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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
The lower part of Quark's Print dialog box contains some of the most important settings for making sure that your output appears exactly as you intend it to. Let's have a look at what each one does. It's very important when you're printing to a postscript device, to choose the correct Postscript Printer Description file, PPD. That way QuarkXPress knows all the different features that are built into the printer and can use them maximally. You may have luck printing with the wrong PPD, but it's always better to choose the right one. Now I happened to know that our Upstairs Color printer is an HP Color LaserJet 5550.
So I selected it from the incredibly long list of PPD files that are included in QuarkXPress and that may have been added by new printers as you added them to your network. When I chose this PPD, this information became specific for that printer. It shows me the Paper Sizes that are available on that printer, I chose Letter. It allows me to adjust the output Resolution to whatever is available on that printer. It let's me choose where I want my document to print on the paper. Watch the proxy on the upper right as I change this from Left Edge to Center, to Center Horizontal, and Vertical Center.
Let's keep it in the middle for fun and I can also print a Negative, and tell XPress to please tell me if I have any Postscript Errors. Now all of that is the information available through this Device area over here. As we click down through these different options, we'll see different options appear over here. So let's go to Pages. Here you can control the Orientation, tall or wide. You can Include Blank Pages or not, you can print as Thumbnails, which will make them really tiny, you can Flip the pages horizontally, vertically etcetera. If you've a big page, you can tile it, which means it will be broken down into multiple pages that can then be reassembled into the original large size that you created.
If you enable Tiling, then Overlap becomes available and you can tell it how much you want. But I'll turn that off, then we'll go to Colors. Now this is interesting, because since we're printing to a color printer, we can print in full color or we can also print separations. If we choose to print separations, then we have control over all these color items here. Watch. Currently, I have chosen Composite, which means go ahead and print it in color. Okay, great. So how do I want to print it? I can print it in RGB or CMYK.
I can make this Spot colors combine with the CMYK colors or in Grayscale. Depending on the kind of printer you have and how many inks it has, you will want to choose the appropriate item here. This is a CMYK printer, so I'm going to choose Composite CMYK. I can also choose the Halftone frequency. In other words, how many lines per inch I want these dots to be combined in to make the color rosettes that produced the color pages that you're used to seeing. Generally, I keep it on Printer. That way the printer controls what those halftones are doing, which is usually optimal for that device.
Now if you wanted to print separations out, let's say you're printing to a black-and-white printer or you just want to check to see what those separations are going to look like, go ahead and select separation. I find it to be really useful regardless of what I'm printing to, because that tells me what kind of place I've setup either Spot or Process, and what I might except if I send this file to a printing service. The first thing I notice is that I not only have the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black plates, but I also have three different Spot place below it. These are Pantone Colors that are somewhere defined in the document, and this tells me what their numbers are.
If I really want to, I can go in and change any of the details in here that has little arrows next to them. But at the moment, I'm just curious as to where these Pantone Spot Colors are being used. Well, I can get a clue to that by skipping down to the Layers panel and I can select any layer in here and it will tell me which plates are going to be used. Oh, look at that, Pantone 371 is on my Magazine cover layer. On my Logo layer, I've got this one and that one. On my Photos layer, I've got just the CMYK plates, and on the Default layer I've got these Pantones as well as Black.
That helps me deconstruct to my document and maybe go back in and fix any problems I might have. We'll get back to the Layers panel in just a second, but first let's get backup to where we were on the Pictures panel. When you're printing pictures, you can choose to print them out in full resolution, in low resolution; in other words your screen resolution, or as an empty box. You can choose how to send the data to the printer either in ASCII, Binary, or Clean 8-bit format. Generally speaking, you are best off using binary, because that takes half as much time and data as ASCII.
But if you've some trouble printing, you may need to switch it to one of these other two to make it work properly. If there are blacks in any imported EPS or PDF files, you can choose to Overprint them here. And if you've a TIFF image that's rotated, sometimes it doesn't print out exactly right, and so this will fix that problem and it's on by default. In the Fonts panel, it shows all the fonts that are used in your document and you can decide whether you want to include those fonts in the print stream or if you know that those exact fonts are installed on your printer, you can turn them off and save a little time when sending the data to the printer.
Optimize Font Formats can be useful, if you're using gigantic OpenType fonts with thousands and thousands of glyphs in them, because then it will just send the information to the printer necessary to print the file and not the entire gigantic font. In the Marks area, you can decide whether you want printing marks around your page on your paper. So if you change it to Centered, you can see in our proxy that we're going to have registration and crop marks around the document, and the registration marks are going to be centered on each side. You can determine how wide those marks should be, how long, and how far offset they are from the edge of your page? If we change that to Off Center, it just shifts those little registration marks off a little bit so that it will be less likely for someone to turn your page upside down and misregister the plates.
Under Bleed you can choose how you'd like items that extend off the edge of the document to appear on the larger paper that you're printing to. Page Items means please don't print any bleed at all. Symmetric and Asymmetric will extend those bleeding items a little bit further outside the edge of the document so that they can be trimmed off later by the printing company. You can indicate the amount of Bleed you'd like right here. If you choose Asymmetric, you can change the amounts of Bleed on each side of the document. In the Layers panel, you can choose which layers to print. If you've any layers in your document that are currently not visible, they'll show up as not printing here.
But you can change that. If I turn off Magazine cover, now that layer won't print, and if I click this Apply to Layout button, when I'm finish printing, that layer in the Layers palette will have its visibility toggled off. So it's a two-way connection between the layers and the Layers palette and the layers as they are printing. You can have an invisible layer and in the Print dialog, force it to print. Or you can have a visible layer in the Layers palette, and in the Print dialog, tell it not to print. Whatever changes you make in the Print dialog, you can have reflected back in the Layers palette, if you click this Apply to Layout button.
Now under Transparency. Here is where you control the way transparency is flattened as it sent to the printer. In other words, how do you want these various items if they have transparency or opacity settings set to them to output to this device right now. Generally, the settings in here are just fine. But if you find something is looking blocky or jagged edges occurring, you can increase the resolution here. On the other hand, if it's taking forever to print, you can decrease the resolution and potentially speedup printing. Here under OPI, if you have that kind of system installed, you can turn it on.
Under JDF, if you're using the Job Definition Format and you want to include the Job Jacket information from QuarkXPress with the job, just turn it on here. Under the Advanced panel, you can choose which level of PostScript to send your file to the printer with, sometimes reducing it to the PostScript Level 2 will cause a file that otherwise is having trouble printing to print correctly. The disadvantage is it may take more time to do it. Then here under Summary, you can see everything you've told it do and decide whether or not that's what you really wanted to do.
Go back and change it, if you need to. The buttons down at the bottom give you access to the Page Setup and Printer dialogs that are built into your operating system. Over here you can either choose to Print right now, Cancel or Capture Settings. If you hit Cancel, it will forget everything you did here, and take you right back to the way it was the last time you open this Print dialog. If you choose Capture Settings, it will remember all the changes you made, but still close this dialog and allow you to continue working on your document. That can be really handy when you've made important changes here and you need to get back into the Print dialog and print again.
Printing from most applications is much simpler than what you've seen here in QuarkXPress, but since QuarkXPress is a professional layout tool that can create amazingly complex designs, you need to be aware of how each of these settings will affect your output.
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