8 Common File Formats In The Printing Industry
Do you know what are the common printing file format? When printing books, which format of file will print better? In this post, we will discuss 8 common printing file formats. Also will compared their pros and cons, so that you can select the best format of your printing file.
PDF printing file format
PDF( Portable Document Format) is a file format, which created by Adobe System. It allows user to read and check the E-file on the screen. PDF has become the publication specification used by various standards organizations around the world for more secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents. PDF files can also be embedded into HTML documents on the Web. Adobe PDF has been widely used in many fields. Especially electronic publishing, digital printing and other industries. And the digital workflow technology based on PDF has also been widely used in traditional publishing and printing fields.
At present, PDF is the most commonly used file format in China book printing industry. Basically, all printing factories will convert customer files into PDF format for operation before printing imposition. Other software such as PS, AI, CDR, etc. can be connected with PDF to produce standardized PDF files.
JPEG file format
JPEG format is a common image format, which was developed and named by the Joint Photo-graphic Experts Group (Joint Photo-graphic Experts Group), and is a compressed file format. JPEG compression technology is very advanced. It uses lossy compression to remove redundant image and color data. After JPEG compression, the image data is much smaller than other file formats. So that more images can be stored in a limited storage space.
The lossy compression method of JPEG is easy to cause the loss of image data. So the compression rate can be selected according to the needs during storage to control the amount of information loss during JPEG compression. If the compression rate is too high, the image quality will be significantly reduced.
The JPEG format is currently the most popular image format on the Internet. But if it is to be used for printing images, it is necessary to consider the loss of image information during the storage process. Usually, this format is not used as a storage format for pre-press processing images.
JPEG images are automatically decompressed when opened. The higher the level of compression, the lower the quality of the resulting image. The lower the level of compression, the higher the quality of the resulting image.
In the designing high-end printed matter (such as exquisite albums or samples, etc.). The JPEG file format should be used as little as possible, so as not to affect the final printing quality. Generally, in designs that do not require very high printing quality (such as newspaper and advertisement design). You can choose to use JPGE format.
The difference between PDF and JPEG, refer here. So that you can know their difference and why most printers recommend PDF format is not JPEG format.
TFF (Tagged Image File Format)
TIFF format, namely "tagged image file format", is one of the most used image file formats in the pre-press workflow. Not only suitable for printing typesetting, but also directly for printing output. The IFF format is the current version that supports high-resolution color. And the advantage of blocky is that software packages that support the TIFF format only need to save the part of the image that is currently displayed on the screen. Especially when editing a very large high-resolution image. , its advantages are more obvious.
IFF is a flexible bitmap image format with any size and resolution. It is supported by almost all painting, image editing and page layout applications. Most desktop scanners can generate TIFF image files. It is the most widely used industry-standard bitmap file format. Especially in the publishing and printing industries. Nowadays, digital cameras above mid-to-high end can also directly take photos in the TIFF file format.
TIFF format is a platform-independent file format, which allows to save comprehensive data. Also supports a variety of image modes, including CMYK images, RGB images, Iab images, indexed color images, grayscale images, etc. It can contain embedded Path, supports the preservation of Apha channels and layers. But cannot save duotone information. The TIFF format can contain compressed and uncompressed pixel data. The compression method (LZW) is non-lossy (the data of the image is not reduced, i.e. no information is lost during processing). And is capable of producing a compression ratio of approximately 2:1, reducing the original file to approximately half.
When saving an image in TIFF format, one should be aware of the target operating environment where the image is used, i.e. whether the currently saved file will be read by Macintosh or Windows. This is because, although both platforms can use the TFF format. They still have some differences in data arrangement and description.
PSD file format
PSD is the default file format of Photoshop and supports all image modes. Such as bitmap, grayscale, RGB, CMYK, spot color channel, multi-layer and clipping path, etc. This format is generally used in the editing and production of image files.
Bitmap files in PSD format cannot be directly placed into typesetting software. Like Pagemaker for graphics and text mixed processing in graphic design. You must use the Save As or Save a Copy command to save it as a TIFF file format. The TIFF format will lose all the layers, channels and masks in the original PSD format.
Because the PSD format saves information such as the channel, mask and layer of the bitmap. It provides great convenience for the modification and adjustment of the bitmap file during the design process. But the disk storage space it occupies is compared with other file formats. is the largest.
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format
The EPS format stands for "Encapsulated PostScript Format". Since it is packaged, it means that no matter what kind of software it is used in, its content will not change due to different software. So EPS is also a file format independent of software.
EPS format supports black and white bitmap, gray scale, spot color, RGB, CMYK, LAB, index color mode, and uses ASCⅡ format for storage. And it can be opened with a text editing program. Unlike TIFF files, EPS files support duotone image mode. It can contain path information, and can also embed screening information in the image file.
For example: screen line number, screen angle and dot shape etc. EPS files can also save separation setup information. In Photoshop, the various factors involved in the image mode conversion from RGB to CMYK. Such as the combination of ink and paper, color separation type, dot gain, black plate generation, total ink volume and other parameters settings, can only be done in EPS format.
The stability of the EPS format is very high. And most graphics, charts and page layout software support the EPS format. But the EPS format is a format for printing, and most image viewing sharing software and free software do not support it. So It cannot be used for image display on Web sites.
DCS (Desktop Color Separation) format
DCS is a desktop color separation format, an extended form of the standard EPS format, which overcomes the disadvantage that the EBS format does not support spot colors. When storing in DCS format, you need to select options such as preview, DCS format, and encoding. The preview is the display color of the header file, which has no effect on the actual color; for the DCS type. If you select a monochrome file, only a single color file will be generated. If it is multiple files, a total of 5 files will be generated, including 1 header file ( .eps) and 4 color palette files.
The DCS format can also contain bitmap images and vector graphics at the same time. And supports black and white bitmap, grayscale, RGB, CMYK and other color modes.
AI (Adobe Illustrator) format
AI format is a popular vector file format. Because it can be directly loaded into Adobe Photoshop and automatically converted into a bitmap image. It is flexible and convenient to use, takes up less space for the file, and has excellent color accuracy and stability. Therefore, it is widely used in pre-press typesetting.
CDR (CorelDRAW) format
The CDR format is a dedicated graphic file format of the famous drawing software CorelDRAW. Since CorelDRAW is a vector graphics drawing software. CDR can record the properties, location and paging of files, etc. But it is relatively poor in compatibility and only Adobe Illustrator CS3 is compatible.
Which file format is best for printing?
Whether for book printing or packaging printing, PDF is no doubt that became the optimal choice for most China printing companies. Not only because it can easily check the printing file on the screen, also it can dock with PS, AI, CDR and other file formats, to produce standard PDF format. Besides above advantages, use PDF file format for printing, also have other benefits, like PDFS are portable,PDFs are perfect size,PDFs are editable and maintain quality,etc.
The JPEG format became ideal for displaying images quickly and preserving better resolution. It is usually enough to save the image only once in JPEG format at the final stage of creation.
If you want to print images, especially high-quality images, TIFF format is a more suitable choice. But in TIFF files, none of the tools contain screen processing instructions. Screen processing is controlled by the program that prints the TIFF format file. If you want to save screen instructions along with bitmaps, you must use the EPS file format.
Not suitable for printed document formats?
For example, PNG and BMP do not support the CMYK color space. GIF has low resolution and is suitable for the Internet and can only call out 256 colors. So these formats are not suitable for printing.
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