Font Basics

When it comes to printing your books, fonts require just as much attention as images or paper selection. In fact, missing fonts are one of the most common oversights when preparing files for printing. To that end, here are a few tips for handling fonts:

 font basics
Don’t Stylize
When using all programs, including "basic" word processing programs such as Microsoft Word as well as layout and design programs like Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign, it saves time to simply highlight and italicize or bold sections of text. This is what we call stylizing. However, fonts that are stylized won’t always properly reproduce; stylizing only changes the appearance of that font on your screen. It will print as a stylized font from your desktop or network printer, but this format will not always translate for a press plate processor. To be sure bold, italicized and other stylized fonts are reproduced correctly, select that exact font – such as Helvetica Bold Italic - and be sure to send it to us along with all other fonts you have used.
Font Collection
Missing fonts are a common problem at the prepress stage, and often cause delays in production. Using the “Collect for Output” option in layout and programs allows you to see all fonts used in your file and collect the screen and printer versions for each font. Including all font versions will help Sentinel Printing properly prepare and print your project.
Create a PDF File

A PDF file is a compressed file that contains your document with all necessary fonts and graphics embedded into it, like a suitcase with all the contents needed inside. This format is quickly becoming the preferred method of file transfer by many printers. Call us for more information on creating PDF files. If you are using PDF files, be sure to check them for your stylized font appearance before sending to Sentinel. Although there is no guarantee it will still work, this can alert you to problems.