Why does my proof look different from the file I sent?

Format Errors

This is a common problem, particularly when Microsoft Office documents are supplied as print-ready files. Your document looks perfect on your monitor, and your desktop printer prints exactly the same thing you see on screen, but the proof you receive from the printer looks completely different. How frustrating! This happens because programs like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Publisher are designed to work with the fonts installed on your computer, and to print on your printer. Unfortunately, every computer has different fonts installed, and every printer has different default settings. Luckily, there are a few ways you can preserve your document layout no matter where it is printed.

The easiest way to make sure the final product looks the way you expect is to save it as a PDF. Adobe PDF documents are designed to look exactly the same no matter where they are printed. When you export the document as a PDF with embedded fonts, the words will look the same as what you see on your monitor. Spacing stays the same because the pdf file is comprised of images, not keystrokes. In most cases, the PDF you supply for printing will maintain the formatting exactly as you intended. Thankfully, newer versions of Microsoft Office products include the ability to save your document as a PDF. Click here for instructions: Microsoft Office Support – Save as a PDF

If you are using an older version of a Microsoft Office program, you can install Adobe Acrobat or another PDF editing program that will allow you to save your documents as PDFs. Download.com by c|net lists many downloadable programs at every price point: PDF software downloads

If you are not able to save as a PDF, and you want Printems.com to work with your document as is, there are some other things you can do to help us faithfully reproduce your design on our computers and presses.

  • Use Tabs or Use Tables to indent paragraphs and make column alignment consistent. Do not use the space bar to move your curser to a fixed point on the page. The space bar is designed to put a space between words – that is all.
  • Use Alignment Tools to center or right align your text between the right and left margins, or to center your text vertically between the top and bottom margins.
  • When you come to the end of a paragraph, hit Enter. Many layout problems are caused by incorrect and excessive use of the space bar and the Tab key.
  • Avoid using hard page breaks (Ctrl+Enter) to start a new page. Your document may fit perfectly on one page when printed from your computer to your printer, but it may run one line over on a different printer. If you are using hard page breaks, you could end up with pages containing only a single line of text and a page break, potentially doubling the length of your document.
  • Supply your commercial printer with a list of fonts used in your document, and supply copies of those font files when you upload your document for printing.

If you have any question about correct file set up on your next brochure or easel back order, feel free to call Printems.com at 888.490.1260 or chat with us via the online chat option at our homepage. We are here to help you look your best.