Skip to main content

Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 34 of 34

Printing and Exporting

Erica Gamet

Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Erica Gamet

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

34. Printing and Exporting


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:01:51
2 Document Set-Up Duration:15:39
3 Panels Duration:11:46
4 Toolbox Duration:08:22
5 The Adobe® Workspace Duration:05:17
6 Shortcuts Duration:05:33
7 Saving Files Duration:05:37
8 Guides Duration:12:42
9 Text Frames Duration:08:13
10 Shapes, Fill and Stoke Duration:07:43
11 Arranging and Modifying Shapes Duration:08:31
14 Pencil, Smooth and Erase Tools Duration:05:46
15 Strokes and Arrows Duration:13:33
17 Placing Graphics Duration:08:05
18 Placing PDFs Duration:04:22
19 Placing Multiple Files Duration:06:14
21 Specialty Frames Duration:05:52
22 The Links Panel Duration:21:34
23 High Quality Display Duration:06:48
24 Clipping Paths Duration:13:08
25 Transparency Duration:09:41
26 The Gap Tool Duration:03:55
27 Color & Swatches Panels Basics Duration:16:38
28 Eyedropper Tool Duration:10:03
29 Gradient Swatches Duration:05:31
30 Character Panel Duration:23:38
31 Paragraph Panel Duration:15:09
32 Spelling & Autocorrect Duration:06:42
33 Text Frame Options Duration:08:10
34 Printing and Exporting Duration:16:16

Lesson Info

Printing and Exporting

So I've got a lot of the different things that we've put together throughout the course, and now we're ready to actually export this out for use, whether it's digital or whether we're going to go to print. We may actually print it as well. I don't think many people are actually printing it in house doing their own thing, but I'm gonna go through really quickly through the Print dialog box. We're gonna spend a few minutes more instead on the Export to PDF dialog box, because I'm gonna assume that's how most people are going to export their file. Even if they're going to print, almost everything I do gets exported as a PDF because I wanna make sure that, the P in PDF is portable, and I wanna make sure it's portable and everything I need is inside that document so when I hand it off to someone to output it, I know that what I see on my screen, it's basically going to translate really well to the print world. So if I'm exporting it for digital or I'm exporting it for print, it's most likel...

y going to be a PDF. But we do need to understand the Print dialog box as well, and luckily many of the options are the same in both. So we're ready to print this. I'm gonna print, I'll probably just print the first probably six pages of this just because it takes a few minutes for it to crank it out. So I'm gonna go ahead, and we're gonna start with the Print dialog box, and it'll say Print, and now the thing is, depending on what printer you have, I don't have a lot here 'cause I'm not actually hooked up to a printer, but we're gonna just look at what's in the different boxes here. We're not gonna go through everything. Most of it's probably gonna make sense if you've printed anything before. It's gonna ask you things like how many copies and what pages, and you can work with that range. When we selected range earlier on something we were doing with selecting a range, we could say, oh, we were importing a PDF, so we could say one through three and also six and also nine. We can do commas, we can do dashes to get that range, but I'm actually going to do one through six. We're not really gonna print it anyway, and I can tell it if I want it to be in pages or spreads. Now I have these two pages side by side. If I do spreads, it's going to expect a piece of paper that can accommodate two wide versions of this, which is 17 inches, so if I don't have 17 inch-wide paper it's not really gonna help me very much. I can also choose where it sits on the page. I come in here to Setup, and it's sort of showing me what it's gonna look like on the paper here, and I've chosen a letter page, letter paper here, and I might wanna tell it that it's going to sit completely centered and it's 100%. I constrain the proportions or I can scale it to fit, scale it up as much as it can, but I'm gonna go ahead and keep it scaled to 100%. Things I might wanna keep in mind are things like bleed marks. So if I set that up with a bleed and then I don't tell it Use Document Bleed Settings, if I have that turned off it says zero bleed, which for this might be fine 'cause this might be a proof, and for a proof we don't need to have that extra bit that hangs out, and we had all of our images going past the edge of the document into the bleed lines. If we want those to show up because we're actually printing this and we're going to cut it down from here, we probably do want Document Bleed Settings. We probably also want crop marks in that case so we can actually see where to cut so we can actually zoom in and see that it's showing us what it's going to look like. There's the bleed, and there's the crop marks. The other thing to keep in mind is if you're using a bleed setting and your bleed setting is an eighth of an inch and you've set crop marks, one thing that doesn't go on automatically in InDesign, which I wish it would, it would be helpful 'cause this is a little oversight people make all the time, is that I've just told it I need an eighth of an inch bleed mark, yet my crop marks are not offset by an eighth of an inch from the edge of the page, which means my crop marks are going to sneak back into the bleed setting, which is not what we want. We don't want anything that's not supposed to print showing up in something that might end up being seen, so we need to move this so that it matches at least the amount of bleed so those crop marks are pushed off to the side. We're gonna set that, and then we'll go ahead, and I'm not gonna worry about a lot of these 'cause this is all going to be different depending on what your printer is and what the options are available to it. But for the most part, I'm gonna assume everything that we print is probably just gonna be for quick proofing, so I'm gonna go ahead and make sure that I've got my marks and bleeds, I've got it set up centered, I've got it set up the right way, I'm doing pages versus spreads, actually do each page by itself, and then we'd go ahead and hit Print. Now the nice thing is I can save that preset again. It's another place where I can save a preset so that next time I go to print this out, I can just choose it from my preset pull-down menu and I don't have to think about it again, and I would hit Print from there, but we're not gonna do that 'cause we don't actually have a printer. But even when you're printing to say, an inkjet in your office, one thing you might find using InDesign, if you have a printer that is set up for office use, it is probably not a postscript printer and will probably have a really hard time printing from InDesign just because InDesign has so much information in it, so what you might wanna try doing is exporting to a PDF, then all that crunching of the files. Remember I said in the very beginning when we place images we're just placing a link and it's referencing back where that image sits? Well, this is where it needs to now go find that information and put that into the output file, so if you're trying to put that on your little $50 office printer, that might be asking too much, if it can even handle it at all. If we do this, if we export it as a PDF right now, we're letting the Adobe PDF engine take care of all that. It's saying oh, this sunflower image was supposed to be here, and it's at this resolution, great. It's gonna grab it, put that information, it's gonna grab all the information it needs, puts it into that PDF and crank that information through, and then when you send that PDF to that printer, it should print pretty quickly because all that calculation has already been done for you, so it's already been done in the PDF. So whether you're printing to your office printer or you're sending it to a commercial printer, we wanna probably make a PDF. And the nice thing is if you are working with a commercial printer and you ask them I'd like to send you a PDF, you can usually ask them for the settings that you need. They'll either tell you or give you a file that lets you choose it from the preset menu right away, and that's ideal because it's already set up exactly for their workflow, and then you don't really have to think about what sorts of things you need to enter. Either way through, we're gonna start with our document. We're gonna hit Export. So File, Export. And when we're working with PDFs, we'll see that there's actually two options, but there's only one that we're going to use, but there are two sitting here. We have Adobe PDF Interactive and Adobe PDF Print. We're gonna choose Print. Either one is going to give us a PDF extension, but we need to make sure we use the Print one. So we're gonna go ahead and send this out just to the Desktop. I'm gonna click Save, and I'm gonna come in here and I can choose one of the premade settings that are here. So I can start with High Quality Print. I can also do PDF/X-1a. If you're working with print shops, commercial print shops, they may ask for a PDF/X, and PDF/X-1a I still use most of the time. It's sort of the lowest common denominator. I talked a little bit about transparency and how it has to emulate what transparency would look like, and the PDF/X-1a actually does that. It flattens it down so that if you are going to have issues with transparency, you would be able to see that in the PDF before you send it out to anybody else. So I like that, it flattens it down, and the nice thing is it's a standard so you don't really have to do much else to it, you're pretty much ready to go. Just a couple things we need to look at though. This sort of stuff is what we just saw in the Print dialog box. What pages, do we want pages or spreads? We can also do a couple things because it's going to open a PDF, we can choose to have it open in full-screen mode. If we know they're gonna look at it only on-screen, and that's what we want them to see, is focus on that and not the Acrobat tools or anything like that, we can tell it Open in Full Screen so that when they double-click on it, it automatically just takes over the whole screen and gives you that nice visual presentation. Totally depends on what it is you want them to do with your document. I'm not gonna go over everything that's here. We're gonna choose to view the PDF after we export it though, and we've only got one layer, we're not gonna worry about that. What it really comes down to is the compression. There is no actual resolution of a PDF, but all the individual items in a PDF have resolution of some kind, so we have to tell it what to do with each of these files. So again, I'm starting with this PDF/X-1a, and for the most part, I'm fine with what it says. It says, here's that magic 300, when we were talking about resolution with images, how 300 is sort of the magic number for, 300 PPI, for printing. And I'm gonna leave everything that's set here. All these are the default that are here, and I'm gonna leave those and not touch those pull-down menus at all. But it does say to sample it down to 300 PPI, pixels per inch, for images above 450 pixels per inch. And we can leave it at that if we want, so I'm gonna go ahead and leave that. So what that's going to do is anything that's above 450, if you've got a really high-res image, it's going to shrink it down to because 300 is the most we need anyway for what we're doing with it, and so we don't need it to be any bigger, and so if it was bigger it would just make the PDF bigger, and that's not really that portable part of PDF. We wanna keep it portable. So we just wanna sample it down. It's not gonna sample anything up, and you're not gonna lose any quality because wherever we're exporting to can't handle more than 300 anyway, so it would be extra information. So I'm gonna leave all that. I'm gonna leave the last two checked as well. It's compresses the text and the line art, and it'll crop image data to frames, meaning if we had an image and we were only using a part of it, we could only see a part of it inside that frame, it will crop it down and it won't send the rest of that image that doesn't show up in the frame. Now the only thing is that no one could open up the PDF and move that image, you would have to regenerate your PDF, but that's how I prefer to work anyway. And this just saves again more space, and if it's something you're distributing for people, the final destination is this PDF, what people will see, then we're trying to get it to be the highest quality possible with the least amount of extra junk in there as possible, so we're getting rid of the text and line art, I mean we're compressing it more, at a lossless compression, and then also we're cropping out that extra data. If we're going to print, we will probably need those document bleed settings. We're gonna print this annual report that's here, and we know we have bleeds on most of the pages that are there. We need to tell it use the document bleed settings, so we're gonna do that. If we don't want that amount, we could put in our own amount, but we liked the eighth of an inch that we had, we're telling it to use those document bleed settings there, and it puts it in there for you. We may or may not want crop marks. I tend not to. Most printers I work with don't want crop marks, but I need to tell 'em that it does have bleeds so they know that I actually did it to size and I did allow them for bleeds, but most of them wanna put their own crop marks in, otherwise I would put that in there. The only other thing that I would do is I would leave all this set 'cause again, it's gonna depend on where this is going, so all these settings will be different depending on where it's going, and hopefully your printer will tell you what they need and already have this file for you so you don't even have to choose any of this. But under Advanced, a couple of things I do wanna do, is I wanna make sure that this is set to 100%, and that means if less than 100% of all the characters in a font are used, which is probably the case, then it will only send the amount of the font, the characters in the font, that were actually used. You don't want it to send this open-type font that I just told you has all these options. You don't want it to send that massive font and embed that inside your PDF. So in this case it only takes the characters that are used in the document and puts those in the PDF, and it's really quick so there's no reason not to, so leave that 100%. And then Transparency Flattener. This is where it has to make transparency look like transparency in a printed format, and we need to tell it what sort of resolution we're going to use for that. In this case, I'm gonna use the High Resolution built-in one and just leave it at that. And then that's pretty much it for all the options. There are, like I say, a ton of options, but those are the ones I would worry about the most, and the great thing is because we're flattening it and we did our Transparency Flattener settings, we should be able to look at that PDF and be able to see if there were going to be any issues with transparency like drop shadows or where we have this color sitting on top of images, we'd be able to see that. So we'll say Export, it'll export that out. As it's working, this little thing is going here, you can do other stuff but you can't open the PDF until that's done, but we can go ahead and do that. And then we'll have that PDF ready for, this one for print, and the nice thing is that the print and the digital, depending on what you're doing with the PDF, the digital PDFs, if you're viewing them say, on an iPad, the resolution on a retina display iPad is nearly the same as what you need for printing. It's 256, and we need 300 for printing, so for me, I've gotten to the point where if I've got this one ready to go to the printer, I find that it works really well as also the digital version if I think people are going to be reading it say, on an iPad or even on, downloading it from a web page and looking at it on their screen, or printing it to their inkjet printer which is even lower resolution most likely, so I know that I have one that's high enough to handle all those different output options. So let's jump out and see what we have. It should've opened it there. All right, we're gonna see if this even opens up. Acrobat Pro. Maybe it won't. I'm just gonna come in here and open this instead with Preview, which is fine. It is empty. Good, maybe it wasn't done yet? No, it was done, I don't know. All that and we won't be able to see it. All right, perfect. (scoffs) Something's wrong with it. It's not opening in this file format. It's a PDF, there we go, maybe it wasn't done yet. There we go, it just wasn't done yet. I was impatient. So there it is, there's my finished PDF. I can come in here and scroll through each page and see how that looks set up. So again, I can print from this. I have my bleed set up. I can tell that because this is not 8 1/2, 5 1/2, it's slightly bigger than that. That accounts for all that bleed that we have around the side. So they'd be able to print that, it has the amount of bleed that they need, they can add their own crop marks at the print shop if they want to, and we have all those pages ready for them. That is how we export what we did. So that brings us to the end of this beginning, the beginning course for beginners. Hopefully you have a nice foundation to start building. We only worked on basically single pages in all the examples I worked with, but you saw that we had the multiple-page document, so look into pages, adding pages, and just keep building on the stuff that we learned in this course, and I think you'll find that it's fun to say what else can I do with that? There was this one thing she showed, what else can it do, what are these other buttons that are in this dialog box that are here? There's so much to learn, and I think it's just such a fun program, and hopefully I sort of whet your whistle for that and got you started, and I hope you go on to create great things with InDesign. Thank you.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

Don't have Adobe Creative Cloud yet? Get it now and save 20% so you can follow along with the course!


Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.