Presto Print DTP Support


Before giving us your DTP files, please ‘pre-flight’ your job by running through this checklist. Pre-flighting helps ensure that we get all the right materials from you to quickly & efficiently get your job to press. A printer-friendly checklist page is here. A worksheet is also available, for pre-flighting as you work.
A printer-friendly worksheet page is here.
GraphicsScansFontsPage SettingsFile AttachmentsTips


  • Graphics in layout files are linked — not embedded.
  • When bringing graphics into page layouts, there may a choice of embedding the image, or linking to its file. When images are embedded, we lose the ability to properly control the graphic in our 2400-dot environment. The result is that your job suffers needlessly.

  • Graphics are all TIFF or EPS files only.
  • Avoid low-resolution formats such as PICT (Mac) or .bmp (PC). Low-res graphics from the web — such as .gif, .png, and .jpg — are also unsuitable for printing.

  • All graphics links have been checked; unused links have been removed.
  • • In Quark, make sure all imported graphics are OK in the Picture Usage dialog. Use File > Collect for Output... or an automatic Xtension to help you gather all your needed files.
    • In PageMaker, make sure that Link Info exists for all imported graphics. Use the Save For Service Provider plug-in or File > Save As > Files For Remote Printing in Save Publication As dialog.

All Platforms

  • Do not put EPS files inside other EPS files (called 'nesting').
  • Remove unused colors from draw files.
  • Rather than embed graphics in layout programs, always link to graphics files.
  • Tints lighter than 8% may require Quark and/or lower screen resolution; contact us if you need lighter tints. Don't ‘double-tint’.
  • If you use PostScript fonts in PostScript drawings (as in Illustrator or FreeHand), make sure you include the font files in the batch of stuff you send us. (Or, you can create “outlines” of the fonts in the drawing; then you don't need the font files. However, we won't be able to edit text or fix font problems if you use outlines.)
  • Include any copyright notices required by your clip art vendors, photographers, etc.

 See the Scans & Graphics page for details on resolution; file formats; halftones; line art; photos.
 See the Files page for more information on linking files in your documents.



  • All scans are saved as black-and-white or grayscale TIFF files.
  • Make sure your scans are saved as files—don't scan directly into your page layout file. Please don't submit color scans; they're more work for us, and possibly more expense for you. There's usually no pressing need to use file compression when saving files; if you do use compression, please use LZW-Huffman only.

  • Photos are scanned at appropriate resolution:
    (final height/original height) x 300 = scan resolution 
    No screens or filters have been used.
  • Photos that will be printed at same-size or smaller can be scanned at 300 DPI; for up to 2X enlargements, use 600 DPI. Line art (B & W) should be scanned at 1200 DPI or 600 DPI. In all your software — scanner, Photoshop, page layout — avoid using features that produce ‘halftones,’ or that ‘apply screens’ to your scans; unless you're expert, please don't make gamma adjustments or use ‘corrective’ filters or plug-ins.


  • Mac users should save scans as TIFF or TIF files.
  • You can use any of the Mac options such as thumbnails, previews, etc.


  • Windows users should save scans as .tif files.
  • Please save scans with an “8-dot-3” filename, such as photo27.tif).

All Platforms

  • Scans should be saved as TIFF (Mac) or .tif (PC) files.
  • Don't go nuts with high resolution in your scans! For most photos, 300 DPI is fine. If your photo needs to be enlarged to twice its real size, scan at 600 DPI.
  • On the other hand, high resolution is great for line art — 1200 DPI is fine. If your scanner's highest resolution is 800, use 600 instead.
  • LZW-Huffman compression is fine for TIFs; don't use ‘lossy’ compression schemes such as JPG.
  • Please don't apply any screens or halftones to your scans.
  • Rotate your scans in a paint program (such as Photoshop or scanner software), not in a layout program.

 See the Scans & Graphics page for details on resolution; file formats; halftones; line art; photos.



  • Bold and Italic type has been set with styled fonts, not with a program's Style commands.
  • Style commands from a toolbar, palette, or menu do not set true bold or italics. The only way to set these styles is to select a styled font from the Font menu — Palatino Italic, Swiss 721 Medium, Times Bold. This applies to all programs: graphics, layout, and word processing. (The Underline style command can be safely used.)

  • Wherever possible, PostScript fonts have been used instead of TrueType fonts.
  • TrueType fonts may not print accurately, or may stop printing altogether. Be especially wary of “web fonts” such as Comic Sans, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, etc.

  • Your materials include a list of all fonts used in the job.
  • This includes fonts in page layout files from programs such as PageMaker, Freehand, or Quark, word processors such as Word or WordPerfect, and EPS graphics files from ‘draw’ programs such as Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, etc. Include copies of all fonts used in the job; this will help us resolve any problems that might arise in proofing or printing your job. For Macs, this means screen fonts (suitcases) and printer fonts; for PCs, it means the .pfb and .ttf files in the Windows/Fonts directory. Unused screen fonts have been removed from Mac suitcases.


  • Be sure to to get screen fonts (files that look like suitcases) and PostScript print drivers (files that look like tiny laserwriters or large striped red As;
    (To locate all your PostScript drivers, have Sherlock —or Find— look for Type = LWFN.)
  • TrueType drivers are built into the suitcase; when you open a TrueType suitcase, you'll see this icon somewhere inside:
  • Be sure that font suitcases contain only the fonts you've actually used; unused fonts should be removed.


  • Be sure to get the .pfb files for PostScript fonts; the .pfm files are optional. ( Look for big red a's.) For TrueType, all you need are the .ttf files.
  • A font management tool can help you identify fonts, especially if you use older PostScript fonts with names like ‘B23571.’ Adobe's ATM Deluxe is the best-known manager; others are available, including the recently released Suitcase for Windows from Extensis.
  • However, if you just can't tell which fonts belong to what files, make a list of all the fonts used as they appear in the Font menu and we'll sort them out on this end.

All platforms

  • If you have a 'pre-flight' feature available on your page layout program, please use it.
  • Whenever practicable, use PostScript fonts instead of TrueType.
  • Make a list of all fonts used in the job. This includes:
      •  page layout files —  Quark, PageMaker, etc.
      •  word processor files —  Word, WordPerfect, etc.
      •  EPS graphics files —  fonts used in PostScript drawings.

 See the Fonts & Styles page for details on PostScript; TrueType; how to locate font files; how to use font styles.


Page & Print Settings:

  • A minimum 3/8-inch margin (0.375", 9.5mm, 27 points, or 2pica3) has been used on letter, legal, and tabloid pages.
  • There's no need to use oversize stock or incur additional press charges if you can leave a 3/8" margin around your page. There is usually no need for crop marks or registration marks on your pages. Our maximum press width is 11 5/8-inches (837 points, or 69p9); maximum press length is 20 1/8-inches (1449 points, or 120p9). Our maximum proof size is 11 11/16" x 18 7/8" (841 x 1359 points, 70p1 x 113p3).

  • Wherever possible, ‘final’ or ‘target’ resolution has been set at 2400 DPI.
  • The differences aren't always apparent on laserwriter or inkjet output, but subtle changes can occur when PostScript prints at high resolutions. By telling your layout program that your file is destined for hi-rez output, you can avoid unexpected results when we show you a first proof.

All programs

  • Please don't add any halftones or screens to your graphics.
  • Avoid using special features that are unique to your proof printer.
  • Remember to specify 2400 DPI as your final out resolution.
  • Don't worry about crop marks or registration marks — we'll set those up if we need them.

 See the Page Settings page for more info on page setup & print settings.


Sending Files on the Internet:

  • All file attachments have been compressed
  • Compressed files travel more reliably and keep our mailbox from getting filled up. Easy to use drag ’n’ drop compression is available for $30 or $40. We can de-compress just about any format, but we prefer StuffIt compression. ZIP is our second choice.

  • Don't be afraid to use the Force ;-)
  • Or, “if at first you don't succeed, try something else.” Giving the e-mail a good swift kick or a poke usually gets things working. Write to can usually get things figured out after a couple of e-mails.

All platforms

  • Compress attachments using DropStuff, DropZIP, or ZIP, or use the e-mail program's automatic compression feature.
  • Encode attachments as AppleDouble, Base64, or MIME.
  • cc: the attachment to yourself, and download it. If it doesn't work for you, it may not work for us....

 See the Internet page for details on sending files to Presto over the internet.


Layout Tips:

  • No “hairline” rules have been used.
  • A hairline rule that looks great at 300 DPI may disappear at hi-rez output; always specify 1/4-point (0p0.25) instead of Hairline.

  • Unused colors have been removed from graphics & layout files.
  • Please remove unused or duplicate colors from your graphics and layout files before submitting them; unneeded color entries can distort proofs or make color separating more difficult.

  • Tabs have been used instead of space-space-space-space...
  • Spaces are unreliable elements for positioning text — tabs should always be used instead. Very ‘fine’ (thin) tabs can usually be set by designating 2400 DPI output and increasing screen magnification.

All programs

  • Always select a font weight from the Font menu;
      - please don't use Bold or Italics from a toolbar or palette.
  • Always perform image rotation in a graphics program;
      - please don't rotate images in PageMaker or Quark.
  • Always link graphics files to your layout files;
      - please don't embed images in layout files or other images.
  • Organize the files we'll receive as you work;
      - please don't wait until the last minute :-(

 See the Tips page for a few other helpful tips.

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