File Formats - Limitations or Preferences?

  • Hi!

    I'm just getting into the thick of using CSP for a book/story, and I'm wondering if there are any reasons I shouldn't use the following formats for the pages:
    TIFF file
    PSD file

    I am starting to assemble the book in InDesign, and either of these formats would cut out a step in this process.


  • Both TIFF and PSD are fine. PSD is pretty much a TIFF file anyway (it's a Photoshop working file but it contains all the data of a TIFF). Both will retain CMYK color information.

    The problem is that CSP doesn't retain transparencies, which you need if you want to have your line art overprint the color art.

    PNG will retain transparency but it's not suitable for print. That's not a problem since your line art and lettering will be printed in black (C0M0Y0K100). If you export your line art with transparency as a PNG file, you can import the file into InDesign and then change the layer to CMYK and select C0M0Y0K100 as the layer color. Then set Black to overprint. When the file is exported for the printer, the PNG file will become a CMYK TIFF with transparency.

  • Are you talking about file formats for exporting when you are done? Or while you are working? Every time you save to tiff it flattens all your layers. PSD will keep the layers intact (including the ones not visible).