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Optimising Your Files / File Specifications

Optimising files prior to the production of a digital publication is essential to maintain the best quality and achieve a great performing digital publication across all the platforms. Here we cover file requirements, optimal file settings and other acceptable file types for use in the publishing system.

Overview

Click one of the following if you need to jump to a particular section - please note that the basics are covered in this article, however for more specific instructions you can find guides here:

For more on specs, see Further Specifications/Device Requirements

PDF

 Wherever possible, please provide your publication as a single PDF file with the following settings:

  • All pages in a single PDF file, with the pages in order
  • Single pages (not double page spreads)
  • 300 DPI (or greater)
  • Cropped to exact art size (no need for cropmarks/bleed etc, as it is not a traditional print process)
  • Embedded fonts (not subset, please avoid CID Type H encoded fonts)
  • Flattened Transparencies and Smooth Shade elements
  • Try to avoid using excessive use of complicated vector graphics (Consider substituting vector graphics/art with a PNG/JPEG image)

Optimal file settings can be achieved by optimising your artwork to 300dpi as a base which typically provides the best quality. Of course, depending on the amount of information within your PDF file, you may find that the file size is very large, in which case you can begin scaling back to 250dpi or 200dpi depending on your preference.

To check the compatibility of your PDF using Adobe Acrobat, simply navigate to the Preflight option and double click Compatible with Acrobat 3 (more specific guide HERE)

If your files will be made available for Apple devices such as the iPad and iPod, see How To Optimise Your Files For Apple

Flash

Flash files will be presented on a layer above your existing pages, so therefore, please bear in mind the following notes:

  • We support files in either Action Script 2 or 3 format. The publication is set to a specific Actionscript type and all of your files will need to match this type. You can check your publications actionscript setting under "General Settings". Your flash files need to match this setting.
  • We can accept animations in Flash 8 or earlier in the format of a .swf file.
  • Please design your files so that a single .swf file is needed to play the animation, and not multiple .swfs and/or .as files
  • We do not support animations created using SWiSH
  • Please make sure there is no white space around the edge of the flash animation
  • Please note that your animation will be sitting inside another flash application, and as such, the background colour defined in the property inspector will turn transparent and show the PDF content underneath your flash files. To avoid this, put a single colour object on the lowest layer of your flash file to form a canvas.
  • Please set your flash files to a frame rate of 24fps
  • Avoid any Actionscript that can affect the host application, such as _level0, _root, and _parent references, or global functions like setTimeinterval
  • There should be no links in the animation we are given, unless this is necessary, as these links will not be picked up in the statistics package. We will normally create the links overlaying the flash, so that they can be tracked
  • There is no file size limit on animations, but for loading purposes, the files should be as small as possible
  • Images should be set to lossless compression instead of photo compression
  • Filenames for Flash animation files (SWFs) should not include special characters such as brackets, question marks, commas and spaces. Underscore characters are ok to use
  • In case we need to edit your FLA file, please use one of the following options when dealing with fonts:
    • Add the font in the FLA library and then use the reference of the font in the scene and not the font directly
    • Provide the fonts along with the FLA file
    • Convert the fonts to vector shapes, such that there are no non-system fonts within the Flash file

 

Video

For best results in adding video to your publication, we recommend video files be provided in 1280x720 for landscape video or the equivalent in portrait orientation.

Format: MP4 - select "Web optimized"

Video Codec: .MP4/H.264 encoding using baseline codec

Framerate (FPS): Same as source - ensure button for "Variable Framerate" is also selected.

Video: Average Bitrate (kbps): 600 (700 works well also if you feel 600 is too low) - 2-pass encoding.

Audio: Bitrate: 112 (128 or 160 also work well if 112 is a bit low for your liking)

Click the following to visit our guide on how to convert your video to the best format:

Tip

When placing the overlay on your publication, click on the “Use Content Aspect Ratio” checkbox, which will make sure that you don’t skew or stretch your video beyond it’s original resolution

 

Audio

Audio files are just as easy as video to add to your publication, and should be provided as MP3 files.

The player controls are slightly different from Flash/Android/iOS so it is worth previewing your publication once placed.

Note: an alternative method of delivering audio is via a blank MP4 video. 

Tip

Click on Auto-Play if you want the audio track to start playing whenever a reader navigates to the page you’re editing

 

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