Why different file formats?


Know as format printing, most file formats are made to handle a specific kind of artwork, typically either vector or raster art. Luckily, in the print world, recommended file formats handle both kinds of artwork very well. So how do you know which format to use, and when?

It gets a bit confusing when we realize that mainstay applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and QuarkXPress can use raster as well as vector art before we print formats. So to exchange files between these applications, you should use “standard” formats that can contain any kind of artwork for saving and opening across applications and platforms.

The main players in this category for format printing are the TIFF, EPS, and PDF formats. Each uses the exact same image data but writes the file with specific permissions and limitations for editing and manipulating the file content in applications.