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InDesign CS5: Print Production Guidelines goes over the common issues that arise when preparing InDesign documents for printing and shows how to tweak PDF and document settings to ensure the perfect print. The course shows how to avoid mistakes by preparing documents correctly upfront, covering document construction, layout, ink management settings, and output options. Prepress processes in Acrobat are also covered, including accurate soft proofing and packaging in the PDF/X formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
Soft proofing is really great and it gives us the ability to save both time and money. It allows us to look at our documents on screen without any hard proofs required, but we need to make sure our monitors are calibrated and we have the correct color settings. In Adobe Acrobat, I'm going to look at our color settings now. Under Preferences, I'm going to choose Color Management. If I have a monitor that's been calibrated with an ICC profile, I want to pick that from my RGB pop-up menu. If I don't, I can go ahead and just use Adobe RGB (1998).
Another thing I want to look at is for CMYK. If I have a specific profile for a printing device, whether it's a digital press, sheetfed or web, I want to pick that under CMYK. If I don't, I'm going to use U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. The next thing I'm going to look at is under Page Display. I want to make sure Use Local Fonts is not selected. If I do this and I have any font issues, they are going to be deceiving because it's going to picking up fonts from my local computer, when in fact in the PDF itself, I don't have the fonts embedded correctly.
We can use Adobe Acrobat to soft-proof PDFs, which is really great, but there is even a better way. We're going to take a look at that now. I did a screenshot representation of one of the examples of soft-proofing through a web browser. You can see in this example it looks slightly different than Acrobat, but we have a lot of great tools that are available to us to view this PDF. Down at the bottom, you can see I can look at separations. I can make notes in my PDF. I can get the information on it. I can also zoom in to verify if I have something that's overprinting or knocking out or questions on the type.
So I have a lot of different ways to look at my PDF right online. Now, probably one of the biggest advantages to using this method is anything I do here goes directly back to the prepress department. This is a PDF that has been normalized, or ripped, and is representing what my metal plates will be made from. So as soon as I click OK, they can go ahead and process this job through their system. When I'm using Adobe Acrobat to look at PDFs, after I approve the PDF, I still need to make sure I get that PDF back to my printer so they can process it, whereas in this workflow they already have the images that I'm looking on directly from their servers, so there are a lot of advantages in that case.
So as we can see, soft-proofing offers us a lot of advantages. We want to make sure we have a calibrated monitor and have the correct color settings in place before we make any color adjustments.
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