Work with the Print Shop without Font Worries

For many years, personal computers and professional publishing systems existed in parallel worlds. On the former, documents were typed up, which were then immediately printed on dot-matrix printers with the aid of “hardwired” standard fonts. Paragraphs were formatted with spaces, all symbols were the same size, and only such options as bold, italics and underlining were available. Usually nothing more was needed.

The task of the latter is more complex. The path from manuscript to the printing press is much longer and more complex, and the price of mistakes, even the most trivial, is immeasurably higher. In addition, publishing a book requires many more methods of formatting than that of the average office document. Accordingly, book publishers solved this task as well as they could, finally designing a practically ideal environment for electronic publishing that enables the designer to receive a perfect reproduction of what is seen on the monitor.

However, with the development of computers and software, these parallel worlds began to overlap more and more. Microsoft Word, having evolved from a simple text editor into a powerful package for working with texts, makes it possible, even if less convenient, to do the same thing as professional publishing systems – up to the automatic inclusion of bars in a brochure. It is not unusual for managers of various firms to prefer not contacting the print shop in order to create a small anniversary brochure or advertising booklet. Why would you need to? After all, everything can be done by your own employees.

It is only by bringing a pre-prepared layout on a disk to the print shop that an efficient director will observe that although the worlds have overlapped, they have not turned into a unified whole. Therefore, a brochure created in Word is printed on professional equipment in a completely different way than on an ordinary office printer – lines move, carefully placed checks and stars turn into empty squares and formulas get mixed up into something unrecognizable. The designer will argue with the print shop and say that to bring all of this into order would take longer and cost more than to redesign it anew. Incidentally, such problems are encountered not only by amateur publishers. Even professionals who know the whole publishing process, like the drawing on a mouse pad, are not protected from the ordinary lack of fonts.

Here it is necessary to make a short digression. One consequence of the existence of parallel worlds was the creation of two different collections of fonts – TrueType for office systems and Type1 for the printing industry. From the point of view of the simple user, there is no difference between them – you highlight the text, select the name of the font from the list, then send it to the printer… However, this process, taking place between the word processor and the printer in each case differs fundamentally. Therefore, in many cases, printing at the print shop a text typed with TrueType fonts would not work at all. Even cross platform PDF files would not help in this situation – TrueType fonts are not only not displayed in the final file, but can ruin the whole document. It would seem that there is no problem here. All you have to do is install Type1 fonts, and then calmly go about designing. However, the problem is that these fonts were developed for publishers and print shops and, as a result, these collections are very expensive.

So what is the solution for a small independent firm that cannot afford to pay $20 for each font style and for whom printing leaflets is vitally important? What can be done by people who want to take advantage of the convenience of the MS Word “Create Brochure” function but who have neither the desire nor the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of the pre-print preparation process?

The most convenient and effective way is to use Universal Document Converter. This program allows you to finally merge the two worlds into one. Everything is simple: you “print” the brochure layout on a virtual printer and receive as the final result a file which absolutely exactly preserves the original design. What is more, this file is completely platform independent. Even PDF files produced in this manner, cease to “despise” TrueType fonts since the document placed in it is in the form of a bit-mapped image. At the same time, its parameters can be chosen in such a way that the print quality will not differ from that produced by traditional means. After all, it is not important what kind of hidden details of the pre-print preparation process were skipped – the brochure will always appear exactly like the designer intended it to look.
  • Marc Crames

    Marc Crames

    Student, Germany

    «The tool completely meets all of my expectations. It even allows me to precisely adjust the resolution of the created image file. In addition, as a pleasant side effect, the file is relatively immune to alteration.»