Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics


Lesson Info

Output: Transparency & Live Preflight

Well, now we're going to get into kind of the last bit of production after we've put everything together. We've put our images in and our text and stylized them and automated them and did all that great stuff. Now we need to do something with it, and this is something that we should have thought about at the very beginning, so hopefully, when we started our project, we thought what is happening to this project when it leaves our little desk here? What are we doing with this? Are we printing it? How are we printing it? Is it going digital? What does that mean? Digital is kind of this big world. I get told all the time, we want it digital. We want to distribute it digitally. Well, alright, great. What, how, to whom, you know? So we need to be thinking about that way back at the beginning, so now this is where it all comes together, and we say okay, great. What are we going to do with this particular object that's here? So, this case, I'm just going to use this book as a sample. It's just...

a little simple book, but it's nice because I think this would make a good little print book, right? A little brochure. We're gonna print that and sell our services there, our Wilde Photo services. We're also going to maybe make a PDF of it that we can distribute to, maybe we have sales reps that are out there trying to sell out photo work for us, and maybe we're going to put one on our website. We're gonna have a PDF that sits on our website, or maybe we're even going to go to digital publishing. We're gonna publish this in some other digital format. I'm not going to go into all the digital things, because what I tell you today won't even make sense tomorrow. By the time the rebroadcast happens, it's not even gonna be the same, because the digital publishing scene is changing that quickly. I'm just gonna show you some of the options that are available, so you kinda get to thinking what can I do with that? Where can I go with this file afterwards and get this out into either my clients or my sales reps? Give this out to whoever needs this finished piece. The first thing I wanna think about is transparency, and transparency may or may not be an issue. If we're going to print, it can be an issue, because transparency, again, goes back to any item that we've added transparency to, or that came in with transparency. You might have brought in something from Photoshop that has transparency in it. Maybe it's a drop shadow that's built in there. You've got feather effects, any of the effects that you've done in Photoshop that have transparency, when we bring in to InDesign, it maintains that transparency, but what happens when we go to print, for instance, and even sometimes when we go to PDF we'll notice some issues, but when we go to print, we're printing with an actual solid ink or toner and we can't actually print in transparent ink, so we have to give the illusion of transparency, so something has to happen along the way. It's called flattening, and it has to be flattened at some point. Generally, what I do is flatten it when I create my PDF, and so when we get to exporting PDF in just a little while I'll talk about that and how we resolve those issues. So that's something to keep in mind. When we looked at the pages panel. We turned on transparency so that we could see where we had transparent objects, and as we put items in here, sometimes you don't think about an effect being transparency, but drop shadow is transparency. You think oh, it's just a drop shadow. Everybody does drop shadows. We'll throw that on there. Well, that's one more thing that could be an issue down the line, so transparency is something I always wanna think about. So, one of the ways to keep track of everything that's in here, not just transparency, any issues, we talked about with the links panel, we talked about resolution needing to be high enough. When I look at an item, I need to make sure that my resolution's high enough. You know, I could go to the links panel and check absolutely every image. I come down here to check to make sure our effective PPI is high enough for whatever we're doing. Well, let's say in this case, we're going to make a PDF for our website. We're also going to make a PDF, maybe, that we want to have sales reps have, and we're also going to make a printed version of this. Well, each of those might need a different set of parameters, for instance, resolution. Well, with all these photos here, this is only a simple eight page book. I've got several photos. I don't wanna have to go through each one and check and say oh, oops. Here's one that's only at 193, and maybe for printing, I've decided 300 is ideal, but 280 is acceptable. Well, 193 is not going to be. I'm going to get a very blurry or jagged picture when I print that out. Well, this is the worst time to figure out that this is not going to work for you, because now you're trying to call your client or the photographer and say I need a better picture, right? I gotta give them a call. So, I want to do this all along the way, and that's what live preflight is for. So, this is something we can turn on while we're working. I obviously didn't turn it on while we were demoing any of this because I don't need it to be telling me when I'm doing things wrong. Obviously, throughout here, sometimes I'm using screen resolution images, but generally, when I'm working, I'm keeping an eye on this down here. Now, it's kinda down low. Let's see if I can get it without bringing up my doc here. I have a preflight profile, and I have this little green button that tells me there's no errors. Well, that's kinda good, but how do I know there's no errors? I haven't even told it what I'm doing with this file yet, so that's what I need to do is open up my preflight and look at that, and it's called live preflight because it's constantly checking. Whenever you put something in here, we're gonna set up parameters that say this is what it needs to fit within, and if it doesn't, give me an error and let me know that, so as soon as I put something in, that red light's gonna change, but I'm gonna show you that I almost always have red lights on there, so I have to kinda keep an eye on that as well. So, what I'm gonna do is just kinda click, sorry, over here on the no errors, I'm gonna say open preflight panel. I can also open it from the window menu, so what this is is it's preflight, and preflighting is just the term that's used to make sure that your file is ready for output. So, now we need to tell it how we're outputting it, and what we do and don't accept in that output file, so it can constantly be checking for you. I'm gonna turn preflight on. It should be on by default, and I need to choose a profile. Well, right now I have one called basic working. That's just there by default. I don't even know what the parameters are, so if it tells me there's an error or no errors, I don't even know what they're basing that on. I need to create a whole new profile, so you notice I have one called digital publishing. Well, we need one also called printing, so let's make up one for that. So, I'm going to go up into the panel menu and say define profiles, and I'm going to go ahead and just come down here and say add a new profile, and I'm going to call this high res printing, because I want it to check for printing on a printing press. We wanna make sure we're good for that, so I'm gonna come into each of these topics or each of these items that are here and tell it what I think is important, what I need it to look for. You notice there's this little dash mark in here. That means there's something to do with links that is checked in here, so I'm gonna keep drilling down. Any time there's a place to drill down, just keep drilling down, and it says links are missing or modified, or if you have inaccessible URL links, so anytime I have a missing or modified link, I need it to give me an error, and it will change down here and it will show me a little red error light. So anytime I put something in or I move a link or I modify that link, instead of waiting to see it in the links panel, or you can also see it on the frame, but if you have your frame edges turned off or that badge turned off, you won't see it. I want it to tell me right away, oops, you've moved your link or you've modified your link. Come up and give me an error. I can choose from color. Maybe there's things in the color spaces that we do or don't allow. For instance, let's come down here and say that we want color spaces and modes not allowed. Well, we're going to printing, so I probably don't want RGB images in there. Now, here's where I get an error. Sometimes I say yes, or I don't want any RGB images. I'm gonna get errors, because almost all of my images are RGB, and this is kinda one of those things where I keep telling, you know, tell people that I meet form Adobe, the engineers, I get to meet with them once a year, and I'm like if I could have one that was like a yellow. It's not an error. I know it's there, and I kinda wanna be alerted to it, but it's not really an error, because RGB, I'm not printing in RGB. I'm printing in CMYK, but my images remain in RGB, and that's because, if they're gonna go back into Photoshop and have any work done, you wanna be working in RGB images, not that I do much in Photoshop, but if I send it back to somebody, I want them to have it in RGB. It stays in RGB, and we'll see that when we make a PDF for print, we're gonna change it so it changes to CMYK at that moment, so it stays RGB. It only becomes CMYK at the point of becoming a PDF, so while I want to be alerted that there's RGB images, it's not really an error. Where this comes in to be a problem is that I know it's fine. I know my images are RGB. I send it to somebody else to work on it and we're working in a team, and they're like oh, I have all these images, they're RGB. I need a little checkbox that says Erica is well aware that these are RGB. It's okay, move along, you know, that kind of thing. But I have that so that it flags that. I might wanna make sure that there's nothing in gray or in spot color or in LAB, right? So I might wanna make sure that I have that checked, but again, this is up to you. What do you think you need to be alerted on? Alright, so I might change that. I might also, in images and objects, this is super important, image resolution. This is huge. If I'm going to print, I need to say okay, image resolution is important to me. I drilled down, and I've got a lot of choices to put in here as well. Do I wanna make sure that there's a maximum resolution? I don't really care. I don't care if my resolution is 64,000 PPI. I don't really care, because when I make a PDF, I'm gonna tell it to take that 64,000 PPI image and dumb it down to 300 or whatever my magic number is, but I do need to make sure there's a minimum resolution, so I'm going high res printing. I'm going to assume most printers want 300. Again, this is magical number that they tend to use. 300, but I can squeeze by with 280, so 280 is as low as I would like that to go. If it's lower than that, I need an error, and I might look at it. If it's 278, probably gonna let it slide, but I do wanna have it flagged, and that's for my color images. My grayscale images, I need to make sure that they're at least 280 as well, and then I have one bit. These are just my line drawings or line art, and so 800, I'm gonna probably leave that. That's probably a little low, but I'll leave it, and I can come down here and, again, choose do I want to tell if something has interactive elements in there, whatever? I'm gonna leave that, 'cause I am pretty sure if I'm making a printing one, I probably didn't put any interactive elements in there. I might have. I might have put hyperlinks, and that's fine. That's an interactive element, but I need those. So let's come down here to text. I wanna see when there's overset text, so maybe I didn't realize that I had some overset text, that little red plus. I didn't get everything inside the frame. I might want to be alerted to that. Sometimes you have it because you know you've got a lot more text, but it's easier just to pull the text frame shorter and pretend the rest of that text doesn't exist instead of trying to delete it, so that's fine, but I wanna be alerted to it. I want to know if fonts are missing, obviously. That's important. I wanna know, probably, if I have paragraph style and character overrides. I'm actually gonna turn that off, 'cause that'll probably send an error in this particular file, so I would probably have that turned on. Minimum type size, you wanna make sure you have at least six point type size or something. Unresolved caption variables. That's just on for whatever reason, but again, you're gonna go through and decide what works for your particular output. In this case, we're doing high risk printing, so think about that. Do I wanna know when there's blank pages? Alright, consider them blank only if they contain only master page items, whatever. Like I said, there's a lot of different options. Pick and choose what you need, and go ahead and hit save. Then I'm going to look at the digital publishing one and see what we have set up for that, and mostly it's gonna be probably the images, font missing, good. Let's look at the, doesn't even have image resolution. We definitely want that. For digital publishing, it depends. That's kind of random, digital publishing. I might put one that's called, you know, retina eye pad PDF or something like that. Digital publishing says nothing to me. I don't even know how that's being put out, right? So I choose that and maybe I think okay, for that, let's do 200. Let's do 200 here, and we'll stick with 600 here. Alright, so I'll change that. I also probably would wanna make sure that my color is only RGB, so nothing other than RGB maybe? Alright, so I can choose that. Links, again, I wanna know if they're missing or modified, and we'll save that as well, so now I have different profiles. So now, when I'm working, and I say okay, I want to get this ready for digital publishing, I'm gonna turn that on, and it's gonna think. It says oh, it's 20 errors, so now I have 20 errors. You notice, I was just using the one that was built in. Oh, no errors, I'm fine. Okay, well, now I have 20 errors. What are those? Well, they're all to do with color, so I'm gonna drill down. It says color space is not allowed. 20 instances of this, so I can click on each one, and I need to drill down the info here, and it says the stroke uses CMYK. That's fine. So I used some CMYK stuff. I probably wouldn't, but I can look at it and go it's a stroke. It's gonna change it. It's gonna change it from CMYK to RGB. I'll probably be okay in that direction. It goes the other direction, I go from a bright color to a muted color sometimes, and it might look weird. I can go look at each thing. It has a little hyperlink. Click on that and say oh, is that where the problem is? This stroke has an issue. Okay, fine, I don't care, you know? So we can either decide to ignore them. This is where having a yellow would be good, or a don't worry about it kind of button, something like that, but I can look through it and say okay, I can live with that. Now I know that that's ready for the digital publishing. Now I'm gonna switch the profile and say look at it for high res printing. Now we have some color issues, probably all gonna be RGB. That's fine, 'cause again, I just wanted to know about that, but if it had something weird, like LAB, I might wanna look into that, but it's all RGB. Also, images and objects, I have some information going on with that image resolution, of course, so let's look at that. This item here is 253, so we said that it should be 280. Well, I have a feeling all of mine are probably about 250. Ooh, 117. That's really low. We're gonna have to change that picture, and again, I don't wanna wait til I'm ready to export this. I should have that on, and what I would do, if I'm doing digital and high res and I'm using it in the actual same document, as opposed to you can use alternate layouts and have two layouts in the same document, and actually, I think I still have course up on that that had the alternate layouts if you wanna check that out, but I can have a different profile for each layout. In this case, I'm using the same layout, and it's going to two different places. I would probably keep it on high res printing while I'm going along, so I get those errors, 'cause I'm more likely to have a problem with that because it's higher resolution. So, I'll be like okay, good. I could have found that out as soon as I placed that, and I saw that error, or maybe I check it. I don't check it every day. Like I said, there's always a red light down here for me, but at the end of the day or when I'm done working on that job for the day, I'm gonna go over and make sure I didn't introduce any glaring errors that I could be on the phone with the client, getting new stuff for. So again, I'm just gonna check that, and it's always working, so if I, you know, suddenly jump to one of those files and delete it, you know, instead, right now, it says I have 28 errors. You know, let's delete this guy. This is probably too low of a resolution, so when I delete that, look at that. I got rid of two. I got rid of two errors right there, just by getting rid of that image. Good, we're ready to go, so that's how we fix everything. I'm gonna undo that and bring that guy back. So again, as I'm introducing them, I can look and go whoa, I only had 12 errors at the end of the day. Now I have 52. Why do I have that? What did I do, you know? So I can start looking at that, so the reason it's live is so you can constantly stay on top of that. Does that make sense, live preview? Alright, live preflight, I mean? So I just turn that on, and again, you can switch from down here. You don't have to open up the panel that's there. I can just keep that open and jump back and forth, like I say, at the end of the day and double check and see, see what my errors are.

Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® enables you to create rich documents and layouts that combine graphic elements, images, and text. Advance your design skills with Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

In this class, Erica will help you tackle complex design projects and share best practice techniques in Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud®

You’ll learn how to:
  • Manage multi-page documents and use master pages
  • Automate your workflow and save time
  • Select character and paragraph styles
You’ll learn about advanced exporting options and she’ll offer tips on taking advantage of the extensive selection of assets in the Creative Cloud® Libraries.

If you’ve mastered the basics are are ready to advance your design skills, don’t miss Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Recommended prerequisite: Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® for Beginners

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2015.1



  • As an absolute beginner to InDesign, I purchased both of Erica's classes and man was she helpful. I highly recommend this course to anyone unfamiliar with the software to give them some great footing. Thank you Erica and thank you Creative Live!
  • I am using Erica's videos to supplement my "Classroom in a book series" on Indesign. The beauty of this is that I can go through the sections of the book and when I get to something, like Master Pages, that I can't quite follow I jump to the video. I gain the understanding I need by listening and watching Erica and then go back to the book and finish the project with a lot more under my belt. The book gives me real examples to complete but does not give me that "personal" touch. Thanks Erica for being my personal coach. This has worked perfectly.
  • This was really helpful, although *very* fast paced! But gave me a lot of great ideas to take my InDesign use to another level. Thanks!