Knowledge Bank: File Types

There are many different files types that desktop publishing software can create. Here is a bit of information about the most common.

Files Types

PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF is the industry standard for digital document transfers and printing. PDF files can be used reliably, regardless of software, hardware or operating system. PDF documents are fixed scale, so the documents open the same everywhere. This is our preferred file format.

JPEG ( Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is a lossy compression format for images. Most images and photographs are in JPEG format, generally this format provides a much smaller file size than the alternatives. Because of the smaller file size, there is usually a loss of data.

TIF (Tagged Image File)

TIF is an uncompressed file format used for high quality graphics and images. TIF files hold more data than most other alternatives, however the option to compress is usually available on export. Because of the data retention of TIF, file sizes are expected to be larger.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNG is a raster graphics file format and is the most widely used lossless image format on the Internet. PNG has the ability to compress and uncompress images without reduction in quality. As PNG is raster based, it’s important to ensure files are created at the correct DPI.

EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)

EPS is a vector graphic file format used for creating scalable artwork. EPS files can be opened and edited within Adobe Illustrator at any time, which makes them perfect for creating logos, cut paths, and anything else that may require changes at a later date, or across different operating systems.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

SVG is the file format used for creating cut paths for our Valiani and laser cutter. Cut paths can be created in Illustrator along with artwork, and then exported in the SVG format.

LDF (Large Document Format)

LDF is used in Photoshop for files larger than the standard PSD. LDF supports documents up to 300,000 pixels in any direction, making it ideal for saving large images – such as billboards or banners.

RAW (RAW Data)

RAW files are used in photography to produce the highest possible quality images from a DSLR. Most cameras give the option to use JPEG or RAW, but due to the lossy compression of JPEG, RAW can be used to retain additional image data that would otherwise be lost.

Other Files Types

There are lots of different file types, each with potential variations due to operating system, program version, export settings and final usage.

If you’re unsure about your file type and it is not listed here, do give us a call to see if we can use it. Usually a small conversion process can solve most file format problems, but we do occasionally find one that stumps us.

For more information on file types and whether we can use them contact us.

Posted in Print.

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