This video offers a look at what you need to know for the questions on the InDesign ACA exam related to printing, including use of the Live Preflight feature, custom preflight profiles, overprint preview, separations preview, RGB and CMYK color conversion, as well as Print and PDF Export dialog boxes.
- [Instructor] Let's take a look at what you need to know for the questions on the InDesign ACA exam related to printing. The first part of this objective is about checking and preparing layouts for commercial press printing. And there are several tools that can help you in this regard. The first is the live preflight feature. The term preflighting refers to checking a document for things that might cause problems in output. These can be things like missing images, low resolution images, overset text, missing bleeds and many other issues. InDesign's live preflight feature will constantly check your document against a set of criteria that you can define.
And when InDesign finds a problem, it flags that problem so you can locate and address it. To use live preflight, choose Window, Output, Preflight. In the Preflight panel, you can turn live preflight on and off, also notice at the bottom of the document window, you can see the status of the preflight, it's gray when preflight is off, green when no errors are found, and it will turn red when errors are found. At the bottom of the panel, you can target a specific page range to check or check the whole document. To choose which things InDesign should look for, you use a preflight profile, which you can choose from the pop-up menu here.
The default preflight profile is called Basic and it only checks for a few things. But you can create your own custom preflight profile by going to the panel menu, and choosing Define Profiles. And then clicking the plus button to create a new profile. I'll just call it MyProfile, and now I can select the things that I want InDesign to check for. I definitely want it to check for links that are missing or modified, I'd also like to make sure there are no spot colors, so I'll set this to zero. I'll check for overprinting applied to white, or paper, and the registration color should not be used on pages.
Under Images and Objects, Image Resolution, I'll set a minimum resolution for color images of 225 pixels per inch. In TEXT, I'll make sure I'm checking for overset text, as well as missing fonts and missing glyphs, and I'll click OK to save my custom preflight profile. Now I can choose this profile from the pop-up menu, and I can see that there's a problem in the IMAGES and OBJECTS category. I'll tip that open. There's a problem with image resolution, specifically the file brie.psd on page two, which is this image right here.
If I tip open Info, and select the image, I get a description of the problem. So color images must be at least 225 pixels per inch, but this one is 163. And there's a suggested fix, so what I'll do is I'll just scale down the image. And now no errors are found. Another important tool for checking your layout prior to printing is Overprint Preview, which you can find in the View Menu, right here at the top.
With this on, you'll get a more accurate preview of how your document will print. You can also use the separations preview panel to understand how items in your layout will come out in the printing plates of a commercial print job. So I'll select that, Window, Output, Separations Preview. Close the preflight panels since I don't need that now. And with Separations turned on, I can turn on and off each ink. So for example I could turn off the Black plate here, and I can see that all my body text is only going to print on that plate, which is very important for getting quality results.
Or I can turn off the Cyan plate, and here I'll see that the title is going to knock out the image behind it at the top of this page. If I don't want that and if instead I want the title to print on top of the whole image, I can set the title to Overprint. For that I'll open the Attributes panel from the Window menu, I'll take my Type tool, select that title, and select Overprint Fill. And now with the Separations preview on, I can see the title no longer knocks out the image beneath it. Okay, let's finish our look at printing by looking at some of the settings in the print and print PDF dialog boxes.
Choose File, Print, and here we can choose to print all pages or a range of pages, single pages or spreads, if we have a facing pages document like this one. In Marks and Bleeds we can add printer marks, and include the bleed and the slug area. In Output, we can simulate overprinting but note that this is only appropriate to select if you're printing to a desktop printer, which does not normally process overprinting instructions. If you're working on a project that will be commercially printed, you'll most likely be sending a PDF to your print service provider.
So let's cancel out of the print dialog box and export to print PDF. Choose File, Export, export to the desktop, Format, PDF print, and click Save. Here we have several PDF presets to choose from, including Press Quality, which will give us a PDF that supports transparency, which all levels do except for Acrobat 4, PDF 1.3. In Compression we'll have our images over 450 pixels per inch downsample to 300 pixels per inch.
Contrast this to the Smallest File Size preset, where images above 150 pixels per inch will be downsampled to 100 pixels per inch. Back with Press Quality, if we want printer's marks, we go to Marks and Bleeds, and can turn them on here. Note that you have to do this manually. It's not part of the PDF preset. In terms of color management, Press Quality will convert colors to the destination space that you choose here. And note that this choice is called Convert to Destination Preserve Numbers, this means that any CMYK colors in the document will be left alone as long as they don't have a different color profile assigned than the one chosen here.
If a placed image does have a different CMYK profile or if there are RGB colors in the document, then they will be converted to the destination space. Which in this case is U.S. Web Coded Swop CMYK. And in fact, all of the images in this layout are currently RGB. So if I export using press quality, those images will all be converted to CMYK in the PDF. Contrast this to High Quality print, which is appropriate for office printing and leaves all colors unchanged. It basically lets the printer deal with the colors as they are rather than fine-tuning them to a specific set of output conditions.
And in Advanced, notice that the presets will subset fonts, so only the characters that are used in the document will be included. So let's export this layout to Press Quality, I'll switch over to Adobe Acrobat, and open the file on the desktop, and we can check that all our images are using CMYK colors by using the Print Production tools here in Acrobat. So I'll click on Tools, Print Production, Preflight, and in the Preflight Profiles, under PDF analysis, I'll have it list objects.
I'll double click. Tip open the Resolution of color and grayscale images and I can see that these are all CMYK now. So in this movie, we looked at several issues related to printing, including preflight, separations, and print and PDF export settings.
- Understanding the benefits of ACA certification
- Creating a personalized study plan
- Identifying your audience
- Starting a design project in InDesign
- Using design elements such as typography, graphics, and color
- Working with layers
- Creating multipage layouts
- Adding text, images, and interactive elements
- Exporting, packaging, and saving files
- Registering for the exam
- Taking the test