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I am quite comfortable with an older version (I think it's 7) of Photoshop. I need to add some text and graphics to it and then send it to be printed.

The company I'm dealing with has a template that I need to use on their website. I haven't worked with templates before and I'm not sure how to navigate this. It just gives dimensions of the DVD cover I'm making.

I haven't really gotten too far yet because they give some choices for downloading the template: PDF, EPS or QXD. I've never worked with any of these.

Do I need to start learning to use these systems, or is there a simple way to work with the template and Photoshop at the same time?

If I do need to use a graphic design program just for this simple job, then are there any free ones out there that aren't too complicated to use?

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You can use either the PDF or EPS in Photoshop. The template is simply set up at the correct size, usually with guides and notes explaining how and where to place your artwork. All the template information will usually be on a separate layer so that you can place your artwork on its own layer and hide or remove the template information once you're ready.

Once open in Photoshop you should have something like this:

enter image description here

You're over thinking it. Just open the PDF in Photoshop and place your artwork inside, it's as simple as that.

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  • Work with the PDF. Open it in Photoshop.
  • Type 300 in the resolution field and click OK.
  • You will see some colored frames or guidelines (see Cai's post) which they use to know where to cut the paper.
  • Place your design/text/etc within these frames. Make sure your design covers all these frames so you don't have to adjust later. Work with new layers and keep their guidelines on a layer in the document.
  • Save it as PSD file if you dont know about the other formats.
  • Send it to the print shop and they will guide you through finalizing this.

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