Exporting PDFs from InDesign

Best practices when exporting a PDF from InDesign

If you use Adobe InDesign to create PDFs for Lob, you can use this video to do some checks on your creative before it is sent to Lob.

  1. All fonts in your PDF should be embedded. If you are having trouble embedding your fonts, this is most likely because of a licensing issue. The preferred resolution would be to find/renew the font license but if that is not possible, you can always use InDesign to create an outline of the text. Remember that this option is to be used sparingly because it dramatically increases the size of the resulting PDF. (By default InDesign will embed fonts when exporting PDFs.)

  2. Image resolution should be 300 dpi for the best print quality; the video will walk you through adjusting the resolution.

  3. Images must use a CMYK color profile: GRACoL 2006 or GRACoL 2013. This will make sure that colors show up correctly in the final printed product. Setting the correct color profile also goes for any artwork/pictures that you import into InDesign as well.

  4. Flattening the transparencies is VERY IMPORTANT. If you fail to do this, certain artwork/pictures won’t show up in the final printed product. Make sure to set the option to “High Resolution” to cover any edge cases that may show up in your PDF.

  5. Keep your file size under 5MB. Tips on saving space include using text outline sparingly, not using a giant picture as the background, and making pictures/artwork the same size as will be used in the design.

  6. Run a diagnostic on the generated PDF. If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can use the Preflight function under the Edit menu to run a report on your PDF. This will alert you to any issues. Set the profile to the “PDF-X/1a (GRACoL 2006)” and select “Analyze and Fix”. See our full PDF preflight checklist here.

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