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Microsoft Word Tutorial to Setup Files for Print

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Microsoft Word

  1. Document Size Specifications
  2. Color must be CMYK
  3. Resolution
  4. Typography
  5. Saving Your File

1. Document Size Specifications

To set up the Bleed:

Microsoft word does not have the ability to create a proper bleed, so you will have to set up a custom page size.

Click the Page Layout tab.
Click Size and choose "More paper sizes..."

In the Width: and Height: boxes, type in your document size in inches, including bleed. The page size including bleed is the size you want, plus .25". For example: a 3.5" x 2" business card MUST be set up as 3.75" x 2.25".

Click OK

To set up the Safety Zones:

There is no way to set a bleed zone in Word, however you can set margins which can act as a safety zone.
Click the Page Layout tab.
Click Martins and choose Custom Margins...

Type in .125" for each margin box.

Click OK
Word will not allow you to set type or place images outside the margins.

 

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2. Color

Microsoft Word does not support CMYK, and should not be used to create colorful items or photos for print.

Microsoft Word only supports RGB imagery, which means they will look fine on the screen, but will not print with the same color.

Only use Microsoft Word for printing basic text and simple graphics where color is not a concern.

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3. Resolution

Microsoft Word will output a PDF at a barely sufficient resolution for text, but will dramatically reduce the resolution of photos, do not use Microsoft Word to create a document if photo quality is a concern in your project.

Word can only output at a maximum of 220dpi, meaning that some graphics can appear pixelated on a commercial press. Only use Microsoft Word for printing basic text and simple graphics where graphical quality is not a concern.

 

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4. Typography

Microsoft Word does not have the ability to outline type, therefore you run the risk of your fonts changing to other fonts. When a font changes, or "defaults" the size of words and items including columns, and pagination can change. This means the results when printed might not be the same as on the screen.

Only use Microsoft Word if typography, pagination, word and line spacing are not a concern.

Tips for text:

Use 8-point and above for best results.

Using fonts other than the basic fonts included on every computer is not recommended when using Microsoft Word,
Use included system fonts such as:

 

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5. Saving Your File

Save your Microsoft Word files as a PDF:

Do not send DOC files to a commercial printer.

Click File > Save & Send
Click Create PDF

In the following window, make sure "Standard" and not "Minimum size" is chosen.

Click Publish.

Note: Results will be unpredictable when printing from Microsoft Word.

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