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Preflighting in InDesign

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Preflighting in InDesign

It's important to find little problems with your job before they become big problems on press. Preflight is the process of finding those problems. The term originated in aeronautics and preflight ought to be an important part of preparing your job for print. You want to find it now, not when you're on a press check. When we look at this page, we already see some indications of problems. You can see the little yellow triangle, it tells me I have a graphic that needs to be updated and you can see that reported in the Links panel as well. You can see that pink highlighting that InDesign uses to show you that you're missing a font or a style within that font.

Preflighting in InDesign

It's important to find little problems with your job before they become big problems on press. Preflight is the process of finding those problems. The term originated in aeronautics and preflight ought to be an important part of preparing your job for print. You want to find it now, not when you're on a press check. When we look at this page, we already see some indications of problems. You can see the little yellow triangle, it tells me I have a graphic that needs to be updated and you can see that reported in the Links panel as well. You can see that pink highlighting that InDesign uses to show you that you're missing a font or a style within that font.

But there's another way to find problems that sort of like having a second set of eyes and that's the preflight feature in InDesign. If you look down at the lower left, and that's a place maybe we don't naturally look, you can see this red dot, that's kind of scary, and you can see that it says we have nine errors. If I double-click on that little area it will wake up my Preflight panel. So preflight says, well, you have two types of errors, you have link errors and you have text errors. So if I click the triangle by Links and then the triangle by Modified Link, it takes me to something I had actually noticed, I had this little link that needs to be updated.

One of the cool things in InDesign CS6 is that I don't really even have to go to my Links panel to fix this. I can just click once on the little yellow triangle and it fixes it. That's great. Now I still have eight errors left. So let's see where they are. When I click the triangle next to text it says you have two types of text errors, you have Overset and you have a Missing font. Well, we knew about the Missing font, but let's find that Overset. So when I click the triangle it says it's in a Text Frame on page 1. We only have one page here, but the nice thing about this, see how that looks like a little hyperlink.

It is a little hyperlink. When you click on it, it takes you to where the problem is and it tries to sort of call your attention to it. So here is my frame with overset. So I'll hover over the bottom edge, pull down far enough so there's room for that text to live, and I fix the problem. You might think of this as sort of a video game, find the problems. Then I have been Missing font. So I am missing City Bold and Myriad Pro Black SemiExtended. So we sort of already knew that, but again in this document it's easy to visualize your problems. In a multipage document preflight really is like a second set of eyes.

So it can sort of go all the way through your document, highlight your problems, and sort of lead you by the nose to those problems so that you can fix them. So I am going to fix my missing fonts by going to Type > Find Font. City Bold, I don't have, because the designer didn't send it to me, but I've been told it's okay to substitute with Myriad Pro. So I am going to use Myriad Pro Bold and I want to make sure that Redefine Style When Changing All is checked. Now maybe they've used a style, maybe they didn't. But if they did, making sure that this is checked ensures that I've also changed the specs for the style.

And that's going to make things a lot easier in the future. So I'm going to be brave and click Change All. This doesn't mean I've done anything wrong. It's just InDesign saying, well, I did change some styles. So that looks good. I have that checked. So I recommend that you don't check this Don't show again. I always like to know if there are things that InDesign is trying to tell me. Then the Myriad Pro Black SemiExtended let's see where that's used. Since that's used in the text, I think I'm safe using Myriad Pro Semibold and again Redefine Style is checked. I am going to be brave and click Change All.

Everything is happy here, and now when I come back into the Preflight panel everything is happy there. But notice that the profile it's using is something called Basic. Working this means that's the active profile. It looks for common problems. This is the default profile that InDesign uses, but maybe there are other problems that you've had in the past and you'd like for InDesign to check for those, or a lot of printers actually create their own preflight profiles and give them to customers and you should import those profiles and use them, because they're looking for problems that the printer knows could cause problems when you go to print.

So I'm going to import a profile. I am going to Define Profiles. Now keep in mind you can't change the Basic. If you wanted to make a new profile, you just hit the little plus (+) down here, you could name it whatever you want. Here are all the options that you have and as you can see it can get granular with this and we are not going to go through every one of the features. I would encourage you to take a look at these. But if you're lucky enough to have a printer that creates profiles and sends them to you then you want to import those. So this is the panel menu.

I know you're used to seeing them in the upper right-hand corner. This is the only panel I know where it's down here. It's sort of huddling with the Add and Delete profile buttons. So I go to the Preflight menu, choose Load Profile. Now it says unsaved preflight profile changes have to be changed; save changes and continue. It's because I was halfway through this one, it's a little confused. I am just going to say to delete it and then I think it will let me load my profile. No! I have to save. Finally, it's going to let me find it. There we go! This is called Publication Check.

Let's see what sort of things it's looking for, Image Resolution. They set a threshold on each end of the resolution spectrum. An image has to be at least 300; it shouldn't be more than 400. How would I end up with an image that's that high-resolution? Well, if I had a large 300 pixel per inch image and I scale it way down into InDesign, the effective resolution would then be higher than 300. It's not necessarily a problem. Some workflows just go ahead and scale things down anyway. In some older workflows it may slow things down. I think it's a good idea to just sort of keep it between the digits there and keep it at a reasonable resolution.

So I like for InDesign to warn me. There are few other things that it's looking for. This is an interesting one Bleed/Trim Hazard. It's something too close to the trim. Something close enough to the edge that InDesign suspects it ought to bleed, but it doesn't. It's really pretty intelligent. It's really pretty cool. So that's what this is going to look for and, of course, some of the text issues, Overset Text, Font Types Not Allowed. This is going to warn me if protected fonts are used and those are fonts that aren't allowed to be embedded in a PDF. This is neat, because it will warn you ahead of time instead of at that last moment when you go to make a PDF.

So let's see what happens when we use this profile. Now it doesn't load itself by default. It's in the preflight mind, if you will, but it's not the active profile. So now I am going to invoke it. Oh! I thought it was happy, but now I have other problems. So it says I have some images that don't meet the resolution requirements. Let's see what the issues are. So if I click on this one, how do I know which way is it? If I click the info, this little part expands and it says now you say color images have to be at most 400.

This one because it's been reduced is 593. There are still some judgments that you make. It finds objects that defy the profile, but then you have to decide at the last minute, well, am I going to let this go. It's not going to prevent you from printing the job or prevent you from exporting. It's just InDesign giving you a heads-up. So let's see how this one is-- 580, this one is 402, just barely. So if I click the little 1, it takes me to that image, so you can see it highlighted here. So this is nice, because it takes you right to where the problem is and then you have to decide how you are going to fix it, whether you are going to fix it.

InDesign is so polite, look it even tells you how you could fix it. It says, hey, direct select that image, use Object Transform and Scale to change the scaling or edit the source file. So it's not just a second set of eyes. It's also a great way to learn a few things. It's really trying to help you out and that's really the whole purpose of preflight. So in this document I'm not going to take the time to fix everything, but at least InDesign has given me the ability to find these problems. So I highly recommend that you pay attention to preflight. If your printer gives you a preflight profile, by all means incorporate it, and if they don't give you a profile, consider some of the problems you've had in the past, set up your own profile to anticipate those problems, and then you can catch them before the job goes out the door.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 24458 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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