Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to make a simple PDF from InDesign.

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at creating a PDF from InDesign. We're going to make this super complicated one for the printers. It's not that hard. And this one here, just a pretty little version that we can email out, or send to our local printer, and share, and all that awesome PDF stuff. All right, let's go and do that now.

The first thing to do is, save your document, 'File', 'Save'. Next thing to do is-- if it's grayed out, it means you've already saved. This means you can't save, you've already done it, don't do it again. Next thing we want to do is, go down to 'Export', or 'Command D' on a Mac, or 'Control E' on a PC. Super easy, down the bottom here it should probably default to Adobe PDF. We're going to use this one called 'Print'. You use that one if you're going out to obviously print. And make sure it's set to that. Give it a name, I'm going to give mine a name, and put it into our folder. On my 'Desktop', 'InDesign Class Files', this one's going to be called 'Green at Heart Flyer V1', and hit 'Save'.

Now the cool thing about this is, this can look quite complicated, and you can make it complicated if you want, but let's just do the basics now, and we'll go through some more advanced exporting later on in the course. So check out that video, but at the moment, go on to here, put it on 'High Quality Print', and then just hit 'Export', that's it. This will give you a PDF that will go to a printer, and print perfectly, it will print from your office, it will be download-able, and look good quality. It will do all of those things.

Let's just do a tiny little bit more with the PDF. Mine's automatically opened up in Acrobat. Yours might not, so you might have to go and find it. Mine's on my 'Desktop' in that folder we made. You might have to double click it. And yours is going to open up in some program. What I'd like to do is a couple of other things. So let's have a little look in InDesign, a little bit more detail. So, 'File', 'Export' again. I'm going to give it the same name, and override it. It won't let me save it over the top because I've got it open in this program, so I'm going to close it down in Acrobat. I'm going to give it the same name. It's going to say, "Would you like to replace it?" If it says you can't replace because it's open somewhere, go and close it. I'm going to replace it. 'High Quality Print', set it to that, that's fine.

The other thing you might do is go to 'Smallest File Size'. It's going to make it a lot smaller in terms of file size. This might be better if it's a really long document. Say it is an 80-page prospectus with lots of images, you might go to 'Small File Size' because you're sending it out to, I don't know, colleagues, to do a check. Not the final print, just some-- so it's not so big, and you can email it. That's what you need to do for that. Let's say we want to go 'High Quality Print' but we're sending it to our commercial printer. There's two little things we're going to do. It's this one, under 'Marks and Bleeds'. We've added 'Bleed' to ours, remember, with 3mm or quarter of an inch. I can't remember, 0.125 And in here, we're going to turn on 'Crop Marks'. So 'Crop Marks' is the only thing you'll need.

So I said two things, 'Crop Marks', and you turn on the 'Bleeds'. It's picked, it's remembered our 'Bleed'. You can manually type it in here, but if I say 'Use Bleeds from Document', you can see it in there, faded out, but 0.125 And I'm going to click 'Export'. The only difference is, can you see around the outside here? These little 'Crop Marks' here are used by the printer to slice, they line the guillotine up with that one, and that side, and they just trim it off, and that chunk in this little gap goes in the bin.

So if you're sending it to a commercial printer to print, you want to add the 'Bleed', so all you do is turn on the 'Crop Marks' under 'Export', and you turn on your 'Bleed Settings'. If you're sending it out to be printed internally, or if you've downloaded it from a website, you don't have to turn this 'Crop and Bleed Marks' on.

Now before we finish up, let's have a quick look at 'Export' settings. There's one other thing, I just want to show you this one. I'm going to close down this guy. I'm going to give it the same name. 'Replace', I'm going to say, "Yes, please." We're going to look at these. We're going to turn all of these 'on'. Turn that all on. Why would we turn them all on? You can never turn them all on. We do it to impress people. Look at that, look how impressive and designer we look with all these extra marks, these color bars, these registration marks, it all looks very good.

The 'Time' is actually something you might turn on, and it has the document name. If I were sending this to a commercial printer they would only want the 'Crop Marks', they would add their own color bars. These are just here to help the printer on their side of things. They've got a master color chart, and they'll print yours out. They'll put their master charts next to these colors just to see they all kind of match. And that will mean that their printer's working well, but they wouldn't expect you to put them on.

You wouldn't add registration marks either, these are used by the printer. What they do is, that registration color is actually printed, it looks black, but it's actually, say a magenta, yellow, and black all together. What happens is, if it goes to the printer, and the paper jiggles a little bit, what happens is, if they see a yellow target sticking at the side here they'll know that the plates aren't lined up or at least the printing ink is not lining over the top. And the image might be a little fuzzy because these things aren't printing exactly on top of each other. But that only happens when you get to offset printing. We turn it on mainly to impress people.

Say you're a designer, and you're sending it off to a client, this kind of stuff, I feel like, it's like, "Yeah, I'm a proper designer, with all these things." But if you're sending it to a printer, pull them all off. So I've got a bit of attention there. Just to recap, if you don't have 'Bleed', and you don't need it, say it's going to be just emailing to somebody, or downloading it from a website, 'File', 'Export'. Click, give it a name. 'Replace', yes please. And just pick 'High Quality Print', and hit 'Export'. If you need 'Bleed', all you need to do extra, just turn on 'Marks'. Go to 'Crop Marks', turn on the 'Document Bleed', then hit 'Export'. What you'll notice is, see it's modified along the top here, just means that, if I pick 'High Quality Print', that's all basic, but if I turn this on, you see it becomes 'modified', you've changed it a little bit. Doesn't matter if it says modified because we added these, we know what we're doing. We are professionals.

All right, that long winded explanation of PDFs is now over. We'll go into some super advanced nerdy stuff in the advanced course of InDesign, if you ever need to get into there, but really what we've got here will work for 99% of the jobs you're going to work on. All right, see you in the next video.