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Five steps to printing better documents

Marco Tabini, Macworld.com | April 12, 2011
Designing and printing documents can be complex, but there are plenty of resources that can help you achieve better results even if you're not a designer. Here are five ideas to get you started.

Generally speaking, you will want to choose paper that was designed both for the type of content you’re trying to print, and the printer you are using. For example, paper based on natural fiber like cotton or parchment works well for formal letters and reports, but isn’t always compatible with inkjet printers, whose ink is readily absorbed and will smudge. Once again, a visit at your local office supply store will yield plenty of choices—and samples—to assist with your decision.

 

Enjoying the final product

As you may have gathered, a good document is a composition made up of more than just words and pictures, and putting one together can be a very complex task.

The good news is that there are plenty of free tools and resources that make achieving success a much easier task than it would have been even five or six years ago. On the flip site, the choices can often be overwhelming, resulting in documents whose authors alienate their audience by trying to do too much.

If design is not your thing, the easiest way to create a good document is to start from an existing template and keep things simple and elegant. Don’t lose sight of the audience you’re catering to, and use your budget wisely: a $100 investment in good paper is likely to be more effective and make a better impression than a corresponding amount spent on stock photos.

 

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