Presto Print DTP Support

Scans & Graphics

Common questions about scans & graphics for Presto.
What scanners can I use?
How much resolution?
What graphics can I use?
Should I apply filters or halftones to my scans or graphics?
How should I save my scans?
How do I use my scans & graphics in page layouts?
Should I use B & W, Grayscale, or Color?


What scanners can I use? 

Just about any scanner is fine; fax machines and older ‘all-in-one’ devices should be avoided. To get the most out of your scanner, use whatever ‘quality’ settings are offered in the scanner software's Preferences: "long warmup", "accurate (slower)" scanning, "slower (better)" scanning, etc.

• However, you should usually ignore software controls that artificially boost the scanner's resolution unless you truly need them—for photos, 300 DPI is usually fine; for line art, a resolution of 400 DPI can be used (but 600 DPI is much better; 1200 DPI is great).


How much resolution?

• When scanning line art (black and white graphics with no grays), scan at 1200 DPI for the sharpest printing. Resolutions above 1200 DPI will not improve print quality.

• When scanning photographs, please don't use overly-high scanning resolutions— 300 DPI is fine for most photographs. Higher resolution uses up more disk space and requires more time to process, and is ultimately discarded at the printer.

If your scans will need to be enlarged, you can scan at higher resolutions. A good formula to use is this:
(final height/original height) x 300 = scan resolution

For instance, if a 3 x 5 portrait needs to be enlarged to 8 x 10, you would scan at 600 DPI, since (10 ÷ 5) X 300 = 600. Similarly, less resolution can be used when a photo will be reduced: a 5 x 7 that will be reduced to 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 would scan at 107 DPI, since (2.5 ÷ 7) X 300 = 107

Keep in mind that quality scans start with quality originals— high-contrast photos and crisp B&W line art will produce the best printed results. Muddy photos and light-colored line art can be compensated for, but the results will never be as good as with high-quality originals.


What graphics can I use?

We prefer TIF and EPS.

For “paint” or “bitmap” programs such as Photoshop, save your files as TIFF; for “draw” or “vector” programs such as Illustrator, save as EPS or Illustrator files. Only send .jpg files as a last resort, and make sure the resolution and quality are high. We don't use low-resolution graphics formats such as .gif, .png, or PICT. We prefer not to use .bmp files.

When sending us clip art, make sure it is at least 300 DPI or higher; please avoid any art that is ‘pre-screened’ or ‘already halftoned.’ As a rule, graphics copied from web pages are always low-resolution and won't print worth a hoot.

When sending Photoshop files (.psd), leave all layers intact; don't flatten.

Do not put EPS files inside other EPS files (called 'nesting'). For instance, don't import a Photoshop EPS into an Illustrator EPS; don't place an EPS in Quark and then send a Quark EPS; don't try to make a montage by placing several EPS graphics into a single new EPS graphic.

Always link to your graphics in layout files—don't embed the graphics into the layout file. Embedding always makes editing and printing more difficult.

When coloring graphics in layout programs, always use spot colors—don't use CMYK or RGB colors. We'll have to convert all CMYK and RGB info, which may invlove an extra charge. Likewise, when linking to colored graphics, make sure the originals don't use CMYK colors.


Should I apply filters or halftones to my scans or graphics?

Nope; the plain ole files are just what we need. If you ‘halftone’ or ‘screen’ your scans, we'll need to ‘de-screen’ them, which will most likely reduce their quality (and may incur a charge). The filters you might use to improve your prints probably won't produce the same results on our prints, and again quality may suffer.

However, we do ask that you make your scans as B&W or Grayscale, not as RGB (color) files. Give us a call at 364-7132 if you have questions; or


How should I save my scans?

Save your scans as TIFF (".tif") files; if you're using Windows, please limit your file names to 27 letters. If you want to save a special effect or special screen with your scan, save the file as an EPS/EPSF (".eps") file.

If you are using Photoshop or Illustrator “Layers,” when making a graphic that we'll need to edit, don't flatten the file — our ability to edit the graphic is severely limited when files are flattened.

However, we do ask that you save your scans as B&W or Grayscale, not as RGB or CMYK (color) files. Give us a call at 364-7132 if you have questions; or


How do I use my scans & graphics in page layouts?

It is very important that you link all your graphics, and not embed them. We often need to edit certain properties of graphics — to resample a scan, delete CMYK info, rotate an image, sharpen a photo, crop, etc. to accommodate high-resolution printing.

Graphics (including scans) should only be rotated in a graphics program, such as Photoshop — you should never rotate graphics in a page layout program such as PageMaker or Quark.


Should I scan for B & W, Grayscale, or Color?

There is rarely a need to scan for color. Use Grayscale for images that need to express a range of contrast, such as photos, gradients, colors, textures, etc. Black-and-White is reserved for “line art”—graphics that use no halftone shading, just black and white.

We ask everyone to please save scans as B&W or Grayscale, not as RGB or CMYK (color) files. Give us a call at 364-7132 if you have questions; or

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