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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
InDesign's prelight feature checks your document based on something called a preflight profile. You can see that profile here in the Profile pop-up menu of the Preflight panel. Right now, there is only one in this list, Basic, and it is very basic. It only searches for a couple of things. You can create your own custom preflight profile to search for far more. Let's see how. I'll go to the Preflight panel menu and choose Define Profiles. Up comes the Preflight Profiles dialog box, and we can see a list of the profiles in the left. Like I said, we only have Basic.
Let's go make our own to search for the things we want to search for. To do that, I click the little plus button down here to create a new profile, and I'll give it a name. I am going to David's Happy Profile. Of course, you can call it anything you want. I'll click back over here, and it updates the list here. I am going to tell it to search for some things that aren't currently being searched for. For example, I don't want there to be any spot colors in this document. I am going to come over here and turn on the Color Spaces and Modes Not Allowed. I am going to tell it I should not allow anything that is a spot color. There we go.
Let's see what else we can change in here. I want to make sure that it alerts me if there is any Overprinting Applied in InDesign or Overprinting Applied to White or (Paper) Color. This sometimes happens in some imported vector files from Illustrator. I also want it to alert me if the registration color has been applied to anything. Registration is a very dangerous color to apply to anything other than crop marks and registration marks. But sometimes people use it when they mean to use just a black color, so it's good to be alerted to that.
Let's look at Images and Objects. I want it to tell me if there are any too low resolution images in here. So, I am going to come over here and change the Color Image Minimum Resolution to something reasonable, like 150. If there are any images that are lower than 150 pixels per inch, it will alert me to that. You can see that you can really dial- in all kinds of errors to look for. But I encourage you not to turn everything on. Because that actually slow you down quite a bit. Just look for the things that you really care about.
For example, I don't want any images to be scaled non-proportionally. Where you have got a different height and width scaling on an image. That's what I really want to pay attention to. In the Text section, I always want to find Overset Text, but I also might want to find things like Missing Glyphs and Non-Proportional Type Scaling, type that has been scaled disproportionally to make it thinner or fatter. Once you've chosen all the things you want the Preflight panel to look for, go ahead and click OK. Now that I've created a profile, I need to tell InDesign to use it.
I do that in the Profile pop-up menu. There it is, David's Happy Profile. So, I'll choose that. InDesign checks the whole document quickly and it tells me that now I have several more errors. Let's take a look. I've got an image that's too low resolution. I can see that problem right there. Let's go and select it and it tells me that this image is only 88 dpi. Let's go look at it. Click on the little hyperlink, and it takes me right to it. Uh-oh I am glad it found that. Here's another image that has non-proportional scaling.
Here, we can see that there are three text errors that we need to pay attention to, including this non- proportional type scaling. I'll open that up. It actually shows me the text that has been scaled. I'll click on that and it will take me right to it. There it is, in the lower left corner. I'll pan over here, so we can see it. Somebody actually changed the horizontal scaling on this from 100% to 90%, probably to try and make the text fit better. But I am glad that I found out about this, because I don't like it. So, this gives me a chance to set it back to 100%. There are a couple more prelight features that I want to point out in the Preflight panel.
One is that you could export a report of your prelight errors. This is sometimes helpful if you have a lot of them and you want to print them out. To do that, go to the Preflight panel menu and choose Save Report. It will ask you to name the PDF, and ask you where you want to put it. I'll just click Save and put on my desktop and up comes the PDF of all my errors, so that's kind of cool. Let me switch back to InDesign here and show you the other cool thing that you can do. You see this little icon? It's supposed to look like a document with a paper clip on it. That means you can embed your profile, the one you chose here, inside your document.
If I click on that, InDesign embeds the profile, the one that I created, inside my document. You see now it's listed as embedded. That way if I save this document and send it to somebody else, and when they open it in their version of InDesign, they can use my preflight profile. Making your own preflight profiles means that InDesign will find the errors that you care about. So, you can feel confident that your documents are ready to print or export.
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