Select Best File Format For Printing | Guidelines to Get Optimum Picture Quality in Print
Selecting the best file format for printing is no easy task if you don’t have the information required. The difference between digital pictures and printed pictures is massive. What you can see in the digital screens is different from the printed version of the same picture. This means you cannot expect the same picture quality on paper as you see it on screen. But is it possible to get the print quality somewhere close to the digital pictures? Yes, it is! Thanks to modern printers. The advanced printers and high-quality papers can give you quality like never before.
Back from the days of black and white printing, today you can find prints in any color. True colors and authentic combinations make the color copies more realistic. However, it is not always the printer or ink quality responsible for creating a good color copy. You need to keep a check of the actual picture quality too. To get a good picture, the picture itself needs to be of good resolution.
How to get a good picture quality?
A good quality picture is instantly attractive for its clarity. It is easy for people to comprehend the meaning of the picture. The advancement in technology has given birth to so many different gadgets. The digital camera is one such. When you know that you need a printout of a particular picture, make sure to use a digital camera with great picture resolution.
With the help of a digital camera, lens, and other photography gear, you can easily get a good photograph. The picture quality greatly determines the print quality. When you are taking the photograph make sure to adjust the camera settings. It is very important to get the camera settings right.
This is applicable for both still images and graphic designs. If you are creating a picture mostly with graphic designs, the resolution is important. Depending on the size of color copy you are planning to print, determine the resolution first. For example, a big sized postcard or flyer will need a picture with good resolution. Hence while designing, you should choose a layout with a bigger resolution.
For pictures captured with a digital camera, you can understand the picture resolution when you open the image in your computer. Once you get the full-size image you can see the image get pixelated with enlargement. Every image will indeed get pixelated with the increase in size. But a picture with good resolution will give maximum clarity until the end. Therefore, when you are choosing a digital camera read the specifications carefully.
Importance of Pre and Post Production
Printing a quality image will require some effort in the pre-production process. The first step is to capture a subject that is clear and understandable. This is followed by capturing the picture in the correct frame. Once you have the right picture in hand go to the post-production process. This is where you start with editing the picture to get the correct margins and size. For this, you can use software like Photoshop or Lightroom. You need to be skilled to carry out this task well. Once you are done with the pre and post-production process, check the resolution once again. You can then proceed with the printing.
Here are the guidelines that can help you get a good image printed perfectly. Try these to ensure highest quality printouts.
Check for the file size
These days you can find memory cards with a lot of space. Previously the short storage amounts in SD cards were a cause of concern. But now you can store pictures with bigger file size and retain it in the best quality. Most experts recommend using RAW files instead of JPEG. The problem with JPEG is that it makes the images compressed. It is good for storing more data but not ideal to retain all information captured by the camera sensor. The data is also not recoverable. This will affect the post-production process too.
Importance of Megapixels
The importance of megapixels cannot be ignored. When you are getting the picture printed, megapixels do matter. A pixelated image will give a horrible output. The megapixel will also determine the picture clarity. It is important to consider the measurement of the picture you are planning to print. To determine how large you can print the picture, check the image file and look for the dimensions.
Professional software like Photoshop will tell you the image size easily. But once you come to know about the image dimensions, you can easily estimate the megapixels for the image. Avoid enlarging a picture when you find it getting pixelated. For example, if you want to print a large size picture, you need to take the original picture with a camera that has a good number of megapixels.
Go for a better lens
It is important to choose the right type of lens for your camera. It is because the lens is responsible for getting the focus right. If the picture is not focused properly, it will be blurred and unclear. Sometimes you may not get a second opportunity to click the right shot. Hence, you can still save money on the camera body. But choose to invest in better lens quality.
Best File Formats for Design printing
The file format plays an important role in determining picture quality. Here are the top 10 best file formats to use.
This is also known as JPEG which is short for Joint Photographic Experts Group. The file format was created by the group itself. There are two sub-formats. The first is JPG/Exif that is generally used by digital cameras. This format is also used in other photographic equipment. The other is JPG/JFIF, which is common to the Internet.
Short for Portable Network Graphics, it’s a format used for image compression. It is expected that this will end up replacing the Graphics Interchange Format with time. GIF is a popular choice on the Internet these days.
Commonly, PDF is short for Portable Document Format. This format contains all elements of any print document captured as a digital image. This allows the document or image to be viewed, printed or sent easily.
DOC is the common filename extension for documents made by word processors. This is most commonly used by Microsoft Word. Previously this extension was a popular choice used for documentation in the plain text format.
Short for Tagged Image File Format, this is a format for a bitmapped image with variable-resolution. It was developed in 1986. This is commonly used for converting images for applications involving page layout. However, this file format is not suitable for web content.
Also called bitmap image, BMP happens to be a device independent format. It is meant for raster graphics and is capable of storing bitmap digital images irrespective of the display device used.
Short for Scalable Vector Graphics, this is a format for vector images based on XML. This is meant for 2D graphics while getting the support animation and interactivity. This specification is available as open standard since 1999 and it was developed by the W3C.
PPT and PPTX
These file extensions are used by Microsoft PowerPoint. These files are used for storing the slide show presentations.
Short for Encapsulated Postscript Vector, this is for graphics. It is used by Adobe Illustrator for storing images based on vector graphics.
This extension is used by CorelDraw as a vector graphics extension. It stores digital images in a compressed and encoded manner allowing them to be easily used by software capable of editing vectors.
The Common Color Standards
The common color standards used in printing images are RGB and CMYK. RGM stands for Red, Green, and Blue while CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black. These are two are categorized based on primary and secondary colors respectively. And when you combine colors from each of these two sets, you get a new color or the color you want to use.
When you use RGB for preparing a design and then change it later to CMYK, you can notice the change easily. You can notice a pale change in tone. Hence, when you are designing an image it is important to choose the right color set. The file format and colors play an important role in determining image quality. Choosing the correct file format and resolution can save you from many unwanted mistakes. This way you can get the perfect image with optimum print quality.
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