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At anytime you can print your document, be it for proofing or even for final output, directly from Illustrator. To do so, go to the File menu and choose Print. The Print dialog box appears and Adobe tried really hard to make it so that on this first screen that you see right here, any of the usual settings that you might apply are in this panel. That's why it does look a little bit busy, but at least it eleviates you from having to go to these other options, for example, Marks and Bleeds or Output or Graphics, as these other areas are specialized for certain needs.
I am going to go back to General though, and let's take a look at some of these settings. It's important to realize that if you see some settings that are somewhat different, it's because Illustrator uses something called the PPD file or a PostScript Printer Definition file to understand the settings of what each printer supports and some of these settings may change based on the different settings that your printer supports. Now, this document has five different artboards in it. So if I scroll down here to the bottom, it shows me preview 1 of 5, and if I want to see what the other pages look like as well, I can click on these arrows here to take a look at the preview of what these pages look like.
For example, you can see that page 4 doesn't really fit on the piece of paper that I have currently defined. Let me go back to page 1 over here. I have the ability to print a range of pages here and in doing so, by the way, since I have 5 pages here, I can print things like, for example, 1, 2 then put a comma and then do 4-5. This will basically print pages 1, 2 and 4 and 5, but it won't print page 3. I am going to choose All though for now, and I can also choose to Ignore Artboards. That actually treats my entire Illustrator document as one page.
So if I check this option, I really only have one page inside of Illustrator. Now, if I come down over here where it says Options, I can choose Fit to Page and this will automatically reduce all of my artwork to fit on the page that I currently have selected. I don't want to ignore the artboards here, so I am going to uncheck that option, but I'm still going to have the Fit to Page option here. So as I go through, for example, you'll see that page 4 now will print to fit on the sheet of paper. I can also choose a Customize Scale if I want to, but some of these pages have different orientations.
Some are landscape and some are portrait. There is a check box here called Auto- Rotate and with this option checked, Illustrator will automatically figure out which pages need to be rotated in order to print correctly. One of the really nice things about the Print dialog inside of Illustrator is that I have the ability to come up a here and click on this icon to save our preset. That means that Illustrator will capture all of these settings that I have here, including the printer that I have chosen. In this way, if I now I have a certain type of job that I'm always printing out, I can just quickly choose that preset instead of going through all these settings.
This is especially helpful if I have multiple printers. Sometimes, a service provider might have a proof printer, an image setter and maybe a quick laser printer for some proofs. By creating Print Presets for each of these, I can very easily define a preset named proofing or named black-and-white or named final output, and then quickly route my artwork with the correct settings to those printers. When I've created all of my settings here, I can come down to the bottom of the dialog box and click Print to print my document.
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