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What is a Print Ready PDF?

What is a PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Supplying a print ready PDF not only eliminates all of the extra files you would have traditionally sent to a printing company, it will also speed your file through our pre-press department as we won’t need to load everything into our system. By supplying a print ready PDF you create a simple workflow between you and us, enabling a hassle free transition from design through to print and delivery.

What is a Print Ready PDF?

A Print ready PDF must meet certain criteria for your file to print without problems. All print ready PDFs need to contain the following:

  • Your file is set up as four colour process CMYK, not RGB. If it’s not in CMYK, don’t worry; we’ll happily convert it for you. However some of the colours may look different or washed out when printed. 
  • Your document page size is exactly the same as the finished trim size.
  • Fonts are embedded or converted to outlines so no fonts are needed.
  • All scans and images are 300 dpi resolution and placed in your artwork at 100% of the final print size. 
  • Images are embedded in the file.
  • Artwork files supplied have 3mm bleed.
  • Any trim, score or folds are clearly indicated outside the print area. .
  • Artwork is a minimum of 5mm from the trim leaving a 6mm safe or quiet area.
  • Black text is not created from CMYK, but is 100% black only.
  • White text or graphics are not set to overprint.
  • Multiple page PDFs are set up as single pages running from the front cover to the back cover. Any blank pages are included in the artwork supplied.


Multiple-page PDF

Multi-page PDFs must be saved as single pages, running from the front to back cover. PDFs saved as spreads or reader’s pairs are not print ready. Any blank pages in your printed document must also be included in your PDF. If your booklet is to be stapled or saddle-stitched, remember that your total number of pages must be divisible by four. For example, if your PDF has 10 pages, you need to add two blank pages for it to be ready for print.

Why It is important to give us pages in their running order

Always supply the pages in their correct numerical order with your front cover being first and the back cover last. That way you can be sure that your document will be printed exactly in the order you intended. 

The difference between pages and leaves

In printing terms, a page is a side of paper and a leaf is a sheet. When we refer to a page, we mean one printed page (1pp). A leaf of paper would be two printed pages, or 2pp. 

Create a Print Ready PDF Online

Having trouble creating your print ready PDF from Windows products or images?  There is a useful scaled down version of a popular convertor program that will convert a file under 10mb to PDF.  You can access it by clicking here