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Saving as PDF


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Saving as PDF

If you're asked to submit a PDF either to a printer or to a publication, ask if they have a spec that they can provide to you, either a list of the settings that you want to use or even a preset file that you can incorporate and invoke. That's the ideal, but sometimes nobody gives you any information. So what do you do in that case? Well, let's look at our options. First, when I choose to make a PDF, it's not an Export function; it's a Save As function. So I'm going choose Save a Copy, and I'll just put this little guy on my desktop and choose PDF.
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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 50s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 40s
    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 55s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 50s
  9. 13m 53s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 24s
    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 54s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 49s
    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 9s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 22s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subject:
Design
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Saving as PDF

If you're asked to submit a PDF either to a printer or to a publication, ask if they have a spec that they can provide to you, either a list of the settings that you want to use or even a preset file that you can incorporate and invoke. That's the ideal, but sometimes nobody gives you any information. So what do you do in that case? Well, let's look at our options. First, when I choose to make a PDF, it's not an Export function; it's a Save As function. So I'm going choose Save a Copy, and I'll just put this little guy on my desktop and choose PDF.

I can choose to either have a single page of my two-page document or all my pages. Of course, I want all of them, so I click Save. And now here comes the dialog box. And again, here's our scenario. We need to submit a PDF, but nobody has told us how to make it. I'm going to tell you that in that situation the Illustrator Default option is not a good option. It's an interesting option because essentially it's your Illustrator file encased in a PDF wrapper. To other applications, it looks like a PDF, but it's the only kind of PDF it's safe to roundtrip; in other words, to reopen in Illustrator.

Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities is what gives you that option. It also makes for a really big file because essentially it's two for one, Illustrator file and PDF. Let's look at out other options. Smallest File Size, less appropriate if you're going to send a PDF by email maybe for your customer to check the text. It's not going to be appropriate for print. But then you have two options that look very similar, High Quality Print and Press Quality. They're actually very similar. The intention for High Quality Print was this scenario, you have sell sheets and you want to send them out into the field so that salesmen can print them out when they need them instead of having to keep a big inventory of printed pieces.

So that's what High Quality Print is intended for. Press Quality is pretty safe, but remember we're talking about a scenario where you have no idea how old the workflow is. You want to make sort of a bulletproof, safe PDF that can go anywhere into the world and be printed. That's when we start looking at the X standards, PDF/X-1a, X-3, and X-4. You notice that there are dates after them. There's actually a governing body that creates these specifications with the idea being, hey, let's set up specifications for PDFs that will ensure that they will print successfully.

Why are there dates? Why are there multiple versions? Because over the years, workflows have gotten more sophisticated. Back in 2001, there were some things that didn't image well, like transparency. So PDF/X-1a says, hey, you can have CMYK content and grayscale content; you can have spot colors. You can't have RGB. You can't have live transparency; it has to be flattened. Your fonts have to be embedded in subset and where the bleed and trim lines fall that has to be defined internally in the PDF, which Illustrator does. X-3 says, well, we're starting to see more color management here in the modern year of 2002, so we'll let you have RGB content, but you still cannot have live transparency that has to be flattened, fonts have to be embedded, and so forth.

In other words, it's the X-1a spec with now a permission to include RGB content. PDF/X-4, dating back to 2008, says you can have live transparency, you can have RGB content, you can have all the fun in the world. And this is because modern workflows were now able to handle live transparency. But if we're flying blind and we have no idea what kind workflow this PDF is going to land on, your safest bet is PDF/X-1a. When you choose that you'll notice that it goes all the way back to ancient times to Acrobat 4. Why is that? Acrobat 5 and above allow live transparency; Acrobat 4 was before live transparency and doesn't understand it.

Does that mean that you're going to lose components you've created that involve transparency like translucency on an object or blending modes or drop shadow? No, but they'll get recreated in an opaque fashion. They'll look like what you made but they'll be sort of older stuff that an older workflow understands. So you're pretty much safe using X-1a when you have no other guidance that you need to change one thing. If there's bleed on this document that X-1a preset doesn't include bleed. In this document, I don't need bleed but I just want to call your attention to this; you need to make sure that you add bleed to it.

Now some printers want marks, some don't. If you give them marks, it's always easy for them to take them off, so I would just add Trim Marks and Page Information and I think that would do it. And so now, I've modified my PDF setting and I'm ready to go. When I submit this, I guarantee you anybody that can print a PDF can print this PDF. So you're safe using that X-1a format.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals .


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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
 
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