Exporting Files to PDF:

When we send files to someone else to print, such as an outside printing firm or print shop, we need to send the file in a format that has all the external images and fonts needed for that document to print contained within the document.

Remember that when we PLACE images into an InDesign document, a link is created to the original file. The image is NOT in the InDesign document you are working on, it links to the document. If the image file you placed  is moved or deleted it will NOT print because the link is broken- the PARENTING of the file is broken as the document can no longer follow the path to where the linked file was located.

When you copy an InDesign file to a flash drive or burn it to a disc as an InDesign file, this same problem exists. You may open the file on another computer and find your images and certain fonts missing because the “PARENTING” or path to the linked file location no longer exists since you are no longer on the original computer used to create the file.

To solve this file problem we have a couple of choices that we will be learning in our final week of wrapping up InDesign.

Our first solution is to EXPORT the file as an Adobe PDF file. A PDF file opens in Adobe Acrobat but it grabs all linked images, and fonts, and packages them with the PDF file.

When the printer gets this file, the PDF has all image files and fonts needed for the document in the PDF document itself, almost like a folder or package. The process of exporting a PDF file has many choices however as there are many different technical aspects to printing and how you export your file will determine whether or not the printer will be able to open, view and properly print your file.


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Start at the top with the Adobe PDF Presets:

Underneath the presets is a Compatibility setting:

NOTE: It is very important to use this Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) because it “flattens” the image much the way Photoshop flattens layers. This setting will work for the widest array of print situations you may encounter as a student.