Size Digital Photos And Scanned Images Appropriately

Graphics that are created by a paint program, a scanning program, or a digital camera are made up of a grid of differently colored squares called pixels. The more pixels a graphic has, the more detail it shows.

The resolution of a picture is expressed in pixels per inch (ppi). Every picture has a finite number of pixels. Scaling a picture larger decreases the resolution (fewer ppi). Scaling the picture smaller increases the resolution (more ppi).

If your picture resolution is too low, it will be printed more blocky. If the picture resolution is too high, the file size of the publication becomes unnecessarily large, and it takes a longer time to open, edit, and be printed. Pictures with more than 1,000 ppi may not be printed at all.

If the resolution of the picture is greater than what the printer is able to print (for example, an 800-ppi picture on a 300-ppi printer), the printer takes more time to process the image data without showing any more detail in the printed piece. Try to match the picture resolution to the resolution of the printer.

Color pictures that you plan to have printed by a commercial printer should be between 200 and 300 ppi. Your pictures can have higher resolution — up to 800 ppi — but they should not have a lower resolution.

NOTE: You sometimes may see picture resolution expressed as dots per inch (dpi) instead of ppi. These terms are often used interchangeably.

Effective resolution

A picture contains the same amount of information whether you scale it larger or smaller in your publication. If you want more details in your picture to appear as you enlarge it, you need to start with a picture that has a higher effective resolution.

Every picture in your publication has an effective resolution that takes into account the original resolution of the graphic and the effect of scaling it in Publisher. For example, a picture with an original resolution of 300 ppi that has been scaled 200 percent larger has an effective resolution of 150 ppi.

To find the effective resolution of a picture in your publication, do the following:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Graphics Manager.
  2. In the Graphics Manager task pane, under Select a picture, click the arrow next to the picture, and then click Details.
  3. In the Details window, the Effective Resolution field displays the resolution in dots per inch (dpi).

Reducing high-resolution graphics

If you have just a few graphics whose resolution is too high, you may have no problem printing them. If you have several high-resolution graphics, your publication will be printed more efficiently if you reduce their resolutions.

IMPORTANT: Before you reduce the resolution of a graphic, consult with your commercial printing service about the resolution that you need.

In Publisher, you can reduce the resolution of one, several, or all pictures by compressing them.

  1. In Publisher, select one or more pictures whose resolution you want to reduce, right-click one of them, and then clickFormat Picture.
  2. In the Format Picture dialog box, click the Picture tab.
  3. Click Compress.
  4. In the Compress Pictures dialog box, under Target Output, click Commercial printing.
  5. Under Apply compression settings now, choose whether you want to compress all pictures in the publication or only the pictures that you selected, and then click OK.
  6. If a message appears asking if you want to apply picture optimization, click Yes.

    A 300-ppi version of the same picture or pictures replaces the high-resolution original picture or pictures.

Avoid Using Synthetic Font Styles

Typefaces are typically designed with different fonts to represent variations in the typeface. For example, the typeface Times New Roman is actually four fonts:

  • Times New Roman
  • Times New Roman Bold
  • Times New Roman Italic
  • Times New Roman Bold Italic

To simplify using the variations, when you apply the bold or italic formatting to text in Publisher, Microsoft Windows applies the appropriate font if it is available. For example, if you select some text in Times New Roman and then click Bold on theFormatting toolbar, Windows substitutes Times New Roman Bold for the font.

Many typefaces do not have separate fonts to represent bold and italic. When you apply bold or italic formatting to these fonts, Windows creates a synthetic version of the typeface in that style. For example, the typeface Comic Sans MS does not have an italic font version. When you apply italic formatting to text in Comic Sans MS, Windows makes the text look italic by slanting the characters.

Most desktop printers print synthetic font styles as expected, but high-end print devices, such as imagesetters, usually do not print synthetic fonts as expected. Make sure that you don’t have any synthetic font styles in your publication when you hand it off to your commercial printer.

Check for the separate fonts that you want to print

To be sure that you don’t have any synthetic font styles, you need to know what typefaces you are using and what variations are available as separate fonts. To see what typefaces you have used in your publication, do the following:

  • On the Tools menu, point to Commercial Printing Tools, and then click Fonts.

    The Fonts dialog box shows all the typefaces that are used in your publication.

To see what style variations of the typeface are available as separate fonts, do the following:

  1. On the Start menu, click Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, in the Open box, type fonts, and then click OK.

    The Fonts window opens and displays a list of all the fonts and font variations that are installed on your computer.

  3. On the View menu, make sure that there is no check mark next to the Hide Variations (Bold, Italic, etc.) option, and then click Details.
  4. Check to see if the typefaces that you are using in your publication have separate fonts available for the styles that you want to use.

If a typeface is listed with only one variation, no separate fonts are available for bold, italic, or bold italic formatting. Most of the typefaces that have only one font available are decorative fonts and are not designed to be used in other variations.

Choose Your Color Model Early

Before you spend a lot of time designing your publication, decide whether you want to print your publication in color. If you print your publication to a high-quality digital color printer, you don’t need to worry about color. Digital color printers accurately reproduce millions of colors. If you plan to print your publication on an offset printing press, you have several color-model options.

Offset printing requires that a professional press operator set up and run the print job. Generally, every ink that is needed to print the publication requires more setup for the operator and increases the cost. The number of inks that you need depends on the color model that you choose.

When you set up color printing for your publication, you can choose from the following color models:

  • Any color (RGB)
  • Single color
  • Spot colors
  • Process colors
  • Process plus spot colors

Any color (RGB)

If you print by using a digital color printer (such as a color desktop printer), you use the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color model. When you print a few copies, this is the least expensive color model to print. RGB colors have the highest degree of variability of any color model, however, which makes it difficult to match colors between print jobs.

Single color

If you print by using one color, everything in your publication is printed as a tint of a single ink, which is usually black. This is the least expensive color model to print on an offset press because it requires only one ink.

Spot colors

If you print by using a spot color, everything in your publication is printed as a tint of a single ink — usually black — and a tint of one additional color, the spot color, which is usually used as an accent. Publisher uses PANTONE® colors for spot color jobs.

This color model requires a minimum of two inks and can increase the cost of printing on an offset press with each ink that you add.

NOTE: In some cases, printing spot colors may be more expensive than using process colors. This is commonly the case for short-run jobs.

Process colors

If you use this color model, your publication is printed in full color by combining varying percentages of the process-color inks cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, which are typically shortened to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key). Although you can combine these four inks to get almost a full range of colors, you can’t get some colors. For example, the CMYK color model can’t produce metallic colors or colors that are highly saturated.

Process-color printing always requires setting up the press with the four CMYK inks. It also requires skill on the part of the press operator to line up the impression of one ink with the others, which is called registration. These requirements make process-color printing more expensive than spot-color printing.

Process plus spot colors

This color model is the most expensive to print because it combines process-color printing (four inks) with one or more spot-color inks. You use this color model only if you want both full color plus a highly saturated or metallic color that can’t be produced by using CMYK.

Choose a color model

When you choose a color model in Microsoft Office Publisher, the Color Picker displays only those colors that are available in the color model that you choose. For example, if you set your color model to Single Color, you can choose only line, fill, and text colors that you can make with that single ink color. If you set the color model to Spot Colors, you can choose only line, fill, and text colors that can be made by using your spot color inks.

To choose the color model for your publication, do the following:

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Commercial Printing Tools, and then click Color Printing.
  2. In the Color Printing dialog box, under Define all colors as, click the color model that you want to use.

    Color Printing dialg box

  3. If you choose either Spot colors or Process colors plus spot colors, you can click the New Ink button to choose additional spot color inks.
  4. Click OK.