Why should I convert my files to PDF? Why can’t I just send you my Photoshop document? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  Have you ever wondered why we ask you to send a PDF?  Here is the simple answer:  PDF’s are the only way to ensure that your file looks exactly the same when we open it on our end.

PDFS are the only files that save metadata.  Metadata is data about data. An image in your design contains metadata about its size, the color settings, the resolution, and much more. When you create text, a PDF will save metadata about positioning of the text and fonts you used.  As a designer, you want to make sure that this metadata travels with your file so that we can print exactly what you designed.

Fonts are one of the most important reasons for saving your file as a PDF. There are hundreds of thousands of fonts across the Internet waiting to be found by designers. Just because you found the most perfect font for your design doesn’t mean that we have the same font. When we open your file on our computers, we may get a message stating, “We could not find the font [insert name]. Would you like to replace it?” This problem can be solved easily by exporting your file as a PDF. All the metadata, including that associated with your font, will be saved so you and the Minuteman Press staff don’t have to worry about editing your file again.  Your design looks great, so why risk altering it?  See what a difference a font change can make?Font examplesPDFs are also useful because you may have designed your file in a different program than we use at Minuteman Press.  It’s also possible that we have a your program but are using a different version.  Even a slight update in the application could mean that we see your design differently on our computers than you do on yours.  Use a PDF to preserve your hard work and ensure that your finished product looks like you envisioned.

You might be asking yourself, “So how do I save my file as PDF?” Here is a step-by-step guide to for some popular applications.


Microsoft Word & Publisher

File → Save As → under “save as type” choose PDF → Save


Adobe Photoshop:

To save as a PDF, your design must be created using CMYK color or spot color and must be flattened.

File → Save As → under “save as type” choose Photoshop PDF→ Save

In the window that opens next:

Choose the Adobe PDF Preset – [High Quality Print] → Save PDF


Adobe Illustrator

File → Save As → under “save as type” choose Adobe PDF (*.PDF) → Click Save

In the window that opens next:

Choose the Adobe PDF Preset – [High Quality Print] → Save PDF


Adobe InDesign

File → Adobe PDF Presets → High Quality Print → Choose a file name and Save

In the window that opens next:

Apply any options if necessary and click Export


We are happy to talk you through this process before you submit your file.  It’s always easier to make changes before the job is printed!  Just give us a call for help…888.937.4470.

Contact us any time.  We love educating our customers and we’re here to help.  If you have a printing question that you’d like us to cover in our blog, let us know!