Adobe InDesign

Tips and techniques using Adobe's flagship Desktop Publishing package

Setting Up Your Document

Unlike traditional offset production, our on-demand printing offset printing is optimized for a simple document that is the full size of the book with bleed, without crop marks.

The best way to set up your document is to set the document size as the final size, your bleed at 1/8" (9pts) on all sides, and specify your margins at 1/2" for general safety, as mentioned on our page about cropping and bleed.

(:exclaim:)When uploading your PDF, you must choose "Use Document Bleed Setting" as specified below.

The following is an example for our 11"x8.5" book. The document size is actually 11.1" (799pt), the margin is 1/2" 36pt) and the bleed is 1/8" (9pt):
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Example Document

The resulting document looks like:
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And here is how it would look with example content. Note how you must extend your background graphics beyond the document edge to the bleed guides. This is crucial for achieving full bleed printing. Your final PDF will include this bleed when you check the "Use Document Bleed Setting" when exporting your PDF.
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PDF Export with InDesign

The simplest method is to use the preset "High Quality Print" found under File -> Adobe PDF Presets. Choose the highest PDF version, typically Acrobat 8 (PDF 1.7).

Setting Marks and Bleed

This is very important - assuming you created your document as specified above, make sure you check "X Use Document Bleed Setting".
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Setting Output Color to sRGB

When exporting, we recommend you choose sRGB, as our production line is calibrated for that colorspace.
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Double Check Your PDF

Uploading PDF's can be very time consuming, and correcting errors requires an entire re-upload. Before uploading your file, open the PDF in Acrobat and make sure the file size is correct (it should be the final book size + 1/4", ie 1/8" on each side). Be sure to use two-page, continuous view to get a good idea how your book will flow.

If you export from InDesign CS1 to create your PDF do NOT use the File => Export to PDF method. Here is a note from PIA/GATF regarding how to create a print-ready PDF from early versions of InDesign "Prior to version Creative Suite 2 and 3, earlier versions of InDesign encoded all fonts in exported PDFs with CID Character Identity encoding . . . If creating PDF files from older versions of InDesign, don't export, create PDF using Distiller by printing through the Adobe Acrobat printer driver instead." (11/9/07 E-Mail from Julie Shaffer, Director, Digital Printing Council, PIA/GATF)

Export Plugins:
Raster Write (Mac Only)
Price: $169
Raster Write allows you to export TIFF, JPEG and GIF versions of your InDesign documents. You can export images manually, or configure auto-save rules that automatically keep images of selected documents up-to-date.

(:arrow:) TIP: If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can export your InDesign document to pdf in InDesign and then export the pages in the PDF document to jpegs using Acrobat.

Adobe PageMaker

"I am using Adobe PageMaker 7.0 to create my PDF. My book is 9 x 7. My pmd file is about 35 MB. I am using Adobe PDF to create the PDF, printing through the pageMaker application. I have also tried using Acrobat 6.0 Professional and Acrobat Distiller to create the PDF."

Try these steps using PageMaker 7.0:
  • Create a new document with the size 9x7 and the orientation set to "wide"
  • Then go to Print
  • Select a PDF printer
  • There is an option for orientation, select the left option(with the man standing upright)
  • Next click on the "Paper" button on the right.
  • Under the paper size, select "Custom..."
  • A new window called "Custom Paper Size" should pop up
  • Set the width to 9 inches and the height to 7 inches and hit ok
  • Hit Print and it will create a 9x7 pdf file.