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Checking a document with the Preflight panel

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Checking a document with the Preflight panel

So you think your document is ready to print, but is it really? A couple of decades ago, my friend and colleague Chuck Wager coined a term that stuck in this industry's lingo when he talked about preflighting a document to ensure that it was prepared properly. But you don't have to wait to just before you print to do a preflight. As it turns out, InDesign is preflighting your documents all the time, behind the scenes. See that little red light down in the lower left corner of your document window, and it says two errors? That's your preflighting going on.

Checking a document with the Preflight panel

So you think your document is ready to print, but is it really? A couple of decades ago, my friend and colleague Chuck Wager coined a term that stuck in this industry's lingo when he talked about preflighting a document to ensure that it was prepared properly. But you don't have to wait to just before you print to do a preflight. As it turns out, InDesign is preflighting your documents all the time, behind the scenes. See that little red light down in the lower left corner of your document window, and it says two errors? That's your preflighting going on.

Two errors; well, what are they? Well, if you double-click on that little red light, up comes the Preflight panel, and the Preflight panel lists all the errors in the document. I can see that there are two text errors. If I would click on that little twirly triangle, it will open up, and it shows me there are two overset text frames. Open the triangle one more time, and we see we've got two text frames; one over here on page 6, and 1 on page A. That's probably master page A. If I click on one of those, the Info area shows me that this text frame is 20 characters overset.

It also suggests a fix: go ahead and resize the text frame, or edit it. Well, that's kind of obvious. But knowing that it's 20 characters is helpful. Sometimes it says it's just one or two characters; sometimes it says it's a thousand. It's good to know how overset that frame is. I can jump right to that text frame by clicking on that blue 6. Takes me to the frame, move this out of the way a little bit, and we can see, I should just make this a little bit taller. There we go; the overset goes away, and the error goes away in the Preflight panel. Let's look at this other one too.

This jumps me to the master page. There seems to be a text frame here which is completely overset; no text at all. Just make that a little bit bigger. Oh yes; well, I suppose I don't need that, do I? Let's go ahead and delete it. I will just hit the Delete key, and you can see the error goes away from my Preflight panel. Now I have got a green light, but what does the Preflight panel really look for; just overset text? No, it looks for other things too. And we can see that by going to Preflight panel flyout menu, and choosing Define Profiles. I can see two profiles built in here: Basic, and Digital Publishing, and Basic, which is what documents get by default, checks for a couple of things.

For example, here in the text area, I can see that it's looking for any frames that are overset, any fonts that are missing, and any unresolved caption variables. Caption variables are an advanced topic that we are not going to cover in this title. I can also see that it's looking for things wrong with links; for example, links that are missing, or modified. But the real power in preflighting is that you can create your own custom preflight profiles. To do that, you click on this little plus symbol, you name it whatever you want to call it, and then you choose what you want it to look for.

I am going to search for all the things that Basic was searching for, in other words, I will leave these checkboxes turned on, but I am going to add a couple more. For example, I will open COLOR, and I can say that I only want to find CMYK colors. I don't want there to be any spot colors in here. Open the Color Spaces and Modes Not Allowed, and turn that on, and then I'll click on Spot color. In other words, if there is a spot color in this document, it's going to find it. Let's scroll down a little bit more, and see if there is anything else we want to look for. I am going to find if there is any white or paper color that's been set to overprinting; that's bad. And I am also going to search for any place that the registration color was used; that's also bad.

Sometimes people use registration instead of black accidentally; we want to find that. Let's open Images and Objects, and I am going to say, look for an Image Resolution problem. For example, right now this is set to look for any images that have a resolution lower than 250 pixels per inch. Another problem I am going to look for is Minimum Stroke Weight. I want to say, I don't want to have any stroke weights in my document smaller than a quarter point. As you can see, there are a lot of things you can search for in your custom Preflight Profile.

I will leave it there for now, though, and I'm going to click OK. To make InDesign use that profile, I choose it from the Profile pop-up menu inside the Preflight panel. There it is: My Happy Profile. It now very quickly goes through my whole document, and finds all the errors. It found a couple of them. For example, it found two instances of a spot color that was used. If I click on page 3, you could see, it takes me right to this word. That text has a spot color applied to it. So maybe I want to fix the color swatch, make it not a spot color, or maybe choose a different color instead.

Also, down here, I can see that there are some images and objects that are wrong. Two images that have too low resolution; I'll click on one of them, and you can see the rule is that color images must be at least 250, but this one is only 190. So you can make some decisions about that; is that something you want to change? And finally, here's the stroke weight too small. There must be a little line in here somewhere where the stroke weight is too small. I will click on it, it takes me right to it, and selects it, and I can see in the control panel that this one was set to a stroke of 0.1, and remember, I said I wanted this to be no smaller than a quarter point.

Of course, the Preflight panel can't find everything that might be wrong in your document. You still need to proofread the file carefully, and use your own discretion, but preflighting does mean that you'll never miss another overset frame, or a too low resolution image again.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 82775 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 47s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 50s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 16s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 8s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 32m 51s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 4s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 36s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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