RE: Printing from Word using DocuTech systems

Subject: RE: Printing from Word using DocuTech systems
From: "EXT-Hornoi-Centerwall, Theodore" <Theodore -dot- Hornoi-Centerwall -at- PSS -dot- Boeing -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 09:47:14 -0700

> Thursday, July 27, 2000 7:29 AM
Geoff Hart wrote

"The user manuals I've produced for two of our products (in Word97 <shudder>)
> contain many screenshots, which means they photocopy really badly. We aren't
> printing enough copies to make it worthwhile to go with offset printing, so
> Docutech seems to be the most likely compromise solution. Since I'm
> attempting this for the first time, I'm looking for advice on how best to
> prepare the files. I've seen recommendations to send PDF, to send a
> Postscript printer file created with a Docutech printer driver, and to
> simply send along the Word file and let the printer deal with it (the
> recommendation of my current service bureau). I really don't much like the
> last option, since there will be considerable unpleasantness if the printer
> has a different version of the Windows fonts than the ones we're using--I
> don't even want to think about all the problems with line breaks and mangled
> symbol characters. Which brings me back to the notion of using PDF or
> Postscript instead.
"Any tips, warnings, war stories, or suggestions (other than "use a real DTP
> program")? I'll be talking to another service bureau today to find out their
> specific recommendations for their specific Docutech setup, but I'd like to
> have some facts in hand to perform a reality check on the advice I've
> received."

It helps to realize that nothing is more problematic than ensuring that the
printer drivers and fonts that the printer will use are the same as those that
you used in creating the PDF. That said, it wouldn't hurt to attempt to find
out what the printer will use, assuming you are pretty sure you have decided
on a specific print shop.

You probably have learned more about PDFs than you ever wanted to know
by this time. It bears repeating to remember: (1) Create "Print Optimized" PDFs
and (2) Use embedded fonts. If it says it cannot embed the font requested and has
substituted another font for it, that may indicate trouble ahead.

If you are dealing with color, as I assume you are with screenshots, then matters
can only get more complicated, depending on the DPI used (coordinate with the
print shop on what they use versus what you use), the inks used, etc. etc.

Bottom line is, there is no fool-proof way to ensure a perfect correspondence between
what you produce in-house and what the printer produces off-site.

Good Luck!


Technical Writer, COMSYS
Theodore -dot- Hornoi-Centerwall -at- PSS -dot- Boeing -dot- com
The opinions I express here, unless stated otherwise, are mine and mine alone.

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