Services | Preparing your Files

Prepress utilizes both Macintosh and Windows and can handle recent versions of industry standard desktop publishing software. PDF is the preferred file format for job submission.

The heart of Friesens Prepress is a workflow system called Prinergy. Prinergy is a single-page PDF-based workflow. Every job is processed as single-page PDF files that are used as a digital master. All output is based on PDF pages. Prinergy handles all job aspects including PDF file creation, proof
output (virtual and paper based) and final plate output for press.

Approved Applications
InDesign (Creative Cloud)
QuarkXPress (2021 or higher)
InDesign (up to Creative Cloud)
QuarkXPress (up to 2021)
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF
use PDF

approved Approved application.

use PDF Create PDF files from these programs. See the Preparing PDF Files section for instructions on creating PDF files.


All original artwork submitted by the customer will be returned to the customer upon completion of the job. All electronic files used in the production of your job will be archived for a period of seven years. We do not charge for this storage, but we do charge if you request a copy of these files.

Colour Management

Friesens Press Profiles are available to help file creators manage their colour files. Effective use of ICC profiles produces predictable colour results, ensuring that the print matches the file. This download also includes profiles for working with grayscale images.

Friesens Press Profiles

  • For colour printing, Friesens is using the industry standard GRACoL profile GRACoL2006_Coated1v2.icc.
  • Download the appropriate profiles below.
Image Type
CMYK Colour Images
CMYK B&W Images
Grayscale Images

Recommended Usage

  • CMYK Colour Images – These profiles are intended for standard colour images that are printing CMYK.
  • CMYK B&W Images – These profiles are intended for Grayscale like images that are printing CMYK.
  • Grayscale Images – These profiles are intended for Grayscale images that are printing with Black ink only.
  • For additional information on GRACoL profile see the IDEAlliance website.
Colour and Transparency

Defining Colours

Some guidelines that should be followed when defining and naming colours are:

  • The colour “Registration” is only intended for use in trim and fold marks. Do not use the colour “Registration” for text or backgrounds.
  • The recommended CMYK values for a rich black background are 100% Black, 40% Cyan, 0% Magenta and 0% Yellow.
  • Black text should be 100% Black. Do not use rich black for text.
  • Make sure that colours are defined correctly as spot or process.
  • Names of spot colours should match exactly from layout to drawing to image manipulation applications. For instance, having a colour in InDesign called “Pantone 186 CV” and another colour in Illustrator called “Pantone 186 CVC” will cause a problem. Because the names don’t match exactly they are considered different colours. Please remember that this rule is also case sensitive.
  • Remove the unused colours from the drawing and layout applications.


The ability to use transparency in electronic files created for printing is something designers can appreciate. Transparency provides more options and flexibility when creating page designs. Some programs require transparency to be flattened when saving as PDF. Flattening is the merging of transparent elements. In cases where flattening is required the flattening settings should be set to high resolution. When exporting to PDF use the high resolution flattening settings. PDF files created for printing at Friesens do not need to be flattened. Our workflow can process PDF files with live transparency. See the Preparing PDF Files section of the website for more details.

When working with transparency it is critical that all colours are defined correctly as CMYK or spot. Colours that are defined as spot when they should be CMYK leave white boxes in the areas where transparency is used. If you have any questions or concerns regarding transparency please contact your Tech Support personnel at Friesens.

Colour Fonts and Illustrations


One important consideration in printing a book is the selection of fonts. While Friesens does have the complete Adobe Type 1 Font Library; we still require that all fonts be supplied when submitting your job to Friesens. Fonts, like other software, come in versions; different versions of the same font may contain different kerning/tracking information. If the version used to print the files is different than the one used to create them, reflow becomes a possibility. Text reflow can result in hyphenation changes, missing lines of type or changes in line breaks.

We recommend using OpenType or Postscript Type 1 fonts when creating your book project. OpenType fonts print as reliably as Postscript fonts but have the advantage that the same font file can be used on both Macintosh and Windows. Avoid using Multiple Master fonts in your printing project.

Choose fonts by name when selecting fonts in a layout application. Selecting fonts by name is preferable to using the bold or italic style. In some cases, such as when working in Windows, some font styles are not available in the font list even though the font is installed. The style palette can be used to apply a bold or italic style as long as the bold or italic fonts are loaded. Fonts may revert to the plain version when printed if the font style is not available. In some cases the font may even revert to Courier.


Due to the nature of Vector graphics, intricate illustrations can consume large amounts of RIP time. Vector graphics are created using programs such as Illustrator and CorelDRAW.

Keep the following in mind when working on computer generated illustrations:

  • Create your illustrations at final size to keep line weights consistent. Remember any re-sizing of artwork in the page layout software will also re-size the line weights.
  • Avoid placing large Hi-Res scans in your illustration files; integrate the scan and the artwork by placing them separately in the page layout program.
  • Remove FPO images used for tracing in the illustration even if they are on hidden layers as our pre-flight software will identify these as low resolution images.
  • Avoid “Nesting” EPS files in illustrator programs. Copy and paste editable files instead of importing EPS files, using the Place Art command.
  • Remember to keep a list of all fonts used in your illustration. You will be asked to supply these fonts as well. You can use the “Convert to Paths” feature in your software to outline the text, eliminating the fonts used in the illustration.

Here is a list of the major items that we will be checking for during Preflight.

  • Bleeds (minimum 0.125 inches)
  • Incorrect Trim Size
  • Low Resolution Bitmaps (minimum 600 ppi; recommend 1000 ppi)
  • Low Resolution Images (minimum 200 ppi; recommend 300 ppi)
  • Renamed Images
  • Missing Fonts
  • Missing Images
  • PDF/Layout as Spreads (PDFs should be exported as single pages)
  • Country of Manufacture (Printed in Canada should appear on the copyright page)
  • Trim Marks Too Close (should be offset 10pt or 0.125 inches)
  • Wrong Colour Definition
  • Overprint Elements

Consider sending a test file to be checked before sending the final files.

Friesens preflights all digital files before entering them into our workflow. This allows us to immediately highlight most problem areas and address solutions without delay.

Acrobat Professional includes Preflight software for checking PDF files. The preferences for the Acrobat Preflight tool are called ‘Preflight Profiles’. The Preflight Profile is availabe for both Macintosh and Windows. Download this Preflight Profile from the link below.

To load the preflight settings for Acrobat, open the Preflight palette. From the Preflight palette select Options, Import Preflight Profile from the menu and load the Friesens PDF 2023.kfp file.

Preparing Layouts

Keep these guidelines in mind when creating electronic files for print:

  • Set your electronic document (page) size to the final trim size of your book.
  • Be sure to include any blank pages needed to complete your electronic file.
  • Trim marks should be offset 10pt to ensure that marks are outside the bleed area when the book is printed.
  • Spreads should be created by placing single pages side by side. This way a picture that should bleed from one page to another across the gutter can be placed as a single image, leaving no chance for misalignment.
  • Master pages are an excellent way to ensure consistency throughout your file. Page numbers, headers and footers are just some of the element types you should put on your master pages.
  • The minimum recommended text margin is 0.5 inches. A margin of 0.75 inches in the gutter ensures that the text will be easily readable.
  • Using style sheets will save time and ensure consistency throughout the text in your files. Style sheets allow you to adjust a text attribute to a style that will apply throughout the layout file.
  • Always keep a list of ALL fonts used in ALL files. This includes layouts and drawing programs such as InDesign and Illustrator.
  • Any objects that come within 0.25 inches of the trim should extend 0.125 inches past the edge of the page to allow for bleed needed for trimming of your book. No bleed is needed in the gutter except for books with spiral/wiro binding.
  • Avoid reversing (white) fine serif or script fonts smaller than 12 points out of a coloured background. The font becomes hard to read in the final printed piece and may fill in on press.
  • Avoid extreme resizing of scanned images in the layout application. Resizing below 50% or above 120% should be done in Photoshop. Consider replacing images that are enlarging above 120% because resizing alters the effective resolution. (See Scanning section)

Covers & Dustjackets

For hard covers, soft covers and dustjackets templates can be downloaded to assist in setting up cover components. Use the measurements on the template to set up your InDesign or QuarkXPress document for the correct cover size. The spine width is affected by the page count, paper selection and binding style. Ensure that you have the correct specs for more accurate sizing.


Endsheet files should be set up in spreads where the file width is twice the width of the trim size of the book. The endsheet at the front of the book with printing across the spread is called “F2-F3”. If the back side of the front endsheet also has printing this spread is called “F4-F1”. On the back of the front endsheet panel F1 plus 3/16 inches of F4 will be covered with glue. The endsheet at the back of the book with printing across the spread is called “B2-B3”. If the front side of the back endsheet also has printing this spread is called “B4-B1”. On the front of the back endsheet panel B4 plus 3/16 inches of B1 will be covered with glue. The 3/16 inch glue strip area is used to attach the interior pages to the cover.

Use the following prefixes when labeling endsheet files.

  • F4–F1 – back of front endsheet
  • F2–F3 – front endsheet
  • B4–B1 – front of back endsheet
  • B2–B3 – back endsheet

Multi-Language Setup

The purpose of creating multi-language files is to reuse the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow plates by only exchanging the Black plate for each language edition of the book. By reusing the common plates the total number of plates used is reduced, lowering the printing cost.

When preparing files for printing on press we output plates for each colour that will be printed. For colour books this means four plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) need to be printed.

With any modern desktop publishing program there is a convenient way to create a multi-language file using layers. Using layers is an effective way of keeping common elements identical between languages. Layers are really convenient for toggling between languages when designing the layout. When using layers the language changes need to be restricted to the Black plate only. Changes between languages do not need to be limited to text. Any changes between languages must be limited to using Black only. Watch out for images that contain text directly in the image. Some examples are signs, notes, books and other consumer products.

Preparing PDF Files

In most cases Friesens preference is to receive PDF files. Friesens has written a series of guides to help you prepare print ready PDF files. Each of these guides include setup instructions for Acrobat Distiller as well as specific instructions for individual layout applications such as InDesign and QuarkXPress. These instructions are available for Macintosh or Windows. Please download the appropriate guide below.

InDesign CC
InDesign CS6
InDesign CS5
InDesign CS4
InDesign CS3
QuarkXPress 10
QuarkXPress 9
QuarkXPress 8

The purpose of proofing is to determine, in advance, what the printed piece will look like. Most colour separations are proofed to determine the accuracy of corrections, whether more corrections are needed, or whether there are serious errors requiring a makeover. We offer two categories of proofing which includes content and contract proof types.

Content proofs can be generated in monotone or colour. This proof type will show page content, page sequence, trims and basic colour breaks. Content proofs should not be used to determine if images require colour correction.

Contract proofs are generated in colour. For contract proofing, we offer colour managed proof from our Epson inkjet proofing system. The consistency of the proofing system and monitoring are in place to ensure that the colour shown on the contract proofs is accurate to the way the final product will look when it is printed. Contract colour proofs are available for projects printing on both coated and uncoated paper.

We offer proofs in each of the above categories depending on your requirements.


The following options exist when printing with Friesens:

  • Friesens scans all your images and provides Hi-Res images, which you then place into your document or edit as needed.
  • You scan and place Lo-Res FPO (for position only) images into your document and have Friesens perform all scanning and placing of the Hi-Res images.
  • Acquire your own Hi-Res images, and edit, manipulate, and retouch them yourself before placing them in your layout.

If you work with your own Hi-Res images, make sure you are ready to assume full responsibility. This includes system colour calibration, contrast and tonal range adjustments, dot gain compensation of final output and press, scanning resolution and clarity, sizing, and cropping.

When working with images supplied by Friesens maintain the ICC profile which is embedded in the image. Changing the embedded profile will change the colour. All supplied images should include relative embedded ICC profiles.

Even though you may feel confident in these areas, we recommend that you send at least a few samples for us to proof so that you are able to critique them more accurately.

When resizing an image in a layout program, be aware that resizing the image will affect the effective (or true) resolution. An image scanned at 300ppi and placed at 200% has an effective resolution of 150ppi (effective resolution is equal to the scanned resolution divided by resize percentage). When Friesens preflights your files, we will be looking at the effective resolution and not the resolution at which the image was scanned.

  • Grayscale and colour images
    • 200ppi minimum
    • 300ppi recommended
  • Bitmapped images
    • 600ppi minimum
    • 1000ppi recommended
  • FPO (for position only) images
    • 72 ppi for any line screen

To minimize file sizes, do not scan several items as one scan and then place and crop in the layout program. Perform all cropping and scaling of images while they are being scanned, or in Photoshop. Make sure images are mounted straight on the scanner.

Save all colour scans as CMYK or RGB with an embedded ICC profile. Be aware that the on-screen appearance of images may not exactly represent the printed result. When converting images to CMYK we recommend using our ICC press profile. See the Colour Management section for more details on using profiles.

Grayscale images should be adjusted for the correct highlight and shadow values. As a general guideline we recommend highlight and shadow values of 2% and 97% for images that will be printed on the sheetfed press. For images that will be printed on the web press we recommend highlight and shadow values of 3% and 97%. When adjusting the midtones of Grayscale images using our ICC press profiles will help achieve better results. See the Colour Management section for more details on using profiles.


trappedTrapping is the process of slightly enlarging the edge of one of two overlapping colour objects. In effect creating a minute area between the two objects in which there is a slight overprinting. This invisible effect offers the necessary tolerance required to compensate for the minor mis-registration experienced on press due to paper stretch or fan-out.


OverprintOverprinting is the effect of double printing or printing over an area that has already been printed. Multiple colours/objects overprint each other.


KnockoutKnockout is the “opposite” effect of overprinting. In a knockout, overlapping objects do not print over each other. In this case there is no printing directly behind the object in the foreground. The term comes from the effect that the foreground object knocks-out the printing area of the object in the background. This would now create a case for trapping to be applied.

Friesens applies trapping to all files supplied for printing including both PDF and application files. All application based trapping settings will be ignored. If you have specific requirements for trap, overprint or knockout settings, you should contact your CSR to make arrangements.