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PostScript-only output and graphics

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: PostScript-only output and graphics

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the Output and Graphics options inside the Print dialog box, which allow you to print color separations, for example, but they are only applicable to PostScript Printers. So let me show you how that works. I'm going up to the File menu and I'm going to choose the Print command, Ctrl+P, Command+P on the Mac, and then I'll switch over to Output. Now notice that I can only print a composite image, right here, composite full color image to a full color printer, for example, or print a grayscale version of the image to a black and white printer. But what about my separations, I want to be able to print color separations.

PostScript-only output and graphics

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the Output and Graphics options inside the Print dialog box, which allow you to print color separations, for example, but they are only applicable to PostScript Printers. So let me show you how that works. I'm going up to the File menu and I'm going to choose the Print command, Ctrl+P, Command+P on the Mac, and then I'll switch over to Output. Now notice that I can only print a composite image, right here, composite full color image to a full color printer, for example, or print a grayscale version of the image to a black and white printer. But what about my separations, I want to be able to print color separations.

Well, you can't do that with a non- PostScript printer and each of these printer set is hooked up to this network that I have access to. They are all non-PostScript printers here. So if I want to gain access to some PostScript functions and PostScript is the industry standard print language that's used by just about every commercial service bureau out there. If you want to go ahead and prep your job for PostScript, then you switch over here to Adobe PDF, which encapsulates PostScript essentially. So I'm going to go ahead and choose PDF, and that will act as my printer, the PPD is set to default Adobe PDF 9.0, which is the most recent version out there.

If I were to click the Print button right now, I would actually generate a PDF file. But I could just go ahead and save these settings with my document by clicking Done and then my commercial printer could decide whether the overwrite my settings or not, when they get around to printing the job. Currently, Mode is set to Composite. As I said, that will print a full color version of the illustration to a full color printer but I want to print the separations, and I could either print separations and this would be the individual Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks, along with this guy, my spot color Pantone 200 C.

I could either print Host-Based Separations, which means that I put Illustrator in charge of the separation process or I could leave the Raster Image Processor that's part of the printer, I could leave it in charge and that might be a software or hardware based script. Now if I were actually there at the commercial printer, and I had access to that PostScript device, I would probably choose in-RIP Separations but because I'm going to a PDF file, I'll leave Illustrator in charge. The Emulsion and Image settings, those are totally up to your printer, they are going to use what they need, most likely, it's going to be Up (Right Reading), and Positive.

Now you might want to go ahead and adjust the printer resolution. Once again this is determined by the printer, not you. But if you are just trying to get a sense for how things are going shake out, you might want to go with one of the high-end industry standards, which would be either 100 lpi, that's the screen frequency there, the number of halftone dots per inch; and 1200 dpi, that's the printer resolution; or we could go something higher like 175 lpi and 2400 dpi if we wanted to. I'll settle for this for now. The 100 lpi, 1200 dpi works out just fine.

Now notice that we have access to each one of our five inks. As I said, the four processes, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black as well as Pantone 200 C, the spot color, and we can see the screen frequency. They are all at 100 lpi, thanks to my printer resolution setting right there. And the angles that the halftone dots, they have to vary, so that you don't end up getting more ray patterns, or any other weird funky patterns out of your final print job, and they are set to these values by default. The only thing worth sort of noting here is that we do have one guy, the Pantone 200 C, whose screen angle is the exact same as Black, but you may have notice our Blacks and our Pantone 200 Cs don't really overlap each other anywhere inside the illustration and that's pretty typical that your blacks and your spot colors are going to be independent of each other.

Note that you have this option to covert this spot color to process if you want to, so if you don't want to pay for a fit thing because every time you add spot color inks, you add expense to your job, you have to pay for the ink, you have to pay for the plate, you have to play for the time, etcetera. So if you don't want that, if you just want to boil it down to the CMYK equivalence, which by the way may deliver a different color, but still it can be worth it. Then you'd say Convert All Spot Colors to Process and notice that final guy goes away. It will get gobbled up now into the other inks. This also renders smooth, the need for us to have done any trapping because now we didn't need to do trapping because we got rid of the Pantone color and we are expressing it as Magenta, Yellow, and Black, meaning that we are not going to have any change for gaps, regardless of registration problems.

You also have this Overprint Black option, which will overprint all black inks inside your illustration. So if you haven't really taken the time or care to make your specific objects overprint as we did, we made these columns of black text overprint. So we already took care of that, and otherwise, throughout my illustration, I have used rich blacks, so I don't need overprint black. But if you would wish to setup your illustration differently using rich blacks instead of just regular old 100% K blacks, then you can turn-on this check box in order to overprint all.

All right, I'm going to leave it off in the case of this particular illustration. Then I'll go to Graphics, the next option down. Flatness is a really interesting one. This is another old school PostScript thing. The idea is that when the printer draws a circle, it's not drawing a smooth continuous circle despite everything we have done with the Pen tool, and all these other tools and Bezier control handles, and all that junk, trying to get just as smooth as the arc is possible. What PostScript is actually doing is drawing these super attenuated polygons.

In other words, the polygon has a ton of sides associated with it. It has so many sides that it looks to the native eye as if the printer has drawn the circle. But if you are to loop it, you might notice that it's actually a very busy polygon. If you wanted to change that Flatness, right now its set to Automatic, which means it's going to try to do the best smoothest job possible. But if you are finding, you are having problems for whatever reason, you could turned Automatic off and then you could increase speed like so. Decreased quality. That's going to give you fewer edges to your polygons and your circles are going to start looking more polygonal as a result. I'm going to leave it the way it was set before. I wouldn't change this unless you are running into problems.

You do want to download a subset of fonts, all these settings by the way are set pretty good by the default, there is just one thing that I'm going to show you that we would want to change but I do want to explain what's going on here. Not all fonts are built-in to the printers, in fact, a very few fonts are built-in the printers these days. So what Illustrator needs to do is download the font definitions as subset of them, just those characters that are used in the actual illustration. Now if you want to make sure you hit every single character, just in case for whatever reason you are having some problems or something dropping out, then you could say Complete, go ahead and download the entire character set for, in our case, Lithos Pro Bold and Nueva Standard Italic. Those would be the three fonts it would have to download.

But we would want to leave it set to Subset. You could also say None, if you knew they were already built-in to your printer. That will be craziness though. So you would say Subset. These options are best left said as is. It's going to PostScript level 3; it's not going to be 2 most likely, unless it's a really old printer. Data format, this is a bandwidth actually, you don't have to worry about that. Then there is this option Compatible Gradient, and Gradient Mesh Printing. Now, I haven't introduce you to Gradients and Gradient Mesh yet, but I'm going to tell you right now that they go beyond the boundaries of what PostScript can accomplish.

Now there is a lot of things that go beyond the boundaries of what PostScript can accomplish. That's not really something that you need to worry about too much. But if you are having problems printing your gradients, it does happen. I have plenty of problems over the years and if you do have problems, then turning on this checkbox will go ahead and convert the gradients and gradient mesh patterns into raster images, something you might do in Photoshop, and then they will be clipped inside of a vector object. So if you turn-on this checkbox, you will get this warning that says only do this if you are having problems. I don't know why it doesn't pop-up this warning for all of these settings frankly, but only do with this if you are having problems, and see the documentation for more information. Well, good luck with the documentation. But anyway, that's what it's doing is its going to go ahead and rasterize your artwork, convert it to pixels, only the gradients though.

Anyway, I'm going to say OK, because I really don't want it, I'll turn it off. Better to leave it set off so that Illustrator attempts to render as much of the Gradient and Gradient Mesh, as it can as vector objects, just let it do with the thing in the background. This is the one frustrating setting in this dialog box in my opinion, beyond that silly error message we just saw. The Document Raster Effects Resolution is 72 ppi, and so just 72 pixels per inch. So my drop shadow, for example, on back of this green wavy pattern right here, and also if I were to switch to Page 2, and back at the skateboard and the surfboard, those drop shadows are all going to be rendered at 72 pixels per inch, that low res.

Now, you might not notice that because the drop shadows are very fuzzy, so you might not notice the low resolution. However, if you want to change it, if you want to up it to something more reasonable like, 150 pixels per inch or even 300, then you have got to go to a different command to do it. You can't do it here inside the Print dialog box. I have no idea why that is. But anyway, in another exercise, I'll show you how we take care of this issue. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you the rest of these settings but for now, just go ahead and click on Done in order to save what we have done so far, and by all means, the second you put down this exercise, take up the next one.

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Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37867 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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