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3.6 Save Your File for Print

In this lesson you'll learn how to save your image based on various printing scenarios, and how each affects the settings you choose for your file.

3.6 Save Your File for Print

In this lesson, we'll save our file for print, and cover a number of different scenarios that you may encounter depending on where you're sending this file off to. And before you actually save your file, you will want to make sure you're in the correct color profile. Now earlier in this course, we selected Adobe RGB (1998) as the profile that we would use before we began editing this photo. It's a great general standard to use. However, it's so important that you know what the printing requirements are of the particular printer, that you're sending your photo off to because it can vary. If you're printing this off on an inkjet printer at home or even if you're sending it off to a large lab, such as MpixPro, it'll most likely need to be an RGB. However, it's interesting that at the time of this recording, MpixPro actually prefers that you submit files as sRGB. That's the more limited profile that we touched on earlier in this course. This proves that you really need to check your printer's specific requirements and you can't just assume. Now another large printing lab, such as Bay Photo for example, they actually prefer sRGB's, and they also accept Adobe RGB's and they'll take other colored profiles as well. Now, if you're sending this off to a company for off set printing, they may want either an RGB, so that they can convert it to CMYK themselves using their own pre-press settings. Or they may communicate certain settings to you, and have you convert it to CMYK on your end. By the time you get to the point of saving your file for print, you would have already asked them what the requirements were of course. And it's been my experience that they've even have their requirements pre-prepared as a PDF for you. That they'll email to you, which is wonderful and makes my job a whole lot easier. And they're usually very happy that you actually ask beforehand because submitting a correct file to them, makes less work on their part. So for the purposes of the course, we'll leave this photo and Adobe RGB (1998). Now in order to save your file, go to File and Save As and we'll actually save this file as a JPEG, which is what many of the online large labs prefer. Now when you save an images as a JPEG, that means that it will be converted to 8 bits instead of the 16 bits that we were working with, when we were using it as a TIFF. Now let's consider a few different scenarios here. Let's say you're sending this photo off to a large lab like MpixPro. Now MpixPro specifically they request JPEGs and again, I'm reiterating always double check a specific printer's settings beforehand, especially because things can change as technology gets more advanced. Now directly on their site, MpixPro explains that they print from JPEG format files and that digital compression algorithms have become so sophisticated from the early days, that it's just about impossible for the human eye to tell a high quality JPEG print apart from a TIFF print. So that's something to keep in mind. Now some other printers will accept TIFF files, and again be sure to check the requirements beforehand. For example, at the time of this recording Bay Photo prefers JPEGs, but they will also accept TIFFs and PNGs. It's likely that no matter what type of file is required by the printer, they'll want an 8 bit file if you're digitally sending it to them, because it takes up less space on their end. Now, if you're printing from home, you can use a JPEG or a TIFF file, and if you're sending it off to a large offset printer for commercial printing. They may want it as a JPEG, a TIFF, even a very specific PDF setting. Now, at the bottom here, you have the option to embed your color profile, while the dpBestflow.org website, run by the American Society for Media Photographers, recommends having this box checked, so that your color profile is embedded. This may not always be the case for specific printers. For example, MpixPro specifically requests on their help page that you not embed the color profile. For the purposes of this course, we'll go ahead and leave that box checked for embedding the color profile. And now we're gonna save this under a new name and be sure not to use any special characters because it's possible that you may delay your online order, if the printing company has to change the name of the file for you. And because we're saving this as a JPEG, you'll see that it did assign the word copy to the end of the file. For this course, let's call it Print_Perfect_Image_1 and then you would select save. And here you have your additional JPEG options. And I would give it the largest file save. I'd make it a quality of 12, the highest you can go and we'll go ahead and click OK. And there our file is saved for print. At this time, if you were sending your images off to the printers, you would do so now. Keep in mind, that some of them have a team that will color correct the photos for you, and some printers will make this optional during the ordering process, so keep an eye out for this option. And choose accordingly, so that you're aware if your image is going to be altered or not. If you've gone ahead and put a great deal and amount of care into making sure your image looks the way you want it to look, you may not want it altered. Also, companies like MpixPro only require one file for a number of different sizes. So for example, if you ordered an 8 by 10 and a 5 by 7, and it's based off of the same photo, they would crop the photo down to that. So always be sure to preview the image online as you're ordering to make sure nothing important is being cut off. In some cases, adjustments will need to be made on your end. And that brings us to the end of this lesson. In this lesson, we saved our file for print, and we also discussed a number of situations that can affect exactly how you save your file. That also concludes this chapter. In this chapter, we effectively prepared our file for print. So let's move on to the next chapter. In our next chapter, we're going to explore Photoshop's print dialogue settings, and configure them for inkjet printing when you're printing at home.

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