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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Exporting PDFs for Walsworth

    January 14th, 2009 by Russell Viers

    Now that you’ve built some pages you want to submit to Walsworth to include in your yearbook, what’s next? Well, you have to get the pages from InDesign into a PDF that can easily be uploaded to the printing plant for output.

    The PDF you create should look exactly like the page you created in InDesign and it contains all the information needed for proper output: Graphics, fonts, colors, etc.

    I’ll cover the settings you want to use and how to export a PDF in just a bit, but first I’ll tell you how cool what you’re about to do is and how technologically advanced you are going to be.

    First, when you export a PDF from InDesign with these settings, you are going to convert all of your images from RGB to CMYK so they can be printed on a printing press. In days of yore, designers would have to convert EVERY photo from RGB to CMYK in Photoshop…a long and laborious task. Many printers who don’t know any better still require customers to do this. I, on the other hand, like you too much for that.

    What’s more, it’s not only converting RGB to CMYK automatically, but InDesign is converting to CMYK for you using the EXACT same separation tables that Photoshop would use to do the same thing. So ultimately, you are getting the same results you would if you opened them in Photoshop and converted to CMYK manually.

    Keep in mind that it is not changing the original photo, only the version that is embedded into the PDF. Because of this, you can use the same photo in multiple projects, including electronic (RGB) or various print media (CMYK) and it’s all controlled during output…original photo unharmed. And with these settings, your photos are being lightly compressed using JPEG2000 technology on maximum quality so you are getting better reproduction, with smaller file size, than any previous settings Walsworth has offered.

    How is this possible? Because Walsworth has a RIP (imaging device that prepares your PDF for press) that processes your PDFs better than ever. It can now flatten your transparency inline, where in the past customers were doing this during the export process. So now that you don’t have to flatten locally, that means you can use newer export technology which offers you

    • Better Photo Reproduction
    • Smaller PDF Files
    • Faster File Uploads
    • Higher Quality Transparency Reproduction (now we can rasterize, if necessary, at a higher resolution than if you did it during export in the past)

    In addition to converting color, InDesign is also cropping all of your photos for you. Any photos that are larger than the frames will be cropped to size so the PDF is smaller. Again, the original photo is untouched, just the version in the PDF is cropped.

    And InDesign downsamples your images for you, as well. So let’s say you placed a 12 megapixel photo from your digital camera directly on the page and sized it to about 4″ x 5″ and the resolution is about 500 pixels per inch…no worries. During the export to PDF, InDesign will make all of your images that are higher than 300ppi…uh…300ppi. If the image resolution is less than 300ppi, they will be untouched. This means that InDesign won’t interpolate the resolution UP to 300. All Photoshop images with layers will also be flattened in the PDF.

    During the export, InDesign is also going to add marks to the pages that show whether you have bleeds on the page, or not (art going off the page on any side). If you intend for photos or backgrounds to bleed off the page, you will see the art extend beyond the marks on the four corners of your page. If you don’t see that, you probably didn’t build that into your document and you need to go back to InDesign and have the art go off the page by at least 1/8″ (0p9 or 3.2mm).

    Now that you know what you’re going to end up with, let’s set up your computer so it’s a cinch to do.

    The first question is: Are you using Creative Suite 2, or newer, or just InDesign or Creative Suite 1? There are two different processes, depending, so read below which one suits your setup.

    Creative Suite 2 (or newer)

    I’ve included a couple of small files here you need to download and uncompress first, then I’ll tell you where to stick them (in a nice way). Click on the link below and it should automatically download for you.

    Okay, so now where do we put them. I’m giving you a simple step-by-step so just follow along:

    1. Open Adobe Bridge (which comes free with Creative Suite and installs automatically)
    2. Go to Edit> Creative Suite Color Settings
    3. Click Show Saved Settings Files
    4. Drag the attached file named Walsworth Color Settings.csf into that folder
    5. Close the folder
    6. Cancel the Suite Color Settings window
    7. Once again select Edit>Creative Suite Color Settings
    8. Now you should see the Walsworth setting listed there.
    9. Select it and click Apply
    10. Now go to InDesign
    11. Select File> Adobe PDF Presets> Define
    12. Click Load
    13. Select the file named Walsworth PDF Export 09 RV.joboptions
    14. Click Open
    15. Click Done

    Now you are ready to go
    Next time you want to export PDFs, just select this preset from the File>Adobe PDF Preset list or choose File>Export and select it from the drop down list at the top.

    InDesign CS (not as part of the Creative Suite) or Creative Suite 1

    Since Creative Suite doesn’t have Adobe Bridge, we have to load these settings differently. Click the link below to download the settings you will need to install. Be sure to uncompress it before you start.

    1. Open Photoshop
    2. Go to Photoshop>Color Settings (Mac) or Edit>Color Settings (Windows) and open the Color Settings window.
    3. Click Load
    4. Select the file you just downloaded named Walsworth Color Settings.csf
    5. Click Load
    6. Click OK
    7. Open InDesign
    8. Go to Edit> Color Settings
    9. Click at the top to Enable Color Management
    10. Click Load
    11. Select the file named Walsworth Color Settings.csf
    12. Click Open
    13. Click OK
    14. Go to File> PDF Export Presets>Define
    15. Click Load
    16. Select the file named Walsworth PDF Exports 09 CS RV.pdfs
    17. Click Open
    18. Click OK

    Now you are ready to go
    Next time you want to export PDFs, just select this preset from the File>PDF Export Preset list or choose File>Export and select it from the drop down list at the top.

    Drop a line to me if you have any problems with any of this.

    One Response to “Exporting PDFs for Walsworth”

    1. Eduardo Says:

      Hi Russell,

      I have enjoyed your issue about color management in Adobe’s Suite, however I’ve got a question. I work at a newspaper company, it means we print out several papers each night. It is annoying what kind of pdf files we got, as usual right. We use InDesign to put pages together, as Preps or any similar similar product cant’t fit our needs since we got differents sizes of papers. What I have been wondering is about an easy way to convert colors to “newspapers icc” in an export setup or print setup and preserve black colors? What we have got so far is that it seems like have converted colors, however I can’t be sure about its convertion. Plus another testing we made a few black and gray elements was converted to CMY gray, which pissed the printer guys off lol.

      One last question, is there a way to assure the pictures have 230% limit of ink?

      Thank you in advance and apologize for my broken english :)


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