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Printing to Postscript Files

In past posts I have talked about printing booklets through InDesign. For this to work in our Print Center or at an outside printer like Fed X, you need to save your files as a Postscript file that can be converted to a PDF file. This presents a problem if you do not have a Postscript print driver installed on your computer. Most of you probably have an inkjet printer at home that you use to print proofs or maybe even print your comps but these printers are usually not Postscript printers. At one time installing any print driver, even if you didn’t own the printer, was pretty easy but with the new Mac operating systems it has become more of a challenge. In an effort to make printer installation easier, Mac has incorporated almost all the print drivers online and when you connect a driver with a cable, the operating system automatically goes online, retrieves the appropriate driver and installs it. That’s great, but how do you install a driver when you don’t have a physical printer to connect to your computer? You can use “localhost” and then choose a generic postscript driver but the generic driver is set up as an 8.5″x11″ only printer which doesn’t work when you need the capability of a larger paper size, i.e. a booklet that is 8.5×11 and you need to print on 11×17. Another reason for a postscript driver is if you want or need to print separation proofs, i.e. Prepress Production class. Here is a step by step way to install a postscript driver that will allow you to save those over sized (even 11×17 bleed) projects as Postscript files.

Step 1. Download a suitable postscript print driver from the internet. Choose a color printer that has tabloid extra or 12×18 paper capabilities. Usually this is one of the more expensive laser printers of most manufacturers like Xerox, Canon, Minolta, Savin etc. I chose the Xerox Phaser 7800.

Step 2. Load the driver on your computer. The Xerox driver opens as a dmg file. When you open or double click it you get an installation package titled Xerox Print Drivers 3.38.0.pkg. Double click the box icon and follow the install instructions. It will go through the introduction, license, destination, installation type and installation.

Select a Printer window

Select a Printer window

When the select a printer window opens  – click on the IP Address (single printer icon on the right) and type localhost in the <Type IP/DNS Here> window.

IP Address or DNS Name

IP Address or DNS Name

Select the desired printer (Xerox Phaser7800DN) from the pop up menu and click continue.

Select Printer

Select Printer

When the installation finishes close the install box and open System Preferences from the Apple menu.

System Preferences

System Preferences

Under Hardware select Print & Scan, when the window opens check and make sure your new print driver shows up.

Printer List

Printer List

Remember this is a fake or ghost printer and you will only use it to create Postscript files.

Step 3. You can now use this driver to make a postscript booklet or separation file. These files can be opened and converted to PDF files with Acrobat Pro. Start by opening your file to print in InDesign. Go to File and scroll to the bottom and select Print Booklet.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.01.58 PMUnder Setup choose All Pages, under Booklet Type choose 2-up Saddle Stitch, under Margins check Automatically Adjust to fit Marks and Bleeds and check Print Blank Printer Spreads. Select Print Settings. . . at the bottom of the window.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.04.16 PMIn the Print window select localhost or Xerox Phaser 7800 under Printer.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.09.50 PMUnder Setup select the correct paper size, probably Tabloid and the correct orientation (horizontal), Scale 100% and centered for the Page Position. Under Marks and Bleeds, check Crop Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.25.18 PMClick Printer at the bottom of the window. When the Print dialog box appears click PDF at the bottom left and select Save as Postscript. This PS file is what you will use to print in the Print Center as a PDF.

GOOD LUCK!

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