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File Formats for Print

If your image is destined for multimedia or the Internet, you may want to use the JPEG or GIF format. But if the image is going to a page-layout program, you should always use TIFF, PDF, EPS, or DCS.

Some page-layout programs will tell you that they can accept and print images in PICT, or BMP, or WMF, or various other weird formats. This may even be true on every third Tuesday of the month, when it coincides with the full moon, and the wind is coming briskly out of the southwest; but in general, using anything other than TIFF, PDF, EPS, or DCS in a print-basedapplication is courting disaster, no matter what the software publisher says. So these are the formats that we'll cover in detail first and foremost; then we'll look at formats appropriate for non-prepress applications.


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