How to Prepress in Adobe InDesign

Uploaded by markzwareTV on 18.11.2011

Today's how-to:
How to Prepress in Adobe InDesign. I'm David Dilling from Markzware here to show
you a few
tips on prepress Adobe InDesign
and over here on Amazon, we do a search for prepress InDesign and we'll see
numerous books including one which I haven't personally checked out myself,
but you know Mister Burke is well respected in the industry and
it's pretty affordable, as well.
Mastering InDesign CS5 for print design and production,
and there are more books, as well.
Here's a newer one:
Designing for Print by Charles Conover.
Just a few, a couple books, some recent ones,
that might be interesting for you also to check out to help you master
the prepress process.
Did this search in Google for
Now to prepress Adobe InDesign,
and I got some results, of course,
674,000 to be exact.
Click on the first one.
The first one talks about making sure your version of InDesign 1.5 or
Well, I think that Google needs to look at their results, in this case, a little bit closer.
They're talking about PageMaker over here,
but what they do mention
which is still important today, just as much as it was then
is to preflight and package native files
and that's something very important for
prepress and InDesign, whether you're making a print-ready PDF, or sending the InDesign file with
your fonts.
These are very important tips and tricks.
For the package feature, it would even be good, just for archiving.
Yeah, this is actually a great article, before
I quickly show FlightCheck here,
on the importance of in-flight, preflight, and post flight
in the print workflow.
Now, I don't need to be in InDesign.
Like this file here, this newsletter that's open in the background.
I don't even need to have InDesign on my system
to check a file with FlightCheck.
That's really the beauty. I can just go in the FlightStrip here and click Open.
Anything that comes in, so as a
secretary or a
customer service representative at a printer prepress shop or
as an advertising intake person at a publisher
or even
as a graphic designer,
I can first simply just go in and choose a file to check,
a file that's come in, in this example,
and FlightCheck does the rest, telling me what's inside the InDesign file
without opening it
and going through manually or even choosing some
preflight feature inside or in-flight,
let's preflight before we take flight.
And use FlightCheck to help us with our prepress
tasks within
Adobe InDesign.
The FlightCheck eagle gathers all details of the files.
We get two screens: Results overview in plain English with what the
problems might be
and the main screen
where we see
all the details of the file,
good, bad, and otherwise, red being a problem,
and blue being a warning.
We can tab through this file and see all the different areas.
We could even collect the job or package, as they call it an InDesign.
The advantage over the FlightCheck package feature to the built-in InDesign
package feature is we get everything, even the Adobe Illustrator
placed files and files used within the Adobe Illustrator files - fonts and images.
Furthermore, we also compress the job, no matter what it is, we'll compress that
and will give it an
X if it fails or a FlightCheck Approved alert that it's fine, giving peace of mind
to the next person in your workflow.
Hopefully, they are preflighting, as well.
Once again, preflighting can take many forms and the prepress process of InDesign
should be done both before
you even start the InDesign file
by checking your
individual graphics and objects.
You see on the Quality
Triangle here, exactly how important that is in the workflow.
You should be then checking in-flight inside in InDesign. You should be
preflighting outside of InDesign to make sure everything's fine before you create
that PDF and go to the post-flight process
within PitStop or Acrobat itself.
There are other tools as well, even FlightCheck can check the PDF file, as well.
We have two totally separate interfaces
for PDF and for native files, like InDesign, or Illustrator, or Quark.
That's the importance of prepress in InDesign: is that it's an extended process.
It's not something that happens in one place. It happens throughout
Let's go back in the search and
narrow this down to, say, in the past year.
So, Google does help us in that respect. We can now go in and
look for relevant pages.
Here's an interesting
prepress help one:
File Naming Best Practices.
Do not use illegal characters such as these.
File names should not exceed twenty-five characters.
And we get a bunch of returns on the
community help section
run by Adobe
And we have some interesting ones: Prepress Myths by InDesign Secrets.
InDesign Secrets is always a great site to check out.
CS5, CS5.5, "Importing other graphics formats",
very important,
and here's a good one: Preparing PDFs for Service Providers;
but let's click on this "Importing other graphics formats".
InDesign supports a variety of graphic formats including bitmap format such as
and the vector format such as EPS.
They even
native Illustrator files to be placed in
however, this is very important, because InDesign's pre-flight will not check
vector artwork from Adobe Illustrator natively.
FlightCheck will, however. Very important tip. It will also package those, as well,
and all included fonts and the placed graphics, very important.
Actually this is in reply to a forum post over on the Adobe Forums in the InDesign
He mentions
the point of this post from the original
post was "Does 'Package' collect Illustrator links?"
The mention is clear. The answer is no, at least within InDesign.
What I want to show you right now is how Markzware's FlightCheck can actually package
that up for you,
and I will show that to you right now.
Let's see, I've added to the second page here
a nice little
ad we had, here on the first page of the test file,
I've added in
this placed...
placed within it. See, in these other files I use on page 1;
but on page 2, it doesn't seem
the placed images.
lightening up the fonts, either, that's a good question.
I'll research that later.
Okay, so now we save this file out, which I've already done,
and I go and we'll use FlightCheck and see how... what that tells us.
OK, so what does FlightCheck tell us?
She needed a document to be preflighted. It'll check InDesign, Illustrator, and package them
both, as well as Photoshop, PDF,
QuarkXPress, etc.
Alright, let's take a closer look.
Alright, so here we see now the images section only
and you'll see all the different images used, but you'll also notice
we have here this little... It's hard to see, maybe, in this film,
but what we have is an icon that is Adobe Illustrator
and we see also that there are
fonts embedded within
the Illustrator file.
If you hover over, you can see what they are.
Futura Bold and Myriad Pro-Regular,
and you
get more information that image if you double-click it.
FlightCheck will see the Adobe Illustrator file is used
within the layout.
We also see
the actual
image that you just saw was placed in that Adobe Illustrator file,
and we get a preview,
and it can show us any fonts used in that.
So, now the next part is
Let's collect
the job,
so we get all the fonts and images
that are used within this InDesign layout, including
the Illustrator
native file with placed images, within that itself, and its fonts.
Let's collect that entire job with FlightCheck. All these files... It gives you tips and tricks on...
if it's portable, most of the time it is,
and what the potential problems are:
for instance,
loss of compression,
JPEG encoding,
These are all things which
can help you check automatically,
either individually, or in the TIFF or EPS
or once placed within InDesign.
The beauty of FlightCheck is it's a stand-alone process.
So, you don't need to
fumble around inside an interface and try to find out how to check for it.
You just drop the file on FlightCheck and it will tell you
if your InDesign file is ready for prepress use or not.
Very handy to use on all incoming files, really. Just drop any incoming file or graphic
right on FlightCheck. It will tell you.
Very important prepress details for printed works:
your margin area,
your page area,
the bleed,
and the slug area
There are really so many tips and tricks to do with InDesign
and for prepress.
So, our recommendation, just like a good tennis player doesn't necessarily have
be told what to do during the match,
he or she will correct their
play and their practice outside of the match,
and that is what FlightCheck does as a stand-alone application.
It allows you, outside of InDesign, to quickly
ascertain what the problems may be.
FlightCheck is a stand-alone application
for Macintosh. Download version 6.80.
You can see a whole demonstration video here on the
webpage. FlightCheck is
more than fifteen years on the market
as the de facto standard of preflighting,
your way to
prepress InDesign files.
David from Markzware, signing off.