Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Create and print a PDF, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] An InDesign document by itself is fun to look at, but it's not very practical out in the real world. No, instead, you're going to want to print this puppy or export it out as a PDF so that other people can view it or print it. No problem, but before we go there, I've made a bunch of changes to this document, so let's go ahead and save it. To do that, I'll go to the File menu and choose Save As. First, let's change the name. I'm going to get rid of the word template, and instead, I'm going to put v2 for version number two, but before I click Save, I want to point out that the Format pop-up menu lets me save this as a document, a template, or this thing called InDesign CS4 or later (IDML).
Now, IDML is how you can save your file back to earlier versions of InDesign. Like, if you wanted to open this file up in an old copy of InDesign CS6. Older versions of InDesign can't open files created in newer versions, but they can open IDML files, so that's the workaround. But in this case, we're just going to save this as a regular InDesign document. Before I print or export this file, I want to see how it's going to look. So, while nothing is selected on the page, I'm not editing text or anything, I can press the W key, and that puts me into preview mode, and this is great, because preview mode hides all non-printing objects.
Your guides disappear, non-printing objects disappear, edges of frames disappear, even parts of objects that are hanging off the side of the page onto the pasteboard disappear. This is what the final page is going to look like when I print it or export it to PDF. In fact, let's go ahead and close the Text Wrap panel by clicking this little X. Now this looks great. I can actually even work on the document while in preview mode. For example, as I move my cursor over the page, you'll see that objects start highlighting. If I click on one, it's selected.
So you can work in preview mode if you want. In this case, I'll click out here to deselect, and I'm done previewing, so I'll just press the W key again, and I'm back in the normal screen mode. Now, everyone knows that to print, you just go to the File menu and choose Print, but there are a couple of gotchas here in this dialog box that you should be aware of. The dialog box looks pretty different than the Print dialog box in most other programs, although most of it is pretty self-explanatory. You choose the copies that you want up here, which pages you want down here.
Now notice that we have a list of different panes down here on the left side. I'm going to choose the Setup pane because I have to choose the right paper size for the printer that I'm currently printing to. In this case, I am printing to US Letter, so I'll leave it set to that. I also need to set the orientation. Now, right now, it's set to portrait, but if I change this to landscape, then down here in the left corner is the preview area, and you can see that the document page is not matching the paper size, so I'm going to go back to portrait.
Now, if my page were larger, and it didn't fit the paper size, I could come down here and fix this by telling InDesign to scale my InDesign page to fit. In this case, that will shrink my page down, but I'm going to set this back to 100%. Now, there are some features that you may be used to that you won't be able to find inside this Print dialog box. For example, if you had a double-sided printer, a duplex printer, then you wouldn't be able to find those printer-specific features inside here. Instead, you need to go to the Printer Driver dialog box, and you get there by clicking the Printer button down at the bottom of this dialog box.
InDesign warns you that many of the features inside that Printer Driver dialog box are going to get overwritten by InDesign's, but that's okay. So I'll click OK, and up comes the dialog box. Now, again, this is the Printer Driver dialog box, so it'll change based on what kind of printer you have, and also whether you're on Mac or Windows. So I could turn on Two-Sided here, and then click Print, and it returns me to InDesign's own Print dialog box. Now, in this case, I'm just going to cancel this because I don't really want to print right now.
Instead, I want to make a PDF. InDesign lets you export PDFs directly, right out of the program. To do that, you go back to the File menu and choose Export. Then you can set the name of the PDF, tell InDesign where you want to save it, and then come down to the Format pop-up menu and choose a format. You'll notice that there are two different PDFs to choose from. If your document contains buttons and movies and other interactive objects, then you'll choose PDF (Interactive), but in most cases, really the vast majority of cases, you're going to choose Adobe PDF (Print).
Now I'll click Save, and up comes the Export Adobe PDF dialog box. Now, the first thing you should probably do here is choose one of the Adobe PDF presets from the pop-up menu at the top. If you're sending this to a commercial printer, you'll probably want to choose one of the PDF/X presets. You really want to check with your printer or whoever you're sending the PDF to to find out what they want. Now, instead, let's say you're going to put this PDF on your website for somebody to download and view. Maybe they'll print it out.
In that case, start with High Quality Print and then make a few changes. I almost always change the compatibility to Acrobat 6 or higher, then I come down here and turn on View PDF after Exporting, because I like seeing the PDF after I export it. Now I'm going to head over to the list on the left and choose Compression, and here, because my PDF is destined for the web, I'm going to lower the resolution. Let's say 150 pixels per inch. And I'm going to change the Image Quality to Medium.
Now, again, if this were going to a commercial printing press, I would never do that. For that, I'd want high, maximum quality, but for a PDF going on the web, this is fine, because I care more about keeping the PDF file small. In a later chapter, I go into much more detail about the options in this dialog box, but for now, I'm just going to click the Export button and have it export the PDF. InDesign exports it and then opens it in Acrobat. I'll come up here and click this button to make it fit in the window. There we go. This looks great.
So, that's it for our first lesson. I hope you've enjoyed this very fast overview. By now, you know the basics enough to at least make a simple document, maybe get yourself into a little trouble, but now that we've scratched the surface, it's time to really go ahead and learn InDesign.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents