your source for magazine printing, mailing, distribution, and other magazine-related services.

Quark 4.x PDF Instructions

To create PDF files for magazine printing there are three steps required: Software/system setup, making individual postscript files for each page and distilling them. Later versions greatly simplify this process (consider upgrading).


You will need Quark Xpress 4, Adobe Acrobat Distiller 4.0, and a PostScript Printer to use this method.

Download our imagesetter's Printer Description File (Windows or Mac), unzip it and place it into the PPD's folder in your System Folder
Download our PDF Settings (Windows or Mac) and place the correct file it in Distiller's Settings folder.

Now you will need to create a Desktop Printer. Click here for instructions.


1. Open your layout. Do all your checks ( correct page size, correct photo resolution, proper bleeds, etc.). Save.

2. Go to PPD Manager (under the Utilities menu) and be sure MagPub_PPD is checked. If not, click Update, check it, and restart Quark.

2. Hit Command P (print) and type the page number of the page you will be saving. Double check that the following is set:

Registration: Centered
Bleed: 0.125
Offset: 12pt

3. Click the Setup Tab. Double check that the following is set:

Printer Description: MagPub_PPD
Paper Width: Custom
Paper Width: 9.375"
Paper Height: Automatic
Page Positioning: Center Horizontal
Orientation: vertical

4. Click the Output Tab. Double check that the following is set:

Print Colors: Composite CMYK
Halftoning: Conventional
Resolution: 2540
Frequency: 150

5. Click the Preview Tab. The box should show your page with pink crop marks and blue edge:

5. Click the Capture Settings Button at the bottom of window.


1. Hit Command P (print) and type the page number of the page you will be saving. Pull down where it says "Printer:" and select THP Postscript.
Click the Printer... button at the bottom.

Change the Destination from Printer to File if it has not already changed. Hit Save.

2. A window will come up asking how you would like to name the file.

VERY IMPORTANT: Name your file using the following convention:

1. page number proceeded by 3 zeros for numbers less than 10 and 2 zeros 10 and above.
2. magazine name's two letter abbreviation
3. month and year
4. at the end

examples using Your Magazine as the title:
page one (cover): 0001_YMOct04.pdf
page nine: 0009_YMOct04.pdf
page fifteen: 0015_YMOct04.pdf
page thirty eight: 0038_YMOct04.pdf

3. then hit print. The file will be written to your hard drive.


1. Open Acrobat Distiller. Pull down on the Job Options tab and select MagazineSettings.

2. Drag your postscript files into the Distiller window.

3. Distiller will make your PDFs and save them to your hard drive.