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Understanding the preflight settings

From: InDesign CS5: Print Production Guidelines

Video: Understanding the preflight settings

Live Preflight gives you the ability to identify and fix potential output issues long before submitting your files for high-resolution output. We are going to examine the Live Preflight dialog box. I am going to go ahead and open that up under Window > Output > Preflight. Next, I am going to choose from the flyout menu, Define Profiles. In here, I notice under my General tab I can go ahead and I can enter a description if I make a new profile. I am going to go ahead and look at all the different settings that would affect commercial printing. Under Links, we have Links Missing or Modified.

Understanding the preflight settings

Live Preflight gives you the ability to identify and fix potential output issues long before submitting your files for high-resolution output. We are going to examine the Live Preflight dialog box. I am going to go ahead and open that up under Window > Output > Preflight. Next, I am going to choose from the flyout menu, Define Profiles. In here, I notice under my General tab I can go ahead and I can enter a description if I make a new profile. I am going to go ahead and look at all the different settings that would affect commercial printing. Under Links, we have Links Missing or Modified.

We would want this selected to let us know if we have any links missing or modified that need to be fixed. Inaccessible URL Links I would deselect since we are designing a document for commercial printing. OPI, Open Prepress Interface links, are not used as often as they used to be, so I would have to talk to my printer to determine if that's going to be a problem or not. Under Color, I have the ability to check Transparency Blending Space. I can see if my Cyan, Magenta, or Yellow Plates are not allowed. I can also check my Color Spaces and modes that are not allowed.

So let's look at that. For example, if I am using an all-RGB workspace, I might not want CMYK or Spot Color inks in my document. Or if I'm doing a CMYK-based workflow, I might not want RGB images or Spot Colors. Under Spot Color setup, if I'm doing a two-color job for example, I can go ahead and click on Maximum Spot Colors Allowed, 2, and this would warn me if I have more than the two colors I was anticipating. Overprinting Applied in InDesign, Overprinting Applied to White or (Paper), and Registration Applied are three areas that I want to be concerned about, and I want to have those checked as well.

Under IMAGES and OBJECTS, I can check my image resolution. For example if I want to be concerned about any image below, I would recommend 200. I can go ahead and check this for both color and grayscale, and this would warn me long before I was done with my document if I have any low-resolution images. Non-Proportional Scaling is something I would not be concerned about from an output perspective, but you might want to be concerned about from a design perspective. If my document uses transparency or not, by clicking here, it will alert me when creating my document.

Image ICC Profiles, if I'm working in a RGB color space, I want to be concerned about any ICC profiles that are in my document and be aware of them. Layer Visibility Overrides, if I have a document that has layers in it, I'd want to be concerned if any of those have been overridden or not. Minimum Stroke Weight, this is something I'd want to check. If I have a minimum stroke weight below .125 points, it will never show up on my metal plate and is something I want to be concerned about. I am not going to be concerned about the Interactive Elements because again this document is for commercial printing.

But I am going to be concerned about my Bleed/Trim Hazard. So I'm going to check that, and if I notice right now for Live Area, it says .25 inches is the default. I think that's a great number to use. We don't want any elements, whether it's text or images, unless they bleed, to be closer than a quarter inch to our trim. By checking this, this will ensure that nothing is that close. Under TEXT, I want to be concerned about if I have any overset text. Paragraph Style and Character Style Overrides are something as a designer I want to be aware of, but from output perspective, it doesn't really matter.

If I have any fonts that are missing or glyphs that are missing, I want to be aware of those because that will affect my output. I would also check Dynamic Spelling Detects Errors. Under Font Types Not Allowed, I would go ahead and make sure that Protected fonts was selected, because if I'm doing a PDF workflow, I am going to have an output issue when I make my PDF. Non-Proportional Type Scaling is something I wouldn't be concerned about, but Minimum Type Size is something I would. When I click down on that, I notice the default is 4 points. I will recommend sticking with that and not having anything less than 4 points, and if it is, let you know about it.

Cross-References, Conditional Text, Unresolved Caption Variables, Span Columns, and Track Changes, those are all settings I would not be concerned about as a commercial printer. But under Document, there are some settings we should look at. Page Size and Orientation, Number of Pages Required, and Blank Pages, since those all vary quite a bit per document, I would not select them. Bleed and Slug Setup, I would want to check that because I want to make sure that the industry-standard, eighth inch, .125 inches, is selected for all four sides.

All Pages Must Use Same Size and Orientation should also be selected. This really comes into play when you're using multiple page sizes to let you know if there is in fact varying pages. So as we can see, Live Preflight can help us identify problems and prevent them long before outputting your file.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5: Print Production Guidelines
InDesign CS5: Print Production Guidelines

42 video lessons · 15656 viewers

James Wamser
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      31s
    3. Asking the right questions before starting your document
      1m 54s
  2. 21m 59s
    1. Building documents correctly
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding facing pages vs. non-facing pages
      2m 8s
    3. Creating a four-page spread with a left-hand page 1
      1m 48s
    4. Creating a gatefold layout
      2m 7s
    5. Creating a letterfold layout
      2m 27s
    6. Creating a book cover layout for a perfect bound book
      3m 11s
    7. Creating a calendar layout
      3m 13s
    8. Creating a drill edge
      3m 56s
  3. 11m 16s
    1. Understanding the preflight settings
      4m 55s
    2. Creating profiles
      2m 26s
    3. Loading and embedding profiles
      1m 18s
    4. Looking at the results
      2m 37s
  4. 10m 13s
    1. Understanding process colors, spot colors, and the Ink Manager
      1m 57s
    2. Using overprint vs. knockout
      1m 46s
    3. Using rich black (percentages of CMYK)
      1m 44s
    4. Checking for unnamed colors
      2m 4s
    5. Using mixed inks and registration
      2m 42s
  5. 4m 25s
    1. Using layers
      2m 25s
    2. Understanding Conditional Text and GREP
      2m 0s
  6. 6m 6s
    1. Understanding document fonts
      1m 33s
    2. Avoiding common font problems
      2m 57s
    3. Choosing the best font formats
      1m 36s
  7. 9m 0s
    1. Looking at the Links panel
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing the Links panel
      1m 56s
    3. Understanding resolution and scaling
      2m 4s
    4. Understanding actual resolution vs. effective resolution
      1m 53s
    5. Choosing file formats
      1m 35s
  8. 6m 47s
    1. Understanding RGB and CMYK
      2m 13s
    2. Using ICC profiles
      2m 13s
    3. Converting from RGB to CMYK during PDF export
      2m 21s
  9. 7m 44s
    1. Understanding accurate soft proofing in Acrobat
      2m 32s
    2. Using the Separations Preview panel
      3m 16s
    3. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      1m 56s
  10. 11m 43s
    1. Packaging your files
      2m 0s
    2. Using Adobe PDF presets
      2m 2s
    3. Understanding PDF/X-1a vs. PDF/X4
      3m 20s
    4. Understanding when to create an Acrobat layer
      1m 25s
    5. Using single pages vs. spreads
      2m 56s
  11. 2m 14s
    1. Final thoughts: 10 things to keep your printer happy
      2m 14s

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