Understanding the Export to PDF settings InDesign CS2
In this blog, I will assume that it is already understood what a press-ready PDF is and what it should contain. If not, please see my previous post here.
When you are happy that your design document meets press ready standards, including all fonts, images and correct settings for overprinting and transparencies, please read on…
Creating press-ready PDF’s from InDesign CS2
First of all, you will need to get to the file menu and select the export option. This will bring up a window prompting you for a location to save your file. Give your file an appropriate name and then select PDF from the format drop-down menu below. Click save. You will then be brought the export PDF settings window.
You will notice that there are several PDF presets available to you already. These are the default settings that come with Adobe CS2. Many printers have their own specifics which I have already mentioned in my previous post. I will discuss the settings that we prefer to use at Printhouse Corporation. These settings should be correct for most printers and if not, once they are understood, it will be easy to change them for each printer that you use.
The General Tab
This contains the general settings. You can ignore the PDF Preset menu as you will save the settings you are now creating at the end of this blog and these will then appear in this menu. After this, you need only select the new setting every time you want to make a press-ready PDF as all of the previous settings will be saved.
From the standard drop-down menu, select PDF/X-1a:2001 and from the compatibility menu, select Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)
In the pages range, select all if you want the whole document to be made into a PDF or select range and enter the pages you want to export to PDF or spreads if appropriate. This might be used for covers. We prefer that spreads are not used within the text sections.
In the options section, make sure all boxes are unchecked.
In the include section, make sure all boxes are unchecked.
The Compression Tab
This contains the settings for the images.
For all sections, that is the colour, greyscale and monochrome images, please choose Do Not Downsample from the drop-down menus and in the compression menus, choose ZIP. Make sure Compress Text and Line art is unchecked and Crop Image to Data Frames is checked.
The Marks and Bleeds Tab
This contains the settings for different types of printers marks and bleed.
We prefer no crop marks so all of the boxes in the marks section need to be unchecked. Type needs to be default, Weight needs to be 0.25pts and Offset needs to be 2.117mm
In the Bleed and Slug section, uncheck all boxes and put 3mm in the Top, Bottom, Left and Right menus.
The Output Tab
This contains the colour settings.
You will need to select Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers) from the colour conversion menu and document CMYK – Coated FOGRA27 (ISO 12647-2:2004) from the Destination menu.
In the PDF/X section, select CMYK – Coated FOGRA27 (ISO 12647-2:2004) from the Output Intent Profile name menu. Leave all of the other boxes in this section blank.
The Advanced Tab
This contains the settings for the fonts and transparencies.
In the Fonts section, make sure the percentage is 100%, if not, type this in. Leave all of the boxes in the OPI section unchecked. Choose the High-Resolution Preset in the Transparency Flattener menu and leave the box below called Ignore Spread Overrides unchecked. Leave the box in the Job Definition Format section unchecked.
The Security Tab
The Security tab contains the option to password protect your PDF. This is not necessary and we would advise against this unless you are working with sensitive information, in which case you will need to supply the printer with the password. It also means, should there be a small problem with the file, the printers would not be able to make any changes to the PDF without a password. We would suggest that these boxes are left unchecked.
The Summary Tab
The Summary tab will list all of your settings in one place. You may see a warning about the profiles do not match the colour settings. This can be ignored.
That’s it! Now click the save preset tab and give it an appropriate name. This setting will now appear at the top in the preset menu. You will never have to enter these settings again! Now click Export. The progress bars will pop up as your PDF is being generated. You should now have a press-ready PDF saved in your specified location ready to go to print.
The settings we work from are made from a preset called Trueflow PDFX1a 1.1EU and these work in unison with our CTP software. You can download the preset from our website here.
Help with press-ready InDesign PDFs
We have been producing PDFs since they were invented and we’re masters of every InDesign version. So if you need assistance creating your InDesign press ready PDF, along with a quote for printing it, then just contact us below.