Does File Type Matter When Printing?
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Absolutely! Sending the wrong type of file to the printer can cause a variety of issues. Lets take a quick look at the different file types that are out there and find out which ones will make your project look the best!
The great thing about a PDF file is that it keeps the original document's formatting. For this reason, a PDF is usually the best choice when sending a file to the printer. This is especially true for documents that contain text. Most software programs allow you to simply save your file as a PDF, however, some require specific settings.
Most photos and images are saved as JPEGs because they make a smaller file and take up less space. Usually a JPEG works fine when it comes to printing, but occasionally there can be problems. To avoid this, make sure your JPEG file has a high resolution, roughly 600x600 or greater. This will allow for the best print quality. TAKE NOTE: When sending your file to a printer, most e-mail services will try and get you to send a smaller sized file. Don't do it. It will shrink your image and make it unprintable. Always choose "actual size" when sending your files. Always...
Tiff files are great for printing because they can provide the best quality and clarity. However, high resolution TIFFs can become problematic due to their large size. If the copy shop you're working with has a file upload service then you will have no problems. Otherwise, you may have to bring the file directly to them on a flash drive.
Most print and copy shops will prefer working with PDFs. They ensure proper formatting and retain image quality. JPEGs can print well but only if they're high resolution. When in doubt, save as a TIFF. Choose the highest resolution available and then work with a printer that has a file transfer service.