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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.
In an earlier chapter I discussed how InDesign documents don't embed and all you placed images. Rather they just link to the original files on disc. That means if you're going to send your document to somebody else to print it you need to send in your linked files too. In fact you should probably send them the fonts that you used to just in case they don't have the same fonts as you. Fortunately you don't have to go and find and copy all those files manually. Instead just go to the File menu and choose Package. When you do this InDesign gives you a summary of your document and you can look through each of the panes here to get some information about your document including all the fonts that you used, the images that you used, the colors and inks and so on.
In the Links and Images panel here I can see that there's a yellow alert icon. InDesign is trying to be helpful here. It's alerting me that there are 10 images in this document that are in the RGB color space instead of CMYK and that's not really a problem. Later in this chapter we'll learn how you can convert those RGB to CMYK on the fly when you print. But it is something to pay attention to, especially if you are sending this document to someone else to print. They should definitely know that you've got RGB images. Anyway I don't really pay much attention to the information in the Package dialog box here because I've already used the Preflight panel to do a thorough preflight of my document.
So I quickly move through this by clicking on the Package button. Next InDesign shows me the Printing Instructions dialog box. I could take a few minutes to fill this in and if I do that InDesign will write all this information to disc with my package as a little text file that my printer can open and get my contact information and so on. But honestly, I'm actually never met a printer who pays attention to it. So usually anything you do in here is going to be ignored. I just ignore it myself and click Continue. Finally we are brought to Create Package Folder, which lets me name the folder in which all my files are going to go and it also gives me some options.
For example, I can choose whether to copy my fonts or not. Notice that it will not copy CJK fonts. That's Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts. Those are really large and usually copy-protected fonts so it's going to ignore those. But all my normal fonts are going to be copied if I turn that on. The next two check boxes have to do with the graphics in my file. I almost always want to copy my graphics so I leave those turned on. I almost always want to copy my graphics and also when I do that I want my InDesign document to be updated to link to the files in my package folder instead of the files on my hard drive.
So those three checkboxes almost always stay on. Okay let's go ahead and create this file by clicking Package. Now because I'm including my fonts InDesign warns me that the fonts might be protected by copyright so be careful who I give them to. In general, you do have the right to send your fonts to somebody else so that they can print your document, as long they don't hold onto the fonts and use them for something else. But you should check to make sure you have permission to do so if you are using a special third party font. I'll click OK and it goes through and packages my document.
Let's go check out that folder. Here is my package folder on my desktop and if I double click on that, you can see my InDesign document, the Instructions folder, which is probably going to be ignored, and two other folders. Links contains all of the images that I used in my document. And Document fonts contains all the fonts because I turned on that checkbox. Now I do want to say something special about the Document fonts folder, because it's a kind of special new feature in CS5. If you include fonts and put them in a folder called Document Fonts, if I send this to somebody else like my printer and they open this InDesign document, InDesign automatically loads the fonts that in the Document Fonts folder.
That person does not need to use a font manager or even copy the files to their hard drive. It's just much more clean and efficient. Now I often use the package feature for another purpose too. It's a good way to save and archive all the files necessary on a job and get all the graphics, which I might have imported from all over my hard drive or off a server even, get all of those into one folder. But if you do this just be aware of one thing. Package will not grab any images that are hiding off on the pasteboard. It only takes images that are on your pages. Other than that it's a great help.
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