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Create a Print Document

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.1

When working toward a specific print size, you should first set up the document for the final printed size you will need. This document is for a standard one-quarter page club flyer (4.25 x 5.5 inches) printed edge-to-edge with no border around the image. You need to create extra space around your document, called bleed, which can be cut away later to get your document to the proper size after printing. So, you’ll want to add an extra .25 inch around every side of the document, and an additional .25 inch to both the width and height of the document.

To create a new document for print:

  1. Choose File > New.

    The New document dialog box appears (Figure 4.2).

    Figure 4.2

    Figure 4.2 The New document dialog box

  2. Name the document ShowFlyer.
  3. From the Document Type menu, select U.S. Paper.

    Doing so sets the resolution to 300ppi and the units of measure to inches.

  4. To change the size of the document, enter a Width of 6 inches, and a Height of 4.75 inches.
  5. Click OK.

You’ve set up your document to the size you need with that extra .25 inch bleed. To finish setting up your document, you’ll create some guides to help locate the edges when the final printed page is cut to size.

Soft Proof Colors

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.1

With soft proofing, you can work in RGB color, which is the native color space for Photoshop, while approximating how images will look when printed on a commercial offset press. You should work in this view to be sure that when adjusting the colors and look of your design, you will get the visual results you want in the CYMK color space.

  1. To soft proof a document in order to simulate the color space of an offset commercial press, choose View > Proof Setup and make sure Working CMYK is selected.
  2. Choose View > Proof Colors (Figure 4.3), or press Ctrl+Y (Windows) or Command+Y (Mac OS).

    Figure 4.3

    Figure 4.3 Soft proofing simulates onscreen how colors will look when printed on an offset commercial press.

    You won’t see anything happen, but the magic is going on behind the scenes. When you’re soft proofing, the document’s title bar will indicate a simulated color space after the name (Figure 4.4).

    Figure 4.4

    Figure 4.4 The title bar of a Photoshop document shows the color space of the document, the bit depth, and any soft-proofing color space in effect.

The CYMK color space is largely reserved for commercial printing on an offset press. Most home and office printers actually prefer the RGB color space, so use CMYK soft proofing only when you know it’s necessary. High-end color inkjet printers used by design houses and photographers for proofs are calibrated to work best in the RGB color space.

Work with Rulers and Guides

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 3.5

Rulers and guides are features that help you align the elements of your design. Rulers help you determine where the elements of the design will appear in your document when printed. Guides allow you to line up elements and define the printable area of your document. Neither rulers nor guides appear in your final printed product.

Display rulers

  1. To show rulers on your document, choose View > Rulers (Figure 4.5), or press Ctrl+R (Windows) or Command+R (Mac OS).

    Figure 4.5

    Figure 4.5 The View > Rulers command for displaying horizontal and vertical rulers on the document window

    The rulers will be visible on the canvas—the image area—to help determine the placement of elements on your printed document.

  2. To change the units of measure for each ruler, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the ruler to display the menu. Choose which unit of measure you prefer.

    Set your image to inches; this is the standard for US printing companies.

    Note that the current unit of measure is indicated by a check mark (Figure 4.6).

    Figure 4.6

    Figure 4.6 The context menu enables you to select the units of measure for your ruler. Right-click or Control-click the ruler to display this menu.

Create guides

Guides are almost as easy to set up as rulers. You can do so by entering their location manually, or by dragging them into the document from the rulers.

To create a guide in your document, drag one out from the ruler and release the mouse button when the guide is in position. This is a visual way to create guides and is best when you want to use them to visually assist with layout.

To place a guide at a specific location:

  1. Choose View > New Guide to open the New Guide dialog box (Figure 4.7).

    Figure 4.7

    Figure 4.7 The New Guide dialog box

  2. Click Horizontal or Vertical for the Orientation.
  3. Enter a value in the Position field to specify the location of the new guide. In this case, enter .25 in.
  4. Click OK.

    You have placed a horizontal guide .25 inches from the top of your document.

Repeat the steps again to place a guide .25 inches from the left edge of your document by following the same steps but selecting Vertical for the orientation.

After placing the top and left guides, use the mouse to click inside the ruler and drag guides .25 inches from the right edge and bottom edge of your document (at 5.75 and 4.5 inches respectively). When completed, your document should look like Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 The document with vertical and horizontal guides delineating the printed page area

Move, delete, and lock guides

As you work more with guides, you’ll find that you need to move and delete them. In addition, you might want to lock guides so they can’t be repositioned accidentally. To work with guides:

  • Move: To reposition a guide, select the Move tool, click the guide, and drag it to a new location.

  • Delete: To delete a guide, drag it back onto the ruler. Choose View > Clear Guides to remove all guides.
  • Lock: Lock the guides you created by choosing View > Lock Guides. For this project, the guides should stay in place.
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