In a nutshell . . .

Supplied Adverts submitted to Archant for inclusion in any of their newspapers/magazines must meet their printer’s specification

PDF 1.3

Adobe Portable Document Format in version 1.3. Preferably from Acrobat Distiller, InDesign or QuarkXPress.


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black – the four “process” colours. Any RGB, Pantone, Lab, Index or spot colours will be converted to CMYK.


For newspaper reproduction 200 dpi in CYMK colour mode using ISOnewspaper26v4.icc profile.
For glossy magazine reproduction 300 dpi in CYMK colour mode using ISOcoated v2 300% eci.icc profile.


Embedded, PostScript Type1, OpenType, TrueType. MultipleMaster fonts cannot be used.


A few words about this guide . . .

Although our printers require PDF 1.3 files preferably from InDesign, Quark or Distiller there are literally hundreds of different ways to procude a PDF – some good, some not so good.


Programs we use:-

Adobe Photoshop for image manipulation. QuarkXPress and InDesign, the two programs of choice of 99% of the commercial studios in the country (settings are covered by Pass4Press ). Adobe Illustrator settings also available via Pass4Press documentation.

Here is a list of several common programs with instructions (obtained via Google search function) on how to make sure you are working in the CMYK color space.

Microsoft Publisher 2003-2007 or later
Select File Tab, then select Info. Select Commercial Print Settings. Select Choose Color Model, then Select Process Colors (CMYK)

Corel Draw
Select the Fill tool and click Fill Color Dialog. Color model CMYK. Select the Outline tool and click the Outline Color Dialog. Color model is CMYK.

Adobe Pagemaker 6.5
Window/Show Colors. Double click “colors” in palette and select Model to be CMYK and Type to be Process.

Adobe Photoshop
Edit – Colour Settings (select suitable CMYK profile for newsprint). File – New – CMYK at 200 dpi. “Ordinary” text is likely to be poor quality and, more often than not, made up of the four process colours.

Serif PagePlus 5 onwards
Click the Colour tab and select CMYK from the drop-down list.

The following programs do not have the capability to convert to CMYK.
Adobe Photoshop LE and PhotoDeluxe, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Works, OpenOffice.


Why PDF 1.3?

All files should be in version 1.3 of Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF).
PDF files should not contain transparency, layers, video, audio, notes or encyrption. None of these elements – available in PDF files greater than PDF 1.3 – can be transferred to any of the four printing plates. Transparent elements and layers need to be flattened prior to creating a PDF 1.3.

Perfect PDF files can be created in QuarkXPress or InDesign using settings based on the magazine industry standard pass4press PDF settings found at: http://www.ppa.co.uk/all-about-magazines/production/pass4press/ Newspaper images should be 200 dpi. Magazine images should be 300 dpi.

Adobe Acrobat Distiller’s Press Quality (if you know what you’re doing) or High Quality Print (if you’re not sure) job options recommended. Set to Acrobat 4 PDF 1.3.

PDF files supplied at a version greater than 1.3 will be reprocessed to PDF 1.3. This could result in unexpected effects – especially if transparency and/or layers were used. Why would you want whoever processes your advert (who will definitely not be a graphic designer) decide how your transparency/layers are flattened and should look?

PDF files supplied from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OpenOffice can only be created in the RGB colour mode and are usually PDF 1.4 or greater.The default colour mode of CorelDraw, Serif Page Plus and Microsoft Publisher is RGB. These files will be reprocessed to PDF 1.3 and the RGB colour mode will be converted to CMYK. This will result in a colour shifts.

PDF files supplied from Photoshop, which include type, generally reproduce poorly and, more often than not, contain four-colour black, transparency and layers. Photoshop is an image manipulation program.

PDF files supplied from “free” PDF software will be in RGB format and, as such, will result in a colour shift when reprocessed to the CYMK colour mode.



Pass4Press website at http://www.ppa.co.uk/all-about-magazines/production/pass4press/ has instructions for flattening files. Newsprint settings shown below.

transparency-flattener InDesign’s creative effects, such as drop shadows and transparency, rely on effective flattening of the file before output, otherwise the final output will often encounter problems. Work with text and graphics on separate layers and use Edit – Transparency Flattener Presets. Set Edit – Transparency Flattener Blend Space to CMYK.

QuarkXPress automatically flattens objects that incorporate transparency relationships. For objects that must be rasterised, the resolution can be specified in the output dialogue boxes, and can be embedded in Output Styles


Why CMYK colour mode?


The ten printing presses at Archant}Print are all four-colour presses using the CMYK “subtractive” colour mode.

Colour is created from the varying wavelenths of light when reflected from objects — the colours we see are the colours of the visual spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Objects absorb certain wavelengths and reflect others back to the viewer. We perceive these wavelengths as colour. These colours cannot be reproduced in the fourcolour printing process.

The human eye is made up of rods and cones. Rods detect light but not colour. We have three types of cones that detect the “additive” primary colours of Red, Green and Blue.

Additive Colour. If you are working on a computer, the colours you see on the screen are created with light using the additive (RGB) colour method.



Subtractive Colour. When we use the four process colours (CMYK), we are using the subtractive colour method.



Therefore, the colours you see on a computer screen cannot be the colours that print. They can be close but never the exact colour. A common example is 100% Blue in RGB prints as a purple-looking color in CMYK. We recommend CMYK values 100-65-0-0 to get a nice blue.


Pantones, RGB, Spot or other colour modes should not be used. Any colour mode, other than CMYK, will be converted to its CMYK equivalent. This will result in colour shifts when printed.

The automatic conversion of RGB colours from (say) any Microsoft application to the four process inks (CMYK) will always reproduce as below. This is relevant to both RGB images and RGB text/colour swatches.


CMYK gamut?

You can see colors in RGB that cannot be made with CMYK. They are “out of gamut”. Photoshop’s RGB-to-CMYK conversion shows this in two ways. The colour picker shows a triangle for “out of gamut ” it also shows the closest CMYK (0c 91m 89y 1k). Click the triangle and it selects the CMYK value. Colour values below 5% are “lost” on newsprint.


Why 200 dpi contone images?

In layperson’s terms . . . 200 dpi is derived from the lines per inch (lpi) in the halftone screen. Archant Newspapers use 100 lines per inch, the best quality is double the lpi = 200 dpi. Archant Magazines use 150 lines per inch, the best quality is double the lpi = 300 dpi.

Colour and greyscale continuous-tone images (photographs) should be saved at 200dpi and used at 100%.

Images scanned at 200 dpi and used at 50% have an effective resolution of 400 dpi and will be downsampled on their way through to final page output. Images scanned at 200 dpi and used at 10% have an effective resolution of 2000 dpi and will be downsampled on their way through to final page output. In both cases the file size of the PDF will increase dramatically.

Images scanned at 200 dpi and used at 150% have an effective resolution of 150 dpi, the lowest dpi suitable for newsprint. Images scanned at 200 dpi and used at 200% have an effective resolution of 100 dpi . . . quality will be poor.

Bitmap images (linework) should be saved at the output value of the actual printing plates . . . 1200 dpi in newpspapers, 2400 dpi in magazines

Top Quality Printing

Archant}Print is the first newspaper printer in the country to use FM Screening technology

AM-screening (industry standard)AM_screening
In process color printing, the screened image or halftone plate for each ink color is printed in succession. The screen grids are set at different angles and the dots therefore create tiny rosettes, which, through a kind of optical illusion, appear to form a continuous-tone image. The resulting high-contrast image, once processed, has dots of varying diameter. You can view the halftone screens that create printed images under magnification.The coarser the screen (lower frequency), the lower the quality of the printed image.


FM-screening (Archant}Print Newspaper standard)
Digital imaging technology has given rise to new approaches to the screening process. The best-known is stochastic screening or FM-screening (frequency modulation, contrasted with the “amplitude modulation” or AM-screening of the conventional screening described above). Because the dots are the same size and randomly placed, the moiré-effects that are generated by traditional half-tones are eliminated. If you use a magnifying glass on an Archant Newspaper and then a National Newspaper you’ll see the difference.

Visit . . . http://www.archantprint.co.uk for more details.

Why 240% TAC in images and colour swatches?

The Total Area Coverage (TAC) in any image or colour swatch should not exceed 240%.

ISOnewspaper26v4.icc profile is a 240% TAC profile and is recommended for CMYK colour contone images. For greyscale images ISOnewspaper26v4_gr.icc is recommended.

In layperson’s terms RGB images are converted to CMYK with Red, Green and Blue filters.

RED is absorbed, Green and Blue is reflected = CYAN PRINTING PLATE
GREEN is absorbed, Red and Blue is reflected = MAGENTA PRINTING PLATE
BLUE is absorbed, Red and Green is reflected = YELLOW PRINTING PLATE
BLACK The BLACK PRINTING PLATE cannot be created from filters.


What Fonts are acceptable in PDF files?

Embedded PostScript Type 1

PostScript-based Fonts are used and recommended by Archant}Regional. Most modern fonts are PostScript Type 1.

Embedded OpenType

A relatively new font format developed by Adobe and Microsoft. OpenType is cross-platform between Windows and Macintosh computers. In 2000 there were hundreds of OpenType fonts.By 2006 every major font foundry and many minor ones were developing fonts in OpenType format. There are now thousands of OpenType fonts.

OpenType is a file format, not a font technology – so they can be either modified PostScript fonts (.otf) or modified TrueType fonts (.ttf).  Adobe’s versions are modified PostScript, Microsoft’s are usually modified TrueType.

Adobe Creative Suite software converts all PostScript Type1 fonts to OpenType.

OpenType fonts will be converted to outlines in Archant’s workflow if used in supplied PDF.

Embedded TrueType

Fonts with the .ttf extension are seen as Windows TrueType fonts regardless of their platform. There are now thousands of “free” TrueType fonts on “free font websites”, check your end user licence allows embedding of the font.

Embedded MultipleMaster

A variation of Type 1 fonts are MultipleMaster Fonts, these are now mostly superseded by OpenType fonts. Adobe Type Manager software is required to display MultipeMaster fonts correctly.

Archant}Regional neither uses nor supports MultipleMaster fonts.

Queries? Call us on 01603 772096