Thomson-Shore is enacting a proactive policy regarding the submission of electronic files. We believe the technology that is available to us today can greatly benefit the production processes of all involved. To show our commitment to embracing this technology, we are offering an economic incentive to our customers who submit trouble free files that meet our quality standards. This discount is based on a per page cost (multiple color text does not receive a discount for each color).

Often we encounter situations around design or file setup that will not affect our ability to output your files. But, these problems do interrupt the production process, as we must stop the job to address our concerns around quality. Please contact us to obtain the preflight forms that our company uses to exam-ine the integrity of electronic files. Use these forms as well as our Client Guidelines for Electronic Pre-press as tools to ensure that your files will proceed through production without quality problems.

The text must clear all phases of prepress before being considered clean. At proof stage there will be a "smiley face" on the proof letter if the job is likely to clear all phases. If your job fails to meet our specifications, you will be notified of the reason(s) no discount was credited to your job. You cannot requalify that job by taking action at that point, but any jobs following would be eligible for the discount if they pass through production without problems.

We realize that our requirements are very strict. The phases outlined are basic issues that may interrupt throughput if not submitted properly. All of the items outlined can be easily controlled by our customers and/or file creators. It is our intention to smooth out this electronic workflow for everyone's best interest.

PHASE ONE-File Compatibility

The files that are created must be compatible with our electronic imposition software. We use Luminous PressWise and Ultimate Technographics Impostrip. There are several ways to approach this:

  1. If you are on a Macintosh and using T-S supported software, just submit your application files. T-S will convert them to PostScript files that are compatible with our imposition software. For unsupported applications you'll need to submit PostScript files.
  2. If you are working on an IBM/PC or compatible computer, you'll need to submit PostScript files that are consistent with Adobe's Document Structuring Conventions. Within the Print Driver setup in Advanced options there is a checkbox indicating this. For absolute verification, run a test job with us.
  3. You are using a composition house that is on the T-S preferred typesetter list.
  4. You are using a composition house that has proven file compatibility with T-S.

PHASE TWO-Use Correct File Formats

Our recommendation is to not use TrueType fonts or PICT files in your documents. TrueType fonts should be replaced with PostScript Type1 fonts. (TrueType fonts are converted by the computer to Type1 fonts before imaging and this may cause unexpected results.)

PICT files should be converted to EPS or TIFF files using Photoshop. Leaving files in PICT format often causes system crashes the time they are output to the imagesetter. PICT files are low-resolution files and will image with jaggies. By converting these files you will not improve the quality, but we will avoid the imaging problems.

PHASE THREE-Files Provided are Consistent with T-S Quality Standards

Files must meet Thomson-Shore's quality standards as outlined in the preflight forms and our electronic prepress guidelines. These are based upon the standards we have used for conventionally printed jobs.

The typical problems we will question are: files setup for wrong trim size; "bouncing elements" that will cause backup problems; graphics not being scanned at the correct resolution; hairline rules being used; margins not being specified correctly in the file and margin inconsistencies from file to file. These are some of the most common problems we encounter.

PHASE FOUR-Use Supported and Reliable Removable Media

Files must be provided on a removable media that we support. Often we are unable to copy files off the media due to disk errors or incompatible drivers on the media. To guard against disk errors, reformat your media often. Repeated copying and deleting of files can cause sectors on the disk to go bad.

To ensure we will be able to read your Mac formatted media we recommend using FWB's Hard Disk Tool Kit. Also the current Apple Drive Setup is much more reliable then earlier versions.

We recommend to IBM/PC users to invest in Iomega's ZIP drive. We have had very good results with this drive and it comes with all the necessary utilities.

In all cases have updated and current drivers installed regularly on removable media.

PHASE FIVE-Complete and Accurate Paperwork

Our Electronic Prepress Data Sheet for text must be filled out completely by customer and/or file creators. Avoid attaching additional pages to this data sheet as they can get separated in our production process.

Clear and accurate file directories MUST be provided. "Print Windows" from the disks are not sufficient --we need the order of the files as they appear in the book, along with the correct file name, page range and number of pages in each file. Directories should indicate if blanks are in the files or where they need to be added.

Current laser proofs that are one-sided and 100% of size are also needed to clear this phase. Tiled proofs are fine if they are taped together. All graphic elements should be marked as LIVE (in file for final output), FPO (For Position Only) or OPI (Open Prepress Interface) images. If the production department finds text reflow and has to stop the job to question the differences being found, then the discount will be declined.

PHASE SIX-Files are Organized Well on Disks

We require good file organization on disks. There should be one folder which includes all the graphic files for the text as well as the application files. Provide one folder with the text fonts, and a separate folder for PostScript files if needed.

Avoid nesting folders. This can hamper good organization and causes confusion when copying the files to our server.

By putting all your files into specific folders, duplicate file names will become apparent. All files need unique files names to avoid substitutions. If you encounter duplicate files names then the situation must be resolved before submitting the job.

Never put outdated versions of the files on the disk.

If you need to use multiple disks to submit the job, then label them in an organized fashion. If you must leave items on a disk that are not for the job in progress they should be put in a folder labeled "DO NOT USE."

Avoid putting multiple jobs on the same disk.

Windows 3.x users are limited to smaller directory/file names, but the organization should be similar to what is described above.

We strongly recommend that you submit a separate disk with all of the materials for the cover.

PHASE SEVEN-Be Sure to Submit all Elements to Complete the Text

All components to process the text should be sent at one time. In general this will include all files, fonts, graphics, laser proofs and supporting paperwork.

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