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Checklist for Creating a PDF

Before creating or uploading a new file to Gelato please read carefully our file requirements. 


For best print output, some of the checks before saving your design file to PDF are:


Color Black Text

One of the most frequent problems is black/grey text in the design contains percentages of Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta. Four-color black text creates problems for printers because it is very difficult to register, especially with small text. When you create a document in any program, if you are using black text, make sure it is 100% Black (or lesser % of Black if you need Grey), and 0% Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta. This way your text will always appear crisp, and the printed outcome will be easy to read.


RGB vs CMYK Color space

Always send your image files in CMYK format. You can keep your images in RGB format while you edit them in Photoshop, but always convert them to CMYK before placing them in a page layout program (InDesign, Illustrator or Quark).



The original file for every graphic/image in your document must be linked in the document. The images you see in an InDesign file are only previews of the actual file, and therefore when we export a PDF from your layout, any missing images will print low resolution and will appear pixelated

  • Make sure that none of your image files is layered. If you link a layered image file into the document design printing of such exported file is likely to run into font, transparency, and colour issues
  • Make sure that all links have been converted to CMYK before saving to PDF. This is especially important when your artwork has been created in Illustrator, as the results of RGB to CMYK conversions from Illustrator are very dramatic
  • For a four-colour process job (CMYK), make sure that you convert any Spot colours into Process. This ensures that you have the most control over the colours in your document. Again, if your files were created in Illustrator, this is especially important
  • To obtain the most professional print, we ask that images be a minimum of 300 dpi at the size they will be placed (effective resolution). Anything under 300 dpi effective resolution will appear pixelated in print


Run Preflight panel

Before saving to PDF, you can perform a quality check on the document. Preflight panel warns of problems that can prevent a document from printing as desired. These problems include missing files or fonts, low-resolution images, overset text, and a number of other conditions.

Choose Window > Output > Preflight or Click the Preflight icon at the bottom of the document window.

Some more information about resolving Preflight related issues can be found here


Important Note: Before uploading the design files to your Gelato account Library, please remove any passwords set for preventing access to open or modify the PDFs. Gelato Globe needs to access the files. The file is auto-identified for print product format and size. It is then shown as print-ready once you confirm these details and select the paper type. So do not upload a password protected design file which you intend to print.

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