Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Managing color in a PDF export

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Managing color in a PDF export

I don't like sending my original InDesign documents and all the native linked files to a printer or an output provider. If you trust them then there is nothing inherently wrong with sending those files, but I personally just want more control and I want to minimize the mistakes that could occur. So I almost always send my documents to print as PDF files. Actually I do often send a native file separately just in case they need them in an emergency, but I make it clear that if at all possible they should work from the PDF files. Anyway, let's look at how to export a colored managed PDF file.

Managing color in a PDF export

I don't like sending my original InDesign documents and all the native linked files to a printer or an output provider. If you trust them then there is nothing inherently wrong with sending those files, but I personally just want more control and I want to minimize the mistakes that could occur. So I almost always send my documents to print as PDF files. Actually I do often send a native file separately just in case they need them in an emergency, but I make it clear that if at all possible they should work from the PDF files. Anyway, let's look at how to export a colored managed PDF file.

Go to File menu, choose Export. I'll put this up on my desktop. Make sure the format is set to PDF, click Save, and now we are in the Export PDF dialog box, let's look around. In the Essential Training catalog, I went on at some length about the difference between PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3, and PDF/X-4 and so on. So I am going to keep it a little shorter right now. I will tell you that I tend to avoid High Quality Print and Press Quality. They sound really good, but they don't necessarily live up to the reputation. So in my case I am going to stick to PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, or PDF/X-4, or maybe make a few modifications myself to those. If I know that I am printing to an output provider that has the Adobe PDF print engine, then I will use PDF/X-4. It's a great way to print documents, because all the transparency in my document is saved and it's flattened in the RIP, which is awesome.

My color images are all saved in their native format. For example, RGB images stay in RGB all the way to the RIP, which is awesome. The RIP handles all of the conversions for me, and it's really a great way to go, but most of us are not so lucky, and we can't work with an Adobe PDF print engine all the time, so then I will revert to either PDF/X-3, or PDF/X-1. PDF/X-3 will flatten all the transparency, but it keeps RGB images in their RGB space, and that's a good option if you know that your output provider is really color management savvy.

If I know what they are doing with color management, then PDF/X-3 makes sense, because they'll handle the RGB to CMYK conversion for you. This is relatively common in Europe; it's not so common here in North America. So what I would usually use is PDF/X-1a, which is kind of the lowest common denominator of PDF. It flattens all the transparency, and it converts everything to CMYK or CMYK plus spot colors. So if I am creating a PDF/X-1a file, what do I do about my color? Well, let me come down to the advanced panel, I am going to make sure that this is set to High Resolution, looks good. Now I am going to look at my output panel and I am going to see that this says, convert to destination, or more precisely convert to destination preserved numbers. This means that all of my images are going to be converted. Anything that I imported as RGB, it will get converted to CMYK.

And remember, InDesign and Photoshop use the same color management engine, so the quality is going to be really excellent in that conversion. Now just a quick reminder, I've talked about preserved numbers before, but let me say it again, preserved numbers means that all the CMYK swatches in my document that I have used, and all the CMYK images that I have used will simply be passed through, the numbers will be preserved, it will not try and color management those, and that's usually a good thing. However, if I did override the color management settings, the profile settings in the Import Options dialog box or in the Image Settings dialog box, which I talked about in a movie earlier in this chapter, in that case it will actually honor those and it will convert to the destination, but for most CMYK images, and all the swatches, it will simply pass them through, and that's a good thing.

Now if I chose Convert to Destination instead, then all my CMYK images would be converted, all the Swatches will be converted, everything gets converted, and that sounds good, but it's actually dangerous. For example, back in the old days, back in InDesign CS, there was only Convert to Destination, there was no such thing as Preserved Numbers and back than what was happening, is a lot of people were getting PDF files with four color black text. That is, what was set as 100% black in their documents, would suddenly get changed into black that had some cyan, yellow, magenta in it as well, for color black or rich black, and that was really a big problem. So you don't want to use Convert to Destination unless you really want all of those colors to be corrupted and turned into other colors. So I don't like that.

I am going to choose, Convert to Destination Preserve Numbers. Now I need to specify the destination, i.e., if I do have RGB images, then how do I want them converted into CMYK? Do I want them converted to the standard US Web Coated, which is my document CMYK right now, or do I want them converted to a very specific CMYK target that I choose? Now if I have custom profile for my output device, I would definitely want to choose it here, because all my RGB images will be converted to that. In this case I am going to pick a general one. I am going to choose US Sheetfed Uncoated, because I know that it is going to be printed on uncoated paper on a sheetfed press and I don't have a perfect custom profile to use right now.

So this is the next best thing. So all my RGB images will be converted to CMYK, they will be converted to this destination CMYK, so that's going to give me better quality than I would otherwise have, and I am just about done here. Oh, I better check Ink Manager. It's always a good idea to check the Ink Manager before you make your PDF. This tells you all the different inks that are in your document, and I can see -- oh my goodness! There is a beige spot color in there. I can tell it's a spot color, because well first of all it's not one of the process colors, and second of all there is this little spot icon to the left of it.

I did not expect that and I do not want that in this PDF, so I am going to convert all spots to process, or I could just click on this little icon to the left of it. Either way it will convert that to CMYK as well in my PDF. And if that's what you want, then that's what you will get. I am also going to turn on the Use Standard Lab Values for Spots, which really should be called 'just make it look better' check box because the Standard Lab Values for Spots is a better way of converting spot colors into CMYK.

It defaults to off because well, for legacy reasons that we don't need to get into, but in general if you want better quality, go ahead and turn it on. I'll click OK. I can look through the rest of the panes to make sure everything is setup just right. I think we are ready to make this PDF, so I'll go ahead and click Export. Okay, in the next chapter we are going to move on to some other pre-press issues that you should really know about.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

90 video lessons · 24632 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 48m 2s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 22s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 3s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 49s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 53s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 24s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.