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Exporting Press-ready PDFs from Adobe InDesign

Before Exporting Your Printing File for Uploading

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We suggest you do a quick preflight of your job before exporting your PDF, paying particular attention to the following items:

Preference Settings 

Creating Your PDF

NOTE: The following settings and screen captures are from InDesign CC 2014. Other versions of InDesign may differ somewhat from what you see here, but the basic principles are similar.

Go to File > Export. You will have the opportunity to name your file. For Format, select Adobe PDF, click Save, and you’ll be able adjust the following:

1. General
Standard — Set to None.
Compatibility — set to the latest version of Acrobat on the pull-down menu (currently Acrobat 8/9). This must be at least version 5.0 — if not, all transparency in your document (soft drop shadows, for example) will be flattened, which will cause trapping problems.

Pages area:
All or Range — as needed.
Spreads — In general, this should be unchecked.

Options area:
Embed Page Thumbnails — If desired, this may be checked.
View PDF after Exporting — If desired, this may be checked.
Optimize for Fast Web View, Create Tagged PDF, Create Acrobat Layers — Unchecked.
Export Layers — Set to Visible & Printable Layers.

Include area:
All boxes should be Unchecked.

export adobe pdf settings


Color Bitmap Images, Grayscale Bitmap Images — sampling settings should be set to Bicubic Downsampling to. All pixels per inch entries should be set to 2400. Compression for each should be set to Automatic (JPEG). Image quality for each should be set to Maximum.
Monochrome Images — sampling setting should be set to Do Not Downsample. Compression should be set to CCITT Group 4.
Compress Text and Line Art — Checked.
Crop Image Data to Frames — Unchecked.

compressions settings

Marks and Bleeds

Marks area:
Crop Marks — Checked.
Bleed Marks, Registration Marks, Color Bars — In general, these should be unchecked.
Page Information — If desired, this may be checked.
Type — set to Default.
Weight — set to 0.25 pt.
Offset — set to 0p9 or 0.125 in, depending on your Units & Increments settings in Preferences.

Bleed and Slug area:
Use Document Bleed Settings — if you specified bleeds in Document Setup, then this should be checked. If not, and your document has elements that bleed off the page, use the manual settings to set the bleed in all directions to 0p9 or 0.125 in.
Include Slug Area — Unchecked.

Mark and Bleed Settings


Color section:
Color Conversion — set to No Color Conversion.
Destination will be grayed out.
Profile Inclusion Policy — set to Don’t Include Profiles.
Ink Manager... button — see below.
PDF/X section:
All options will be grayed out.

output settings

Ink Manager... button— Click this to make sure all colors that should be printing, will be. Some things to watch for:

ink manager settings


Fonts section:
Subset embedded fonts when percent of characters used is less than: — Set to 99%. This setting is the percentage of characters in the typeface that can be used before InDesign will imbed the entire font. Sub setting can dramatically reduce the size of font-intensive PDF files.

OPI section:
All boxes should be Unchecked.

Transparency Flattener section:
All options will be grayed out.

Job Definition Format (JDF) section:
Create JDF File using Acrobat — Unchecked.

font settings


All boxes and options should be either unchecked or grayed out.

security settings

Save Preset

Save your new job options so that you can use them when needed. We suggest a name like "PDF for Ries" or "Ries Graphics Press Quality."

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