen. But with the advent of the iPhone and your Samsung Galaxy that has ‘doubled’ up to 150dpi+. So for screens, resolutions need to be bigger and better, but compared to printed photos these images are tiny.

The Printed Page

When we get to the printed page these numbers really start to rise. Typically when talking about images printers will ask for a 300dpi image. This is not just because our machines are capable of printing at that density, but because lower dpi counts result in ‘blocky’ or low resolution images. Printed work is a lot sharper and constant than your typical glarey screen- even the most modern displays have some amount of blurring due to the way the pixels are illuminated. But the printed page is not at all forgiving, even a 200dpi image that looks amazing on your LCD display will look blocky and undefined under the scrutiny of print. Text is even more unforgiving, it’s smooth curves make low resolution output a big no no. The best way to keep your text looking smooth is by producing your work in a PDF format. As long as you remember to embed your fonts you should be golden. PDF files combine vector and raster data, which means any text or vector work will be reproduced at the highest resolution possible.

The Art of Perception.

Now stand back- here comes the next revelation. Big posters require a smaller dpi. It sounds crazy, but it’s true – for poster work you don’t need to be quite so picky about your high resolution pictures. It certainly is true that on close inspection low resolution pictures will appear blurry, but how often do you get up close and personal to an An A1 poster? Posters are generally perceived from a fair distance, which means we’re happy to accept things being less than pin sharp. Check out a billboard next time your walking past, you’ll be amazed at how low quality the half toning on images can appear. Here at Print Colchester we recommend 200dpi images for large format poster printing, this kind of resolution should keep file sizes small enough to be manageable, but still give great printed results.

The wrap up

So there you go. Not our usual top tips post, but hopefully you’ve gained a bit of an insight on the tricky dpi. And if you’re still a bit bewildered, why not get in touch so we can help you out.


Digital Embossing at Print Colchester

SEE Your Business Grow With Digital Embossing – Print Colchester

Make your business STAND OUT with our Digital Embossed printing service. Embossing allows the print to retain its sharp look as well as providing a raised surface which can be utilised as Braille.

This is a unique approach to advertising and maximises your target audience. We recommend this style of print for business cards and flyers.  Our Digital Embossing would also be ideal for mail shots or even greeting cards, as each can be personalised for your individual customer.  

To keep costs low you can mix and match quantities of the embossed prints, for example half with and half without. Visit us to view a sample or to order click here.

15% Off Digital Print until Feb 15th 2013

With the commissioning of our World first Screen Digital Press our Digital Printing Capability has been considerably enhanced and we are very keen to fill our new capacity.
For the next two weeks we are pleased to offer 15% off all Digital Printing, so now would be a great time to see for yourself what Print Colchester can do for you.
Our simple and economical Digital pricing means that we charge the same whether you require every print the same or every print different. So if you want three lots of 50 single sided A2 Posters just order 150 and send us a 3 page file. Or if you want 150 different posters simply send us a 150 page file.
And remember, this week and next we are offering an extra 15% off our already great Digital Prices.
Ordering Digital Print has been made much easier this year. Just go to the product you require, enter your quantity and click on the Digital Price given. At the Shopping Basket enter the code 15DP2013 and the price will be reduced by 15%.
If you need to speak to us please feel free to give us a call on our local number- 01206 368881.

Large format scanning and printing

Large format colour scanning has come to town!

The Wait is Over for large format colour scanning

Print Colchester is pleased to announce that the wait is finally over- we’ve got our massive A0 colour scanner!

After hundreds of requests by you guys we’ve got ourselves this great new machine, which will scan your A1 and A0 originals ready for large format copying and archiving.

Architect’s plans and CAD drawings both black & white and colour are no problem for our super new scanner, sucking them up and spitting them out in a digital format ready for you to edit, store or copy. We can also scan huge photographs, massive posters and enourmous drawings all in glorious full colour.

If you would like your scans saved onto a CD or memory stick that is no problem, we can even email them as a PDF, jpeg, tiff or photoshop format file.

So next time you need a large original scanned bring it to our store in Mail Boxes Etc., Colchester (right in the middle of town!) and we’ll get that digitized. Call us now for pricing- 01206 368881.

25% Off Beer Mats At Print Colchester!

Ok – so you liked offer one, double sided for the price of single business cards- well here is that second money saving offer we mentioned…

That right – 25% off the print price of beer mats ordered before the end of the year. Another great offer for you to soak up. Check out the prices here: BEER MATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. just choose beer mats from the list on the left! Or you can always send us an email…

Double sided business cards – second side free!

On the run-up to Christmas we all need to take advantage of a discount here and there- those glasses of egg-nog don’t buy themselves. So for the next couple of months we are running three great offers for you- and here’s the first:

During November and December you can order any quantity of Single Sided, up to 2500, Full Colour Business Cards printed on our luxury 400gm Matt Art Card and we will print the reverse in Full Colour free of charge.

Full terms and conditions are available when you ORDER NOW!

NCR Forms

Get Your Duplicate Sheets at Print Colchester

Seeing Triple!

Whilst looking at our latest offer for ‘Double up on Leaflets’, we thought we’d mention that we can also create great duplicate sets with our  ‘Carbonless Printing’ service…

Also known as digital NCR (no carbon required) – this service is great for making duplicated forms, order pads, delivery notes, instant invoices and anywhere you need super fast copies. You get to choose the page setup, ranging from A6 – A3 or even customise the size!  Select the number of pages you wish to have within the set and pick the colour… white, blue, pink, green, yellow.  Then add your specific details and description.  A set can be singular or bound together in a group, to create a larger block set.

We offer this service in-store…  you can order as many, or as little required!  For larger quantities (+250) these will be ready 1 week from order placement.  Please give us a ring on 01206 368881 and we’ll get those organised for you.

tom-soup copy

The perfect stock

I’ve heard that all the best stocks are jellified.

When it comes to printing I’m not so sure. Here at Print Colchester we hold a wide range of papers perfect for printing posters, flyers and leaflets. If you need reports rapidly processed we’ve got the right stock for that too. Even digital photograph printing has it’s own special kind of card- we like to use an extra thick coated ‘supergloss’ for that purpose.

If you want to pop in and take a look we can show you our entire range of papers and advise you on what would make the most sense for your job- both aesthetically and financially! Pop on in and see us – 9 St. Johns Street – Colchester.