- You know that moment just before you walk out the door to leave on vacation, and you stop and check to make sure you've turned off the stove and lights? Well, you want to do the same kind of thing in your InDesign documents just before you print or export a PDF, or send the file off to someone else to work on or output. You need to stop and think, is this file really done? Are the fonts and colors and everything set up right? Taking a few moments to check can be the difference between success and failure, between looking like a hero to your boss or looking like a doofus.
So, in this chapter, we're going to go over all the things that you should watch for. And this kind of check is called preflighting, which is an old aviation term, of course, it's what pilots do before taking off. But about 20 years ago, my friend Chuck Weger applied it to checking documents, and it stuck. There's actually even a Preflight panel in InDesign, which we'll look at later on in this chapter. But the idea of preflighting in general is much bigger, because you need to check all kinds of things manually that InDesign cannot do for you.
For example, spelling and grammar. Yes, InDesign can run a spell check on your document, but this sentence will show up as correct. I mean, yeah, technically each word is spelled correctly, but it's not spelled correctly, if you know what I mean. So, in general, remember that humans are better than machines at finding mistakes. There are also layout mistakes that you need to check for manually. For example, let me zoom out to fit the whole page in the window with Command-0, or Ctrl-0 on Windows. And this document is going to be printed, so can you spot a problem here? That's right, this blue box up here.
This frame extends to the edge of the page but not beyond, and on a commercial press, you need to extend these beyond the page edge, that's called bleed. Now, in this case the document was even created with a bleed guide, that's that red line out here. So all I need to do is extend this frame out to the bleed guide. We'll just drag that corner, drag that edge, there we go. But the key thing here is that InDesign could not do this for me, that takes your human eye, and your brain to catch. So take a little time to look at every page in your document, because catching a mistake now can save a lot of time and money.
In the rest of this chapter, I'm going to step you through all the ways that InDesign can help you preflight your document, so that you will feel sure and secure when you walk out that door.
- Working with fonts and linked images
- Previewing transparency
- Using the Preflight panel
- Managing preflight profiles
- Controlling color
- Saving and using print presets
- Printing booklets