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Some File Formats and Configurations to Avoid When Printing

Ideally, you should be able to submit a wide variety of formats to your online printer. It is of course in the nature of online printing to be more inclusive and accepting since it caters to a wide variety of markets and produces lots of different products. However, there will always be some file formats and configurations that will cause you trouble in online printing. In those situations and formats, it is sometimes actually best to redo your prints to the more appropriate type.

If you do not know exactly what are the right and wrong file formats/configurations in online printing then you are in the right place. I will tell you here all the formats and configurations that you should avoid. This should help you veer away from the wrong formats and of course produce the appropriate configurations all the time for online printing.

1.    Drafts in a web image format – A web image format is basically a file format that is in low resolution, primed for fast loading in a web page over the Internet. These formats were created to that people do not have to wait a long time to see an image, especially with a slow connection.

The problem with these formats is that they are rendered in low resolution. While most newcomers think that the picture looks already good for printing, once you do print these types of images the pixels and the fuzziness will appear. That is why for online printing, such web formats should not be used.

So while it is possible to use documents in JPG, PNG and GIF format for online printing, it is a bad idea to do so. Unless they are really big files with resolutions of more than 300DPI, the best file format to print online is still the original document format made from the desktop publishing application.

2.    Consumer file formats – Another file format that you should try to avoid submitting to an online printer would be consumer file formats. These are the formats made from typical commercial software and not specialized printing applications. Examples of these include, word document files from Microsoft Word or even the Open Document format from These more simple and unwieldy formats can sometimes get skewed when they get converted to formal online printing, giving you a different result each time. That is why it is best to avoid submitting files like these for printing. 

3.    Super-Proprietary formats – Of course, sometimes, applications also have what we call the super proprietary formats. These are the document file formats that only open in one software alone and cannot be opened by other applications. While this can help ensure that the precise elements in your document file is not lost, super proprietary formats limit your choices of online printers to the ones that can actually open that file. So if you want to be flexible with who you want to print with, it is best to avoid super proprietary formats.

4.    Documents out of template specifications – Lastly, you should avoid submitting document files to your online printer that are out of template specifications. Believe me, if your prints are out of the template with different settings and dimensions, there will always be a high chance that they will be converted by the online printer. Unless you are really printing purposefully out of those specifications, your prints will always look a bit awkward if you submit a file format like this. So it is best if you use templates when possible for online printing.
Great! Now you know what to avoid when it comes to submitting file documents to your online printer. Make sure you remember these items all the time.

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