How to: Lay Out Your Document

Topics: document layout | working with images | fonts | color management | UD logos

Before you hit send, run through this guide of pre-press tips for preparing your document.

Document Layout

  • Always know the binding style of the book before you lay it out.
  • The document page size should be the same dimensions as the trim size of your book. Avoid “floating” or placing artwork in the center of an art board larger than intended output.
  • Insert blank pages where they would appear in the finished book to keep all odd pages on the right and all even pages on the left.
  • It’s best to leave at least a half-inch of white space from your text to the edge of your page to give your book a professional look.
  • Please make sure your document bleeds. Bleeds are areas where an object extends beyond the edge of the printed page. Make sure items needing to print to the edge of the paper extend or “bleed” an eighth of an inch beyond the edge of the page to accommodate for variances in the printed piece.
  • Please layout your document in single pages. We have software that will impose your document into booklet form.
  • Please use the geometric tools to make boxes & frames. Don’t build them from individual lines.

Sending your Document

  • Quark and Adobe InDesign both have methods for collecting items for transmission. Quark has the “Collect for Output” option and InDesign has “Package.” These options will collect the fonts and links for your project.
  • PDF files are a great way to avoid font and image issues as long as the PDF was made with the “Press Quality” settings. You must also include “bleed” in your PDF file.
  • Do not use special characters (i.e. #@%&) or extremely long file names. Try to limit your file names to 16 characters.
  • See our page on options for sending us your file digitally.

Working With Images

  • When using Adobe InDesign, always remember to PLACE your image in your layout file and never copy and paste them. This allows your layout software to call to a link, which is the hi-res file represented by the preview that you see in your layout.
  • Do not use images taken from the Web. These are not intended for high quality printing. There may be additional copyight concerns with these images.
  • Do not use GIF, PICT, or WMF.
  • Make sure your images are at least 300 dpi.
  • Please convert all RGB images to CMYK.


  • Be sure to provide all the fonts used to create your project.
  • If you are going cross-platform, (i.e., MAC to PC or the other way) remember that the fonts DO NOT travel well. MAC and PC fonts are different animals, even if they are both Adobe Type 1 fonts. Special characters are different key combinations. This is why it is very important that we have a hard copy. Converting your file to a PDF is one way to avoid cross-platform problems.
  • Do not use the style menu to make type BOLD or ITALIC. Unfortunately, this method will allow you to create a font that does not have a screen font to support that particular stylization. Select the appropriate font through the menu selection.

Color Management

  • A “process color” is created by a combination of the four standard process inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.
  • A “spot color” is special premixed ink.
  • Use “process colors” when your file uses so many colors that it would be expensive or impractical to use spot colors.
  • Use “spot colors” when you are only printing a few colors. If your document is going to require 2 or more colors you should consider printing the file in process colors.
  • If you use a percentage of a spot color it will no longer match that spot color. (30% PMS 153 vs 100% PMS 153)
  • A full description of University of Delaware color models and official colors is available from the Office of Communications and Marketing Web page at

University of Delaware logos, trademarks, wordmarks, etc.

  • A detailed explanation for how to obtain and use University of Delaware logos, trademarks, and wordmarks for print is available from the Office of Communications and Marketing Web page at
  • Be certain to review information regarding UD color models and official colors at