There are so many file extensions to keep track of these days. Have no fear, we have a list to make every extension clear.
.ai Adobe Illustrator drawing or vector graphics file. Create original drawings or logos with tools that use curves and mathematical bezier curves to create space to fill, lines, etc. If you import a photo into Illustrator, however, you are always limited to the dpi of that photo. Without photos, you can enlarge your AI file as big as you want.
.cdr Corel Draw Vector drawing and page layout file format.
.doc Microsoft Word document created using version 2007 and below.
.docx Microsoft Word document created using versions above 2007.
.eps Encapsulated postscript image file, usually created using Adobe Illustrator, Publisher, or CorelDraw; generally used to import the graphic into page layout programs; standard file format for importing and exporting art files. If created as vector art, can generally be enlarged as big as you need.
FTP File Transfer Protocol, used for sending large files that are too big to email. Many printing sites have in-house FTP uploading, like ours, or it is performed using any FTP program. There are also many options for sending large files that are free of charge...search for "file transfers".
.indd InDesign Document from Adobe Systems
.inx An exported InDesign document that is saved one version down from the version being used. Some elements do not downsave well, though, so check the document carefully.
.jpg or .jpeg Standard format for photo image compression. Generally preferred for emailing and storing files because of file size compression that occurs when creating a jpg file.
.psd Bitmap file created using Adobe Photoshop. This format is limited by the dpi in which the original artwork was created. Files on websites are generally 72 dpi. Files for printing shouldl be about 300 dpi at the size used in a document, but no less than 150 dpi or rough edges (bitmapping) of the photo will be visible. As with any bitmap format (like tif, jpg, psd), real resolution cannot be achieved by increasing the file size. If that were so, there would be no photos for sale on the web.
.pdf Portable Document File from Adobe Acrobat. This format packages all your fonts, pictures and layout into one compressed file, ready for email or FTP upload. Use "Smallest File Size" for emailing to proof copy, or sending large catalogs or books for proofing over email. Use "High Quality Print" for a better look at the graphics or to print a proof on your printer. Use “Press Quality” for sending your document to be printed professionally.
.pub Document file created with Microsoft Publisher.
.qxd QuarkXpress document version 5 or lower.
.qxp QuarkXpress document version 6 or higher.
.tif Tag Image File Format usually generated by a program that handles photos, like Adobe Photoshop; a bitmap graphics format for importing pictures into page layout programs. Files should be about 300 dpi at the size used in a document, but no less than 150 dpi. Final printing is limited to the dpi of the original document.
VDP Variable data printing. Type and images can be changed throughout a print run and is controlled by a database that also contains mailing information.
.wtf Yeah, if you guess this, email Deadline Digital Printing with wtf in the subject line (you don’t actually have to type the whole answer...we’ll know if you read this page) and you get 250 free color 4x6 postcards (you supply artwork). One order per client. First 20 responders.
.xls Microsoft Excel document created using version 2007 and below, generally used as a spreadsheet program for finances, addresses, and other lists.
.xlsx Microsoft Word document created using versions above 2007.
Ever talk to a printer and its like they are speaking in a foreign language? To help you out on your next printer visit, below are some questions and answers to common printer questions.
What is a bleed, and what should I do if I have one?
One important custom printing term to know is a bleed. Bleed refers to an extra 1/8" of image that extends beyond the trim area of your printing piece. The project is printed on an oversized sheet that is cut down to size with the appearance that the image "bleeds" off the edge of the paper. If you want ink to the edge, you must add a bleed.
What is your live area?
Cutting of your printing piece is done in large stacks and may vary a little from the top and the bottom of the stack. The safe "live" area or inner margin in which to keep all important elements within to prevent them from trimming off, should be at least 1/8" to (1/4" for 16-page+ documents) inside the edge of the final trim size.
What is fold?
A folded mock-up layout includes fold line indicators to assist you in the correct panel layout, page direction, and size for multi-page documents. Folding a sheet of paper once produces 4 pages, and the document would be called a 4 page document. We will provide a folded proof.
What is trim?
Trim marks indicate where to cut the printed sheet or where the edge of the paper is. Crop marks is another word for trim marks.
What is trim size?
The final size of the document after the last trim and/or fold is made.
What is RGB?
RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These colors are used for digital cameras, scanners, computer monitors and television screens. Leave colors in RGB for best reproduction unless your quote specifies CMYK.
What is CMYK?
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Printing with these four colors is often referred to as full color or 4-color printing. CMYK are subtractive colors. Any file that is printed on a printing press must be converted to CMYK. We print most jobs digitally, so many times you won't need to convert files.
What is gamut?
Gamut is converting between the CMYK and RGB color space can cause a shift in color. This is because each color format only produces a selected gamut of the full spectrum of color. The color range of each format, however, differs. There are areas in the RGB color space that extend beyond the CMYK range. Those colors will be affected by a conversion from RGB to CMYK. That's why we ask you to leave colors in RGB for best reproduction unless your quote specifies CMYK