Being a good designer is a marketable skill. Being a good designer and understanding how to properly prep files for printing can make you an invaluable addition to your team.
One of the keys to upping your value is knowing how to make production-ready PDF files from your InDesign creations. While some designers still export to PostScript and then use Distiller to rip the PDFs, there’s an easier way.
Many thanks to Magazine Designing’s Nikola for this primer on how to export PDFs directly from InDesign.
First off, Nikola advises to be careful of the resolution and color settings for any images in your piece.
“Before we start it is good to point out that the images in your publication have to be in CMYK color mode and at least in 225 dpi resolution. 300 dpi is the default one, but if you cannot have images at 300 dpi, 225 dpi will work fine. You can go lower than this, but than this will affect the quality of the images in print.”
Jam full of screen shots and a nice step-by-step flow, this tutorial will help you master the PDF export process in no time. From marks, bleeds and output controls through advanced features like subsetting and font embedding, this is a great way to learn the nuances of this InDesign feature.