Exporting PDFs

Sending documents cross-platform is increasingly common these days, MAC to PC for example, exporting your document as a Postscript file (.ps), and then creating a PDF through Acrobat Distiller is the most comprehensive way. In order to make PDF files print correctly the Distiller job options must be properly configured. Attention must be paid to the inclusion of fonts and high resolution selection of graphics.

Helpful Hint: Always preview an exported PDF before sending.

Note: Once your preset is created, it can be used in either Adobe InDesign or Illustrator.

How to: Export PDFs with Adobe Indesign

InDesign has the ability to generate a print-ready PDF without the need of Acrobat Distiller. PDF files, if prepared correctly, can help streamline the printing process because they have the ability to contain all aspects of a file such as fonts, graphics, and images.

At Ohio University Printing Services, we use Adobe’s PDF Print Engine which allows PDF files to be ripped/rendered without the need for transparency flattening. This, in combination with a properly constructed PDF file, yields a more efficient workflow.

InDesign PDF Presets

An InDesign PDF preset is a group of settings that affect the process of creating a PDF. Once created, the preset will be available for all future files created. Use of a preset will eliminate the need to configure individual settings each time you need to make a PDF.

Creating a PDF Preset

  1. Pull down the File menu and choose Adobe PDF Presets > Define.
  2. From the available default presets, click [Press Quality], then click New...
  3. Enter a name “Marks & Bleeds” for the preset and match all settings as follows:
    • Pages: Generally speaking, Spreads should NOT be checked as most printers prefer single pages within PDF files. Our workflow and digital press systems offer complete imposition options so always save PDF files in a single page (non-spread) format.
    • Options: Check "Embed Page Thumbnails," leave all else unchecked. Make sure Export Layers has "Visible & Printable Layers" selected.
    • Include: Uncheck all items in this section.
  4. On the Compression panel, match the following settings:
    • Color Images:  "Do Not Downsample," Compression: JPG, Image Quality: Maximum
    • Greyscale Images: "Do Not Downsample," Compression: JPG, Image Quality: Maximum
    • Monochrome Images: "Do Not Downsample," Compression: CCITT Group 4
    • Check "Compress Text and Line Art" but do not check "Crop Image Data to Frames."
  5. On the Marks and Bleeds panel, match the settings below.

    Any element that extends to the final trim edges needs to extended at least .125” (1/8”). Do not include the bleed when setting up your document size. Bleed should extended past the edge of the document. Always create you document to final trim size (100%) Most printers use software to impose your files into press ready layouts. This software depends on your documents to be created to final trim size. If your final size is 4x6 make your document (Page Setup) 4x6. Do not build your file in the middle of a 8 1/2 x 11.
    • Marks: Check "Crop Marks," "Bleed Marks," and "Page Information"; leave the rest unchecked. Type: Default, Weight: .25 pt, Offset: 0.0833 in
    • Bleed and Slug: Leave both boxes unchecked, set bleed to 0.125 in on top, bottom, outside, and inside.
  6. On the Output panel, match the settings shown below:
    • Color: Color Conversion: No Color Conversion, Profile Inclusion Policy: Don't Include Profiles
    • PDF/X: All should list N/A
  7. If your document uses RGB images/colors, change the settings to the following:
    • Color Conversion: Convert to Destination (Prese...)
    • Destination: GRACoL2006_Coated1x2.icc
    • Profile Inclusion Policy: Don't Include Profiles
  8. On the Advanced panel, we would like all used fonts to be completely embedded. Please specify 0% character usage:
    • Advanced > Fonts > Subset fonts when percent of characters used is less than: 0%
  9. Click OK to save the PDF Preset. With the preset now saved, you can choose it by pulling down the File menu and choosing Adobe PDF Presets > “Marks & Bleeds” each time you need to make a PDF of your document.
  10. With the PDF made, remember to review the PDF with Adobe Acrobat to ensure the Font, Images, and design elements view to your satisfaction.