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Exporting to print PDF

From: Creating Long Documents with InDesign

Video: Exporting to print PDF

The finish line is in sight. You've done all the work to build your long documents. You've made all the required changes during your workflow. You've checked and fixed all the errors in Live Preflight. Now it's time for output. First, we'll take a look at exporting PDF for print. If you're working with a printer who recommends or provides a PDF preset, be sure to use it. A PDF preset is a small file that's a collection of preferences that InDesign uses to set up all the options in the Export PDF dialog box. The file format is like this here. It's a .joboptions file, and you can add it to your PDF Presets menu back in InDesign, by choosing File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define.

Exporting to print PDF

The finish line is in sight. You've done all the work to build your long documents. You've made all the required changes during your workflow. You've checked and fixed all the errors in Live Preflight. Now it's time for output. First, we'll take a look at exporting PDF for print. If you're working with a printer who recommends or provides a PDF preset, be sure to use it. A PDF preset is a small file that's a collection of preferences that InDesign uses to set up all the options in the Export PDF dialog box. The file format is like this here. It's a .joboptions file, and you can add it to your PDF Presets menu back in InDesign, by choosing File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define.

Then you can click Load and navigate to a joboptions file. I'll double-click to load it and click Done. Now to output a long document contained in a single file, just choose File > Adobe PDF Presets, and then pick the job option. I'll pick MyPrinter. I'll just call this document Cheese and click Save. Now I get the Export Adobe PDF settings.

I can confirm that I'm using the right PDF preset, and I'll take a look at some of the settings my printer has recommended. So they're outputting to a PDF Standard of X-4:2010, with a Compatibility of Acrobat 7. The biggest consequence here is the level of PDF, this Compatibility setting. Acrobat 7, along with all the other settings above Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3), which I can see up here, all these ones, Acrobat 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, these all support live transparency in the export.

So if you've introduced transparency into your document by doing things like working in the Effects panel or reducing the opacity of objects or applying effects like drop shadows, you've added transparency to your documents, and that will stay live and editable inside the PDF when you export with the Compatibility setting of this. So if your printer supports and recommends you deliver unflattened PDF, that's good news! Continuing along, we'll look at some of the other options here. So in Compression, we have options to downsample images that are over our resolution that we need.

So if we're over 450 pixels per inch, we're going to downsample them to 300 pixels per inch, which has been industry standard for as long as I can remember, although I have gone to press with images at lower resolution than this and they've come out okay. For Marks and Bleeds, your printer should be able to tell you what kind of marks they want and how far offset they should be from your document. They should also tell you about Bleed settings and whether or not to include a slug area in the PDF. In the Output section, you can either leave the colors the same or convert them to a destination colorspace, with a specific color profile.

Again, this is the kind of setting that your printer should set up, and since my printer provided me with a setting of No Color Conversion, I'm going to leave it that way. Under the Advanced section, we can subset our fonts. And if we were flattening transparency using a lower standard of PDF, we could pick a Flattener preset from here. Under Security, we could enable a password to open, save, or print this document, but usually that's not recommended when you're going to press. You don't want to make it harder for people to work with your files.

And when we're all done setting up our options, we can click Export. And up here, in the Application bar, we can see the PDF is being exported. PDF export is a background task. Some folks like this; others don't. They think it causes InDesign to freeze or crash. For the folks who don't like background PDF export, there are scripts and other workarounds to disable background PDF export. One of those workarounds is to use an InDesign book, because ironically, outputting PDF from an InDesign book, when you'd expect to have the longest wait for the job to finish, that's not a background task like it is when you export a single document. All right! I'm going to close this document and not save it, and I want to mention a great free script written by Peter Kahrel for outputting PDFs.

I'll go to my Scripts panel and select it, and it's called batch_convert. I'll double-click to open it. If I had documents open, I could use it to export all those documents at the same time, or if I had closed the documents and had nothing open, I can specify an input folder full of documents. So I can pick a folder and I can also pick an output folder, where the PDFs will go. I can pick a Source format, which is the InDesign files the script finds, but there are other choices as well. And Target formats, so right now I want to export PDFs, but I could get IDML out or JPEGs, or all kinds of other things.

Then I can pick a PDF preset from all the ones available to me, and I can choose to whether or not to open the PDFs after they're done exporting. I can update the links. I can even run additional scripts when the PDFs are exported. So this is a really handy script to use, especially if you have lots of individual documents you're not exporting from a book document. Exporting PDFs for print used to be the finish line for many long-document workflows, but nowadays print- only projects are increasingly rare.

So next we'll look at how to export documents for interactive PDF for onscreen use.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Long Documents with InDesign
Creating Long Documents with InDesign

59 video lessons · 15557 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
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  1. 10m 48s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      1m 51s
    3. Long-document workflow overview
      4m 20s
    4. Analyzing the planned output
      3m 43s
  2. 34m 7s
    1. Using master pages
      9m 34s
    2. Using layers
      7m 23s
    3. Using text variables
      6m 42s
    4. Using section markers
      5m 44s
    5. Synchronizing text
      4m 44s
  3. 26m 16s
    1. Using InDesign templates
      7m 10s
    2. Setting up preferences
      3m 27s
    3. Using Word templates
      5m 50s
    4. InCopy workflows
      5m 17s
    5. Creating a production manual
      4m 32s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Using Based On styles
      6m 14s
    2. Using nested styles
      5m 56s
    3. Using Next Style
      3m 39s
    4. Using GREP styles
      6m 17s
    5. Using object styles
      2m 48s
    6. Using table and cell styles
      5m 8s
    7. Using swatches
      5m 33s
    8. Using Quick Apply
      4m 27s
  5. 37m 57s
    1. Placing text
      4m 57s
    2. Placing images
      3m 41s
    3. Creating metadata captions
      4m 3s
    4. Using Mini Bridge
      4m 38s
    5. Using libraries and snippets
      6m 4s
    6. Using GREP Find/Change
      5m 5s
    7. Find/Change tips
      5m 21s
    8. Using Layout Adjustment
      4m 8s
  6. 15m 53s
    1. Using Notes
      4m 7s
    2. Tracking changes
      4m 36s
    3. Using CS Review
      7m 10s
  7. 34m 43s
    1. Creating tables of contents
      7m 9s
    2. Alternative uses for the TOC feature
      4m 9s
    3. Creating cross-references
      6m 8s
    4. Creating footnotes
      6m 31s
    5. Importing footnotes
      6m 47s
    6. Creating endnotes
      3m 59s
  8. 33m 50s
    1. Scoping out the index
      2m 19s
    2. Creating index topics and references
      9m 29s
    3. Creating index cross-references
      3m 1s
    4. Creating index references with Find/Change
      3m 31s
    5. Generating an index
      3m 35s
    6. Preserving formatting in an index
      5m 13s
    7. Using third-party indexing tools
      6m 42s
  9. 26m 44s
    1. Using InDesign book files
      4m 37s
    2. Numbering book documents
      5m 46s
    3. Synchronizing book documents
      7m 5s
    4. Preflighting book documents
      3m 49s
    5. Outputting book documents
      5m 27s
  10. 12m 54s
    1. Using conditional text
      5m 1s
    2. Using Smart Text Reflow
      4m 3s
    3. Using object styles for customization
      3m 50s
  11. 25m 17s
    1. Preflighting documents
      6m 56s
    2. Exporting to print PDF
      5m 26s
    3. Exporting to interactive PDF
      5m 36s
    4. Archiving a project
      7m 19s
  12. 48s
    1. Goodbye
      48s

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