Quick Start Guide

This guide will take you through step by step how to prepare ads for print, and how to deliver on Specle

1 - Find the publication you want to send to on Specle
Specle covers 1000's of titles. The very first step is to enter the name of the publication you want to prepare an ad for into the search bar on Specle. You can do this from the front page of Specle if you are not logged in, or from the search bar on My Ad Deliveries page once you are logged in. You might also notice there is a small search bar on the top right of every single page on Specle that allows you to quickly navigate to any publication.

Once you have found the publication you are looking for, you will notice that the page gives you information on Preparing Files. This information is important and gives you a quick reference to how to export ads for that publication. In particular, it will tell you which ICC Profile to use to convert images. Below that you will find a list of all sections and sizes that are available for that publication. These let you know the exact dimensions to set for each ad size.

2 - Install the correct ICC Profile
You may know already that you need to convert RGB images to CMYK for print. However, did you know that there are dozens - 100's, 1000's even - of different ways to convert to CMYK depending on how the publication is printed. The simple truth is that unless you use the correct 'ICC Profile' to convert to CMYK, your ad may look completely different to what you have on screen (probably it will look awful). In many cases, the publisher will not even accept the ad if it has been prepared to the correct ICC profile. Before you do anything, you will need to correct ICC profile installed to make sure it is available in Photoshop, InDesign, or QuarkXPress.

3 - Convert images to the correct ICC Profile in Photoshop
While there are ways to convert 'on the fly' to the correct profile when exporting from InDesign & QuarkXPress, this is a little trickier to explain in a one page document. The easiest way to get it right is to make sure you convert every image from RGB to the correct ICC profile in Photoshop before placing into InDesign or QuarkXPress.

4 - Setup your page to the correct size
Follow this guide to the InDesign Templates

5 - Export to PDF/X-1a Using the Correct Export Settings
Most of the issues and problems you find when uploading ads will come from not exporting ads to the correct settings. Please follow the link below to learn how to export files using either Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.

Adobe InDesign

I am using Adobe InDesign CS5.5 or similar


I am using QuarkXPress 9.2 or similar

NOTE If you are not using either Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, then we would suggest looking for a way to export from your current software to either PDF/X-1a:2001 or if that is not available, export to PDF/A then use 'Apply Fixups' in Specle to convert to an acceptable file for Print.