The steps for setting up print-ready files in FreeHand and Illustrator are essentially the same. The one exception is in designating the number of document pages. While Illlustrator can only make single-page documents, FreeHand has the ability to create mutiple-page documents. Our press equipment, however, works only on single-page documents. If your print job consists of a multiple-page FreeHand document, copy and paste each page into a separate document. This will keep file sizes to a minimum and reduce your upload time.
Create documents that are .25" larger than the final trim size to accomodate elements that bleed. Do not create files that are larger than the trim size. For example, do not place a 3 " by 5 " card in the middle of an 8.5" by 11" document.
In Illustrator, create a new layer and draw a box the size of the document (including any bleeds). Set the fill and stroke of this box to none. Use this box to create a mask that contains all of the elements within the bleed.
In FreeHand, create a similar box. Copy and paste your elements inside the box to create the mask.
This masking step allows us to correctly center your file when trimming to the final size.
Make sure that your document is based on the CMYK color space. Regardless of the program that you are using, the color palette should be set to CMYK process colors.
Color Space in Illustrator
- Double-click on any color in the palette. The color space of that color will be reported in the pop-up window. Also, click on File, Document Color Mode and be sure that CMYK is checked.
Color Space in FreeHand
- Look for italicized color names in your color palette. If they are not italicized, double-click the color in the Swatches Tab of the Assets panel and select the CMYK option box on the Mixer Tab.
Save a copy of your final document in its native file format. This will serve as your final proof. Any subsequent changes or corrections will be done on this document. Now convert all of the text in the document to paths, and embed all of the placed CMYK images. These two steps will eliminate the need to submit the fonts or images in your document.
Convert Text to Paths in Illustrator:
- Select the text you want to convert. From the menu bar, select Type, Create Outlines. Repeat this process for all text groups in your document.
Embed Images in Illustrator:
- Click on an image in the Links palette. Click on the pop-up menu arrow in the palette and select Embed Image. Repeat this process for all images in your document.
Convert Text to Paths in FreeHand:
- Select the text you want to convert. From the menu bar, select Text, Convert to Paths. Repeat this process for all text groups in your document.
Embed Images in FreeHand:
- Select Edit, Links. Select an image and click on the Embed button. Repeat this process for each image in your document.
To Save in EPS Format
- Select File, Save as EPS. In the Options window, choose Compatibility or v9.x or lower; Preview as a TIFF (8-bit color), transparent; Options check CMYK Postcript Level 2. If applicable, check Include Linked Files. In case you missed converting a font to paths, check Include Document Fonts.
- Select File, Export. In the drop-down box Save as Type, select either Macintosh EPS or EPS w/TIFF Preview. Click on the Setup button. Check the boxes for Include FreeHand Document and Include Fonts in EPS. Select CMYK in the Convert Colors To drop-down box. Click on the OK button. Click on the Save button. Export each page by itself, one at a time.
To Save in PDF Format
- Select File, Save as Adobe PDF. Click on the General button. Set File Compatibility to Acrobat 4.0; set Options to Embed all Fonts, Subset Fonts Less Than 100%. Click on the Compression button. Uncheck all boxes.
- Select File, Export. In the drop-down box Save as Type, select PDF. Click on the Setup button. Select All Pages; Image Compression (both color and grayscale): None; Convert Colors to CMYK; Compatibility: Acrobat 4; Clear all remaining option boxes except Embed Fonts. Click on the OK button. Click on the Save button.