Adobe CS5 Illustrator Printing - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Printing from Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator gives you lots of capabilities. You can print composites, separations as well as adding printer’s marks and bleeds.

  1. Choose File→Print.

  2. In the Print dialog box that appears, select a printer if one isn’t already selected.

  3. If the PPD isn’t selected, choose one from the PPD drop-down list.

    A PPD is a printer description file. Illustrator needs one in order to determine the specifics of the PostScript printer you’re sending your file to. This setting lets Illustrator know whether the printer can print in color, the paper size it can handle, and its resolution, as well as many other important details.

  4. Choose from other options.

    For example, use the General options section to pick pages to print. In the Media area, select the size of the media you’re printing to. In the Options area, choose whether you want layers to print and any options specific to printing layers.

  5. Click the Print button to print your illustration.

That’s it. Although printing illustrations can be quite simple, the following list highlights some basic points to keep in mind as you prepare one for printing:

  • Print a composite: A composite is a full-color image, where all inks are applied to the page (and not separated out onto individual pages — one apiece for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). To ensure that your settings are correct, click Output in the print options pane on the left side of the Print dialog box and select Composite from the Mode drop-down list.

  • Print separations: To separate colors, click Output in the print options pane on the left side of the Print dialog box; from the Mode drop-down list, choose the Separations (Host-Based) option. Select the In-RIP Separations option only if your service provider or printer asks you to.

    Other options to select from are described in this list:

    • The resolution is determined by your PPD, based on the dots per inch (dpi) in the printer description. You may have only one option available in the Printer Resolution drop-down list.

    • Select the Convert Spot Colors to Process check box to make your file 4-color.

    • Click the printer icons to the left of the listed colors to turn off or on the colors you want to print.

  • Printer’s marks and bleeds: Click Marks and Bleeds in the print options pane on the left side of the Print dialog box to turn on all printer’s marks, or just select the ones that you want to appear.

    Specify a bleed area if you’re extending images beyond the trim area of a page. If you don’t specify a bleed, the artwork stops at the edge of the page and doesn’t leave a trim area for the printer.

After you create a good set of options specific to your needs, click the Save Preset button (which is the disk icon to the right of the Print Preset drop-down list). Name your presets appropriately; when you want to use a particular preset, select it from the Print Preset drop-down list at the top of the Print dialog box for future print jobs.