Why Printers hate Publisher and MSWord

Why Print shops don’t like Publisher

So is Publisher really that bad? If you are creating something to print out on your home printer go for it! The software is inexpensive, and for making a garage sale sign or your toddler’s birthday invitations, it will work just fine. But if you are designing your business brochures, business cards or a postcards, where quality matters, Publisher just creates more headaches than it’s worth. You might be surprised how little money you actually save by trying to design it on your own….

Below are a few reasons that Publisher falls short as a professional design program;

1. The biggest one: Incompatibility from environment to environment.
Publisher, MSWord and other Microsoft programs do not behave the same way when a file is brought from one computer to the other. The reason for this is when the project is designed on your computer, you are using your computer settings, your printer settings, your fonts, your graphics, and other unpredictable settings that are used when creating the document. A simpler way to describe it, this document is a program in itself, relying on these settings for the outcome of the project. When you simply just save a file, and take it to a print shop, we do not have all of the settings, fonts, graphics on our system as it is on yours, therefore getting different results, such as text reflow, graphics missing, graphics low res or resizing. PACK AND GO feature helps omit most of these problems, however, we prefer and require a PDF document instead of messing with the Publisher file.

The reason why InDesign, Illustrator and other professional design programs work better, is that they are postscript driven programing and MS products are not.  Postscript language is defined as:

“A trademark used for an object-oriented computer language for describing the appearance and layout of documents, used to print high-resolution text and graphics.”

2. RGB vs CMYK or Spot Color
When designing, say a brochure, Publisher defaults using RGB color pallet.
You may be quite surprised by how different the color of the finished piece is to what you see on your monitor. Default Color Space RGB is an additive color model that describes how light combines to create color. RGB is also Illuminated light from your monitor, whereas, we print on paper. So, if you are designing to color on your monitor, you are not going to be happy with the results from a printer. CMYK is the subtractive color model used in color printing. In the offset printing world, require the document to be color separated, segmenting colors of ink on the press. If you are working on a 2 color logo, the colors need to be assigned using PMS (Pantone Matching System) that is standard guild in the graphic art and printing industry for spot color printing.

3. Non-professional or inaccurate templates
As nice as Publisher is to provide a variety of commonly used templates, they often become a stumbling block for users looking to have their Publisher documents professionally printed. One perfect example is their tri-fold brochure template. A tri-fold has three panels, but the template panels are incorrect in size, therefore designers will often find that their middle panel is always off center, and the inside panel is too close to the fold.

Another example is in the topic of bleeds, which means, images and color needing to go beyound the edge/cut mark of the sheet to omit white edges. Publisher can export bleeds, though you have to dig into settings to find it. The templates pre-designed to have graphics and images to the edge weren’t designed to take advantage of Publisher’s bleed feature. This means that a majority of brochure and business card designs we receive from publisher, don’t have proper bleeds and have to be rejected back to the customer for revisions.

4. Graphics and Photos.
Publisher also provides graphics to use for ease of design. However, we have also found that these are proven to create problems. Photos, designers often stretch and enlarge photos and/or use low resolution photos. You can only import .jpg and .tif images in Publisher, which are raster graphics and tend to look more fuzzy.

5. Wanting to make changes on reorders.
We often have customers provide us with a publisher file, and then want us to make changes or add something because they could not, either currently or down the road to the document. Because of the instability of Publisher and it’s incompatible with major publishing software, a number of problems are created.  Publisher does not have all of the features we rely on in Adobe InDesign, that give you the results you are wanting. This leads to larger typesetting fees, and will slow down the project. We will end up recreating the file into Adobe InDesign, trying to put the file into reliable integrity. Depending on the project, we prefer to receive a PDF file that is created from publisher and MSWord, or, simply request that you have us redesign the file in a professional program, so you can count on us managing the file correctly, and consistently for your re-orders down the road.

So, this is why we prefer to that if you work in Publisher, that you provide us the file as a PDF document. If you can’t create a PDF file, we have the solution for you!

On our website you can download for free the capabilities of creating a PDF file. Simply go to PDF Job Ready on our website.

This is a simple way to send your digital files to Print & Copy Factory without worrying about your fonts, graphics, and layout being left behind. This allows you to send us files from the application you created them in, and the files to be printed exactly how they look on your screen.

Adobe PDF JobReady is a free download for Windows and Mac OS X that enables you to digitally send your files to us, proof them on-line, and submit the order to our website. Install Adobe PDF JobReady on your computer, and you can print your files directly to our website from any application. Your print job will be transformed into an industry standard PDF file and will be available for immediate proofing … it’s “what you see is what you get” printing!

You’ll have the opportunity to proof your job on your computer. Once the proof looks good to you simply click “Accept” to submit the job to our website. It then becomes a job in our website’s Online Print Center. It’s that easy. Your print job is converted to an industry standard PDF file, compressed for easy online transfer, and everything we need is embedded in the job (including fonts and graphics).

Here at Print & Copy Factory, we understand the time and frustration that it takes to design project and we want to support you in anyway possible. It is also our commitment that the project is printable and successful on our machines. Hopefully this article has explained why Print shop’s hate Publisher files! If you have any questions, please contact any of us at the shop: (360) 738-4931 or  email us.

The Staff and Print & Copy Factory

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Michael
    Nov 29, 2019 @ 02:06:30

    You guys really help me out . I really need this information.


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