Save the Publication as a PostScript File
When you save a document or publication as a PostScript file, a printer can take the PostScript file and distill it, by using special software, into a PDF file.
  • In many software programs, including Publisher, you save a document or publication as a PostScript file by clicking Print on the File menu. In the Print dialog box, select the proper PostScript printer, and then click Print to File.
  • Note In Publisher, you can click the Advanced Print Settings button in the Print dialog box to choose output options. Composite CMYK and Separations are usually the best options for files that will be printed commercially. (CMYK is a color model for commercial printing that produces a wide range of colors by mixing varying percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks.) Ask your commercial printer which option you should choose.

Some commercial printers prefer this method because they can distill PostScript files by using a Distiller that is set up specifically for their output device. It's also convenient for many customers, because the ability to save a publication file in PostScript format is built into software they already use.

Basically, a PostScript file is the computer code that would normally be sent to your desktop or laser printer to indicate where to put the images and text on a page. Instead of sending the file to the desktop or laser printer, you save it as a .PRN or .PS file. The file can then be transmitted to another computer, where the commercial printer uses special software to distill the PostScript file into a PDF file.

To create a .PRN or .PS file, you must have a printer driver on your computer that supports the PostScript page description language. You can check your current printer to see if it has a PostScript printer driver:

  • In the program where you create your documents or publications, on the File menu, click Print. Click Properties, and then click Advanced. If you see PostScript Options listed under Document Options, you have a PostScript printer driver. If you don't see PostScript Options listed, you have to install a PostScript printer driver.

Publisher includes a Generic Color PS printer driver for Commercial Printing that you can use to create PostScript files. The Generic Color PS driver must be installed manually. To learn how to install this printer driver, click a link under See Also on this page.

To ensure that the PostScript file you create will distill into a PDF file properly, your commercial printer may ask you to load a specific printer driver on your computer. You can select the printer-supplied printer driver when you use the Save As command on the File menu:

  • In the Save As dialog box, in the Save As Type list, click PostScript (*.ps), and then click Save. If you see a message about choosing another printer, click OK. In the Page Setup dialog box, under Printer, choose the printer-supplied printer driver.

In some cases, when you save a document or publication as a PostScript file, the text may reflow on the page, changing the line endings and layout. To make sure that your layout will be correct, when you first open a new publication file and before you begin adding content, click Page Setup on the File menu, and click the Printer and Paper tab to select the proper PostScript printer. By choosing the PostScript printer when you first open the publication file, your publication on-screen should look exactly the way it will when the commercial printer prints it.

Before the final printing, your commercial printer should provide a proof of your file, either a hard copy or a PDF copy. Proofs are a very important part of the digital workflow. It is up to you to review the proof closely so you know exactly what you are getting.

If you want to makes changes in the proof, discuss this with the printer. If the changes require text editing that might cause the text to reflow, you should make the changes in the original document and then submit a new PostScript file. Although the commercial printer can do some text editing, it is usually better to make text corrections in the original file.

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