Electronic Pre-Press Specialist #2459


The ELECTRONIC PRE-PRESS SPECIALIST formats written and visual materials electronically to prepare them for printing.  Individuals in this class use specialized computer software and equipment to electronically merge graphics and text, scan photographs, make color traps and builds, format page layout, and electronically load formatted pages into high resolution devices to produce film for plate-making and printing on offset presses.


This is a single classification and not currently part of a series of classes.


Allocations of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination of the duties or tasks listed below.

1.   Pre-press Composition  

Processes files through image processor to high-resolution output device and prints files/produces negatives on same.  Creates on-screen designs and text or other electronic media; develops color traps, produces graduated screens and color builds, scans and corrects art and photos, and produces formatted page layout with register marks and page imposition.

2.  Electronic Typesetting

Keys in directions for formatting, type size, and style; keys in copy; interprets copy edit marks and keys in corrections, footnotes, or other special requirements; makes provision for open space for graphics as needed; may create computer graphic or digitize graphic to place into document;  plans each page to accommodate required borders, printing fold and binder edges; loads completed discs or tapes into electronic phototypesetter; proofs printed copy for errors; records customer identification, time worked, and job storage; stores appropriate tape or disc or enters into computer memory; forwards completed job to customer for review or to stripping for further production processing.

3.  Orientation/Training

Trains users outside the department in techniques/skills necessary to improve electronic interaction with printing services; answers questions about software applications; Contacts customers for clarification on order information, to explain production problems in formatting or suggest more economical or appropriate software typestyle or formatting.

4.  Miscellaneous

Changes chemical and solutions in photoprocessing equipment; changes rolls of photosensitive paper, film, and changes or transfers discs; electronically assembles negative imposition layouts into position for press run; downloads and uploads data between mainframe computer and typesetting equipment; communicates with pressroom, plateroom, and bindery to coordinate and adjust typesetting to needs or limitations of other operations; may train new employees in techniques and the operation and maintenance of equipment used.


Employees in this class have regular telephone or in-person contact with strippers, pressroom, bindery staff or camera room to exchange information about particular jobs to assure that composition made will accommodate equipment or other production considerations of the other units.  There is frequent in-person or telephone contact with customers to obtain clarification about a job order or to recommend composition changes based on customer needs.


Employees in this class, once proficient on the job, receive general supervision from the supervisor.  Work assignments are usually in the form of a written work order which gives specifics as to how a job is to be set up for the customer.  Problems encountered may be clarified by the supervisor or client.  Guidelines include employer provided standards of production and quality control and manuals or directions for the operation and maintenance of equipment. 


Positions are primarily found in the production environment of a printing department and because of current technology, only occasionally expose individuals to noise or chemicals previously associated with the trade.


  • Extensive knowledge of the theory, practice, and printer's measures used in layout and imposition of text and graphic material in order to produce correct, high quality printing film.
  • General knowledge of composing, press, and bindery operations as they may impact pre-press operations and procedures.
  • General knowledge of a variety of type faces, sizes, and styles used in printing.
  • General knowledge of how to properly measure, plan for, and set justified lines or blocks of text to create a balanced, readable page of printed material.
  • General knowledge of the printing process in order to plan and set type to accommodate required borders, press gripper lines and bindery fold, cut, trim, or stitching lines for each completed page.
  • General knowledge of the operation and maintenance of electronic typesetting and auxiliary equipment.
  • General knowledge of editing marks to recognize and accommodate editorial changes in copy to be set.
  • General knowledge of computerized typesetting equipment and procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of telecommunication typesetting equipment and procedures.
  • Skill in layout, and imposition processes including ability to do 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24 or 32-page signatures and double side printing.
  • Skill in layout and imposition processes necessary to produce high quality 2, 3 and 4-color and overlay film.
  • Skill in planning and adjusting layouts to create high quality printed materials.
  • Skill in set up, operation, and maintenance of electronic typesetting and auxiliary equipment,including mixture and loading of photoprocessing chemicals and solutions.
  • Skill in layout, imposition, electronic paste-up and use of current page layout software programs to accomplish color traps, graduated screens, photo scanning and photo-screen adjustments for out-putting to film.


NOTE:  The KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS are required for initial consideration.  Some duties performed by positions in this class may require different KS's.  No attempt is made to describe every KS required for all positions in this class.  Additional KS requirements will be explained on the recruiting announcement.


Adopted       5/95





Dept. of Administrative Services

Human Resource Management Division