Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Carol Levi » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 05:55:04



Okay, all you prepress gurus, here's my question:

Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?) But when I preflight
my docs, the hairlines are always flagged as potential problems.

So...are they problems on the prepress end? Do they really output as the
manual says they will? I've never had a doc come back from a printer
with problems, nor have I ever been called about one or incurred extra
charges. I'd just like some verification from your end of the business,
please.

Thanks,

Carol

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Michael S. Dodd » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 06:12:52


NEVER use hairlines for offset printing.

I use MINIMUM  .5 pt.
But you may get by with  .25 pt


> Organization: AT&T Worldnet
> Newsgroups: comp.publish.prepress
> Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 20:55:04 GMT
> Subject: Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

> Okay, all you prepress gurus, here's my question:

> Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
> widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
> words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?) But when I preflight
> my docs, the hairlines are always flagged as potential problems.

> So...are they problems on the prepress end? Do they really output as the
> manual says they will? I've never had a doc come back from a printer
> with problems, nor have I ever been called about one or incurred extra
> charges. I'd just like some verification from your end of the business,
> please.

> Thanks,

> Carol


 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Jono Moor » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 06:22:16




Quote:> Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
> widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
> words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?)

You should worry about it. It's fine for laser output and other low-res
devices but the problem comes when going to film and printing at
2000-3000dpi - a hairline becomes too thin to print.

Use .5pt instead.

...Jono

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by ChromaTech in Vancouv » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 07:14:34


Carol,

Why use a feature that would/could give a varying result?
While I have never measured the thickness of a hairline at
different resolutions I can't find a need to. If I specify .3 pt
rule or .5 pt rule this is what I get out of my imagesetter no matter
what resolution I output at.

The only times I have seen rule thickness as an issue is when artwork
is scaled and so the outlines become very thin (under .125 pt).
Desktop printers will show the line at the minimum thickness they are
capable of imaging so the artist is led to believe that all is well.
When the film is output the imagesetter is much more accurate so that
the line may be almost non existant on the film or be non printable.

Frank Jones

Quote:>Okay, all you prepress gurus, here's my question:

>Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
>widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
>words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?) But when I preflight
>my docs, the hairlines are always flagged as potential problems.

>So...are they problems on the prepress end? Do they really output as the
>manual says they will? I've never had a doc come back from a printer
>with problems, nor have I ever been called about one or incurred extra
>charges. I'd just like some verification from your end of the business,
>please.

>Thanks,

>Carol

"A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire
 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Lee Manevitc » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 07:46:34




Quote:> While I have never measured the thickness of a hairline at
> different resolutions I can't find a need to

My memory's not what it used to be, but once upon a time SOME graphic
arts program (QuarkXPress? FreeHand?) defined a hairline as being 1
device pixel wide. Which means that on a laser it was 1/600 inch, and on
an imagesetter it was 1/2540 or even 1/5080 inch. Yikes!

--
Lee

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Jay Chevak » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 11:37:28


Along this same vein  I recieved a template for an annual report  (in
Illustrator, but thats another complaint) with a lot of lines defined as .2
pt, most at 100% black or 100% white, but others with a 75% black screen. is
this practicle with 150 lpi printing?
Jay

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Odysseu » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 12:35:57



> My memory's not what it used to be, but once upon a time SOME graphic
> arts program (QuarkXPress? FreeHand?) defined a hairline as being 1
> device pixel wide. Which means that on a laser it was 1/600 inch, and on
> an imagesetter it was 1/2540 or even 1/5080 inch. Yikes!

Yes, that's how the PostScript language handles a linewidth of zero --
one device pixel. Different programs define a "hairline" differently,
but I believe XPress uses the zero-width definition.

But I'll quibble with your figures: don't confuse a device's nominal
resolution ("addressibility" is a better term) with its minimum spot
size. Our imagestter goes up to 3556 dpi, but its laser spots are 15 in
size, so no mark it makes is smaller than about 1/1700 inch. I believe
that the smallest speck of toner that can be placed by a laser printer
is likewise considerably larger than 1/600 inch. The advantage of having
higher addressibility than the spot size is that more closely
overlapping spots create smoother edges, but this is a separate issue
from the minimum size of dot or line that can be created.

Anyway, a single row of imagesetter pixels, even at 25 as with many
infrared lasers, is too small to show up on a plate made by any method
I've seen -- it can barely be detected on the film.

--Odysseus

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Odysseu » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 12:47:28



> You should worry about it. It's fine for laser output and other low-res
> devices but the problem comes when going to film and printing at
> 2000-3000dpi - a hairline becomes too thin to print.

> Use .5pt instead.

Depending on the imagesetter, plating process and other variables, you
can usually go down to 0.35 pt. safely (equivalent to a #6x0 ruling pen
-- remember those?) or even maybe 0.25 pt. if you want to push your
luck. CorelDraw's 0.216-pt. (0.003") hairlines usually break up a bit on
our system. The corner marks generated by most programs seem to be in
the 0.3 - 0.5 pt. range.

Screened rules, and those reversed out of process-colour backgrounds,
should be heavier, at least 0.5 - 0.71 pt.

--Odysseus

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by John Doher » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 15:20:10




Quote:>Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at
>various widths depending on the resolution of the final output
>device. (In other words, I shouldn't have to worry about it,
>right?)

No, in other words, you should never use Quark's "hairlines"
at all.

Decide how thick you'd like your rules to be and then tell
QuarkXPress what you want. When you tell it you want a
"hairline", you're really saying that you don't know how
thick you'd like your rule to be except that you'd like it
to sort of vaguely be "thin."

That's not good enough and is not going to work out well for
you. Decide how thick you'd like your rules to be, and then
tell QXP what you want. Don't use rules thinner than a quarter
point.

--

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by John Doher » Sat, 09 Feb 2002 15:22:24




Quote:>Yes, that's how the PostScript language handles a linewidth of
>zero -- one device pixel. Different programs define a "hairline"
>differently, but I believe XPress uses the zero-width definition.

I believe it uses a one-eighth point definition.

--

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Carol Levi » Sun, 10 Feb 2002 00:42:42


Thanks for the responses, gurus. I guess the reason I haven't run into
problems before is that most of my work (books) have been output at 1200
dpi. The one I'm working on now will be be output at a much higher
res...and that's why I asked the question in the first place. So I'll
just change those hairlines to .5 point rules.

Thanks again,

Carol

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Scott Falkn » Sun, 10 Feb 2002 07:20:37



> Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
> widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
> words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?) But when I preflight
> my docs, the hairlines are always flagged as potential problems.

Hairlines vary in thickness with the output device's resolution. A
hairline on 1 300 dpi laser printer will be 1/300 inch thick, or about
.25 point, so it will probably look alright. But on a 2540 dpi imagetter
the line will be extremely thin, and even thinner when converted to a
printing plate. Specify line weight precisely, not vaguely.

Another potential problem is misregistration (which occurs whenever you
use a printing press). A .5 point rule using two process colours (Say
Cyan and Magenta) can appear to be three adjacent coloured lines (C, CM,
M). While the same misregistration will occur no matter what your line
weight, it will be more noticible as the desired line weight approaches
the press's misregistration. I try to keep my lines at least one dot
wide. So 150 lpi = 1/150 inch line (just under .5 point).
--
        Scott Falkner
   tel: 604.708.1900

   web: http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~sfalkner

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Jono Moor » Sun, 10 Feb 2002 07:50:08



wrote on 2/7/02 7:47 PM:

Quote:> Depending on the imagesetter, plating process and other variables, you can
> usually go down to 0.35 pt. safely (equivalent to a #6x0 ruling pen --
> remember those?) or even maybe 0.25 pt.

I've never had any trouble with .25pt lines, 'cept for the fact they're
getting a little thin for press.  I use .3pt all the time for crops/fold
marks.

Quote:> if you want to push your luck. CorelDraw's 0.216-pt. (0.003") hairlines
> usually break up a bit on our system. The corner marks generated by most
> programs seem to be in the 0.3 - 0.5 pt. range.

Ya, I've had Corel lines drop out before.

...Jono

 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by Jay Chevak » Sun, 10 Feb 2002 09:04:23


Quote:> In Illustrator?! Must have been a 1-page annual report. It wasn't? It was
a
> 96-page annual report with each page in a separate Illustrator file? Send
it
> to Lee, he likes 'em that way!

If I had to do an annual report in illustrator I would shoot myself, besides
they sent templates in A4 size (spreads) for a report thats U.S. Letter
size. Along with quite a few other assorted issues. I converted the design
to Quark to be able to work with it.

Previous annual reports have very good printing, hairlines (maybe .2) on
different pages line up exactly, but strange design. Equal signs are used
for underlines in their finacial section, their current version has no
underlines at all, only bolds. We are checking with their auditors (Arthur
Anderson, a well respected authority), as to the underlining issue. The
design comes from Madrid which seems to have its own rules for everything,
but judging by their previous annual reports someone was able to implement
their designs, with very good results.

Quote:> No, it's not practical. Quarter-point screened rules look really bad, as
do
> .2 pt white rules over screened backgrounds. In fact, their widths will
look
> uneven, depending on where the lines fall in relation to the dots in the
> screen. I'd go with at least .75 pt for either of these.

> --

on another tact what lpi would you need to be able to print screened (75%)
.2pt rules, or should I  convert those rules to 100% .
Jay
 
 
 

Quark & Hairlines & Prepress

Post by SCG » Tue, 12 Feb 2002 00:31:26


That's because hairlines rules may not output properly or may not print
properly on a printing press because they are so thin. The higher the
resolution, the thinner they will be.
SCG


Quote:> Okay, all you prepress gurus, here's my question:

> Quark's manual states that hairline rules will be output at various
> widths depending on the resolution of the final output device. (In other
> words, I shouldn't have to worry about it, right?) But when I preflight
> my docs, the hairlines are always flagged as potential problems.

> So...are they problems on the prepress end? Do they really output as the
> manual says they will? I've never had a doc come back from a printer
> with problems, nor have I ever been called about one or incurred extra
> charges. I'd just like some verification from your end of the business,
> please.

> Thanks,

> Carol