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Working With Publisher

This subject for a printer is like walking into no man’s land, or so they say. Like many others, we have experienced the problems associated with Microsoft files. Yourself, you may have endured snooty comments from your printer or designer about Publisher not being a design program. We are not that type of Printer. As you’re printer we have learned to work with the programs you work with. We don’t expect you to go out and buy a $700 dollar design program such as Adobe Creative Suite 3 (although we won’t stop you).

Microsoft Publisher does have some good aspects if you take these simple steps to harness them in.


Make sure that you allow your printer proper bleed space. That means if you want the color to extend out to the edge of the paper than you need to make the file bigger and create 1/8 space without text or images that would be cut off

File Set up

If you know there is a bleed set up your file that way. 1/8 on each side means ¼ inch on the overall image size. 8.5 x 11 becomes 8.75 by 11.75 11 x 17 becomes 11.25 x 17.25

Make sure you utilize commercial print settings under the tools section to select CMYK or Pantone colors. This will allow us to closer print the colors that you see on your screen.

Rulers and guides

Once you know have your page size, draw your guide marks to make sure you have proper spacing. It doesn’t look natural when text goes right up to the border. ¼ inch is common typesetting practice.


This is a big problem with our $700 software because our designers like to use 1,000’s of fonts, which in turn leads to more expensive software to manage them. Publisher has fonts that are relatively consistent given the year. We actually operate 2003 and 2008 versions of publisher (so let us know which one you use). If we have to edit your file it is mandatory that we have a PDF as well to refer back to. Publisher files without a PDF to match is where we draw the line.

Image Quality

Image quality is only as good as what you start with. If you get all of your images off of Google then you will have a problem that is hard to solve. We recommend buying a vector clip art package online or stock photos from www.istockphoto.com and www.fotolio.com. (Just a couple cheap sites)

When sending original files make sure you include all the images that you used in the document. Links are any images that you have placed in your document. To save memory on you computer the design program links to the images rather than embedding them. However, if you are sending PDF files then you do not have to send the images or fonts with the original file.

Commercial Print Settings

Go to Tools > Commercial Print Settings > Color Printing to see what colors your artwork contains. Make sure for one and two color jobs there is only that many colors. You may create different shading options for that color but it should not be a variation of the primary version.

We are more than happy to work with your pre-finished artwork and that is why so many of our customer’s come back to us time and time again. As a courteous to new customers, your first publisher file conversion will be free*

*Typical graphic design for handling publisher files is still only $10-$20


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