Recommended File Standards



File Standards

Note that these file standards comprise what we consider the basic run-ability criteria for received files. Failure to meet these criteria could prevent us from processing job files.

File Names and Folder Organization

• Files must be consistent with pagination given in job instructions. • Use only standard alphabetic characters, numbers, underscores and periods in filenames. Periods should appear only before the file extension at the end (.pdf). • Avoid symbolic characters such as ! , * [ ] \ = / – `) (

• Use underscores instead of spaces • Try to limit file names to 25 characters or less. • Recommended naming convention: See Advanced automation and job processing for details.


Ensure that all pages are included in file submission. If sending single page PDF files, ensure that the total count of files matches the pagination total. If sending a single multiple page PDF file, open it and check the total number of pages Acrobat displays. Supply revised pages as single page PDF files. See the file naming instructions for further explanation of proper sequencing when more than one PDF file is supplied.

Trim Size

Files should be created to the actual trim size. Deviation from this standard may require resubmission of files. Use a consistently defined media size. Avoid using a default letter size.


• All fonts used in a PDF file must be embedded. If a font can’t be embedded due to licensing restrictions, we will need to be informed in advance so the font can be purchased.

• In cases when a file requires a font that is not embedded and is no longer available, the Client may ask Japs-Olson to substitute our version of the font with the client approving proofs of the pages.

• Japs-Olson recommends embedding all fonts with no subsetting. • If a customer provides files—PDF or otherwise—without fonts, it may be possible for Japs-Olson to embed required fonts (only at the customer’s specific request). This carries with it a risk—assumed by the customer—the results may not match proofs/files as submitted by the customer. Japs- Olson will always recommend the customer see proofs—at their cost—for such files, but whether the customer reviews proofs or not they assume the risk for any related defects in the final output.

Color Spaces

CMYK, Grayscale and Spot color are acceptable. Avoid RGB, LAB, CalGray and CalRGB colors. Japs-Olson does not supply ICC profiles for color management. All output is managed to conform to ISO29 and GRACOL standards. Japs-Olson color technicians can assist you with color management according to these standards.

Colors in Files

Colors must match colors intended on press as specified on the job ticket. When jobs contain spot colors, ensure that spot color names match exactly (spelling, case, spaces and suffixes) for imported graphics and page layout elements. If substituting a process color for a spot color in files, the color on proofs will appear to be the process color you used. On press, the spot color ink will match the color swatch you choose.

PDF Standard

The recommended file format for all job submissions is PDF. We support and recommend PDF/X-1a standard, an accredited PDF standard specifically intended for press. Japs-Olson will supply you with our presets that are based on the PDF/X-1a standard. Application files and PostScript files are accepted but not recommended file formats.

Application Files

Application files must be organized logically and include all supporting images and fonts. Some applications support plug-in software—also called add-ons or Xtensions—that must be supplied to Japs-Olson if they are required to output the files and if they are not included in the standard software installation. If application files will be transmitted instead of sent on disk, all files should be packaged together and compressed as a .sit or .zip archive before transmission. This packaging, or compression, should be done on a local drive and not a networked server. Please refer to information posted at our website——regarding applications and version levels we support.

Composite Color

Composite color PDF files are a requirement of the PDF/X-1a standard. Our prepress system is tuned to efficiently and reliably process composite files. Due to the nature of color separated files, processing options are limited and imposition is sometimes impossible. If color separations are the only possible way to send files, contact Japs-Olson to discuss options. We may request test files to ensure compatibility.

Visual Inspection

We suggest visually inspecting a representative sample of the various styles of pages used in your project before submitting PDF files to us. There are several advantageous options in Acrobat that should be turned on in order to inspect overprints and bleeds.

• First, turn on overprint preview. This is found in the Advanced menu. Verify that overprint designs look as they should appear.

• Second, in preferences, turn on the checkbox for “Show art, trim & bleed boxes” in the Page Display category. Some page layout applications transfer the trim size to the PDF file as non-printing information that Acrobat will display as guides, but not print, for your convenience.

• Third, turn on thumbnail view. You can quickly see if there are inconsistently rotated pages in this view.