Preparing to Print Professionally

When you are sending your files for full-service printing, you should take a few minutes to prepare your image and make sure you’ll get the results you want. Proof the image (See our proofing article here), make any changes, and then duplicate and flatten the image so that others can’t accidentally tweak layers and settings.

Follow these steps for the best results:

1. Find out what device your image will be printed to, and obtain the appropriate device profile.

2. Soft proof the image.

3. Make any changes to ensure you’ll get the results you want. Use non-destructive techniques, such as adjustment layers, so you can modify the image differently for another purpose later.

4. Save a copy of the file to a folder that names the print service – or includes the print service name in the filename so you’ll remember later.

5. Choose Image > Duplicate.

6. Select Duplicate Merged Layers Only, and click OK.

NOTE: If the bottom layer was called Background, Photoshop automatically flattens the file. If the bottom layer wasn’t Background, choose Flatten Image from the Layers panel menu to flatten the layer.

7. Choose Edit > Convert to Profile

8. In the Convert to Profile dialog box, choose the destination profile for the device you’ll be printing to. Then click OK.

9. Choose File > Save. Save the image in the format the service provider recommended, such as PDF or TIFF. Select Embed Color Profile, and select the maximum quality possible.