Entrepreneurs and start-up companies often find themselves in need of assistance with the preparation and printing of business documents. While professional design and printing services can be costly, most documents can be easily prepared and printed in-house using software you likely already own. Follow this detailed guide to learn how to prepare business documents for printing to create professional, tangible documents and impress you current and existing clients and business partners.
The Right Tools for The Job
The first step in preparing business documents for printing is to make sure you have all the right tools for the job. Depending on what type of documents you’ll need, there is a variety of software and tools you should invest in. Most computers have a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, which may be all you need for preparing simple, plain text documents. If you’re making business cards, graphs, booklets or documents with advanced graphics, then you’ll want to make sure your computer is equipped with Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop or equivalent applications. Another important tool that is often overlooked in some business settings is web hosting. Having a web hosting account will enable you to upload and share documents from a single source, which will help you avoid lost emails, credentials, and compatibility issues.
Setting Up Office for Business Document Preparation
Microsoft Office is an indispensable tool when it comes to creating and preparing business documents for print. Word is an excellent choice for nearly all 8.5 x 11 inch text-based documents, while Excel can be used to create professional graphs and charts.
Open the corresponding application from your Office suite and choose your canvas size to get started. Full sized sheets of paper will minimal graphics will work best on the standard New Document setting. Envelopes, business cards, pamphlets and other document types all have custom selections available at the start menu as well. Select the font type you wish to use for your document from the main font selection drop-down menu.
Vary the size of your font to fit the document’s title, body text, and footnotes. It’s usually advisable to limit your font usage to one or two fonts per document. After creating your document, click the print preview option from the main menu. Adjust the sizing and options to your liking, and see that it conforms to your goals.
Photoshop For Preparing Business Documents
Graphic-intensive documents including flyers, business cards, posters, and other marketing materials are often best prepared in Adobe Photoshop. This essential business tool can be used to merge images together, edit and modify photos and graphics, and much more.
Start preparing your business documents that contain multiple or high-resolution images by opening Adobe Photoshop and creating a new canvas. The default canvas size settings are measured in pixels, but it may be easier to switch this setting to inches so you can more easily plan for the printing phase. Select the appropriate resolution for the detail you are looking for. Most documents being printed on standard computer paper will do fine at 300 pixels per square inch. 1500 or more pixels may be need for full-sized posters and larger projects.
After selecting the dimensions of your document, select the font size and background color of the project. Both of these settings are on the upper menu or toolbar. Import images to a new layer using the New Layer option in the Layers menu. Make use of the magic cutting tool to easily find borders and arrange imported and pasted images within your document. Align your text more easily with the Compass and measuring tool to create professional, balanced business cards and media. Save your file to a printable document type such as PDF, PNG, or JPG by exporting it from the main menu.
Printing and Sharing Your Business Documents
Now that you’ve mastered the skill of preparing business documents for print, it’s time to print your actual documents. Most residential and commercial printers will do an excellent job on documents smaller than 8.5 x 11 inches, whereas larger documents or high-resolution graphics may need to be printed at a print shop.
Place any files and documents that require special printing on a removable USB drive in organized folders to make the printing process easier. If have web hosting you should upload all of your business documents to your server for easier sharing and access. This is also a great way to backup and preserve your documents. Don’t forget to align your paper tray to match the width of your document, for example use the envelope marking on the tray to print on an envelope, this will help you avoid crooked or misaligned text.
Preparing your own business documents for print is rewarding because it gives you full control over another aspect of your business. It also saves you money, and allows you to develop a more comprehensive suite of skills commonly needed in business. By choosing the right tool for the job and paying attention to details like paper size and alignment, you will be able to prepare and print professional documents with ease.