Resources > CTP & Film Requirements

CTP & FILM Specs and Requirements

Supplying Digital Files
We can accept files from most if the programs available, but the most cost effective format for you is PDF or Postscript files.

Files can be emailed (via our File Submission page or as an email attachment), supplied on Zip disk, floppy or CD media types. You may compress your files before emailing using either Zip or Stuffit compression methods.

All digital files should be supplied with their relevant printed hard copy. This enables us to proof the output film or plates against what you intended it to look like. For multi-colour jobs we prefer a print-out of each separation.

PDF files
PDF files offer a compact, platform independent format which can embed all required font and graphic information needed to print a job.
In order to create PDF files you will require either the Acrobat PDFWriter, Acrobat Distiller or the full version of Adobe Acrobat.

When supplying PDF files, use the PRESS settings.

CTP—PDF Specifications

  • Maximum plate size is 615 x 745
  • Please use the Acrobat Distiller PPD in you PS file setup. It is important that your version of Adobe Acrobat is v.4.0 or greater.
  • Ensure your setup embeds ALL fonts.
  • Postscript your file as a composite PS file and NOT as separations.
  • ALL images used should be converted to CMYK prior to postscripting.
  • Please allow for a minimum of 3mm bleed on all pages with trim marks and registration showing.
  • PDFs should have the page content accurately centered within the full page area of the PDF. (adding 20mm to your original page size should be sufficient for this.
  • PDF files can be supplied in one of two ways to suit your working method. Either as single PDF pages or a single multi page PDF document.
  • Please use appropriate file names with the page number appearing at the beginning (e.g. 21_jobname) This is important for our imposition needs.
  • When distilling please use the default PRESS OPTOMISED setting. No changes to this are required.
  • Please ensure orientation of all pages supplied is the same throughout the document.
  • Recent releases of most DTP applications can export files to PDF but the PDF library used in these applications, in most cases, are subset of the full Acrobat Distiller Library and is therefore not recommended. Our preferred path is to save the file to postscript and ‘Distill’ the Postscript file using Acrobat Distiller.
  • We can provided trapping (In-Rip Trapping) by request. By default no trapping is applied.

Also see our Document Preparation Tips here

Postscripting your own files for our imagesetter
If you want to print your own job to a Postscript file (to save any file management costs), you will need a Postscript driver and our Panther imagesetter's PPD file.

If you are using Windows you can either install the Microsoft Postscript printer driver off the Windows CD-Rom or you can download the PC version of the Adobe Postscript driver and install our Panther imagesetter's PPD.

On the Macintosh you can can use your standard Laserwriter Postscript driver combined with our Panther PPD. Alternatively you can download the Macintosh version of the Adobe Postscript driver and install our Panther PPD onto it.

Postscript your film as positive or negative, emulsion down (Mirror). For standard imaging use a screen ruling of 150lpi at 2400 x 2400dpi. For any specific information regarding postscripting, contact Paul or Matthew.

Download the Win or Mac Postscript Drivers

With open files fonts that are not embedded or converted to outlines / curves must be supplied with all digital files

Document Preparation Tips

Size: Documents should be set to the specified trim size of the printed document with a minimum of 5mm bleed. When saving the postscript file set the paper width option to the document trim size plus an extra 30mm.

Fonts: Try and use only Postscript type 1 and Postscript type 3 fonts. TrueType fonts are not as reliable. Fonts are to be embedded in the final file and should be active on your system at the time of saving.

Images: Images and graphics used in the document must be saved as Grayscale or CMYK. Elements saved in the RGB or LAB colour mode will probably not print correctly.

Image file formats should be TIFF or composite EPS and should not be compressed. Other formats such as JPEG or PICT may cause either a loss of quality or errors that make the job unprintable.

When saving images in Photoshop, delete any extra channels and flatten the image. EPS files should be saved with No Halftone screen and do not include transfer function.

The optimum resolution of images is twice the screen ruling (lpi) of the target publication. For example, 133 screen ruling would require a resolution of 266 dpi or 300 dpi for 150 lpi. In general, 300 dpi is appropriate for a PDF.

Colour: All colours in the document and linked files should be set to process except where spot colours are required.

Recommended Production Tips

  • The following will assist in the trouble-free distillation of your Postscript file. Remove any unwanted elements on the pasteboard or obscured by other items.
  • Ensure picture boxes are coloured white except for deep etched images.
  • When placing images in the document, round off enlargement/ reduction percentages.
  • For optimum results, do not enlarge images more than 30%.
    Images should not be rotated within the picture box although picture boxes may be rotated. Rotations should also be rounded off.
  • Check EPS files linked to the document and delete any elements not destined to print.

The nature of a digital workflow can be a difficult one to master. If you have any questions regarding the generation of your file, please do not hesitate to call us so that we can ensure a successful outcome.



Home ServicesPortfolioStaffResourcesContact