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11 Steps to PreFlight

PreFlight is a way to just go over your file to make sure any common errors when it comes to printing are easy to fix. You can set up different profiles for different output destination, so a project you might use for print might have different PreFlight needs then a project used for web or strictly a PDF. In this guide I will touch on the basic of printing outputs. I will show you how to set up a profile that we accept and will make your printing experience more streamlined.

1. Open your PreFlight panel if it already isn’t open. Go to the window pulldown, then output and PreFlight. This will open the PreFlight panel. It will display a few different pieces of information but only if errors are in your profile. You can see ahead of time if you will encounter any errors in your PreFlight by looking at the bottom left corner to see if the No Errors panel shows any.

PreFlight Error Bar
2 Errors in the bottom left of InDesign

PreFlight Textbox
Notice the errors in both text and image linking.

2. From the PreFlight panel menu, click on the menu button (shown below) and choose Define Profile.

Define Profile
Menu Location in PreFlight Panel

3. Once the PreFlight Profiles dialog box opens, you will now be defining new changes that best fit your document so click on the plus sign on the left hand side.

4. For the Profile Name you can name it anything you would like, if you follow this guide to send us a file you can name the Profile KCP so you know that it works with our standards.

5. To the right you will now have a few different options to choose from. First General is just for adding a description of what and why you would use this profile. Feel free to put whatever you would like into this box.

PreFlight general
General dialog box

6. Next is Links, by default Links Missing or Modified and Inaccessible URL Links are listed, we plan on keeping these setting for this profile.

7. For color, this is where it gets a bit tricky depending on if you are printing digital or offset. For digital prints you are fine with leaving all of these setting off. However for offset if you plan to use spot colors or printing in CMYK I would suggest reaching out to us if you need help. For offset CMYK printing click on COLOR > Color Spaces and Modes not Allowed and check that, then check everything but CMKY.

PreFlight CMYK
Remember these setting are only for CMYK if you want spot color they are different.

8. Now we will open IMAGES and OBJECTS, check the box, and open Image Resolution. The default setting of 250 will give you a nice image depending on the size of the piece printed. However we always suggest the lowest resolution of an image for print should be 300. If you are printing for larger pieces the larger the resolution should be. Below this is Non-Porportial Scaling of Placed Object, I prefer to have this on, so none of my images come out looking stretched out or crushed. Last thing in here is the Bleed and Trim hazard. This is helpful to make sure nothing important gets cut off. When making a booklet I suggest Check for Objects Near Spine so everything is clear after binding.

9. Under the TEXT drop down, the only thing I would suggest for the best when it comes to printed material is the Minimum text size, however due to legal notices at the bottom of some pages it might not fit your needs, if you are going for clear crisp looking text I would set it to at least 6pts.

10. We are almost done, the DOCUMENT drop down. Select Bleed and Slug Setup, you can leave the standard of 0.125 inches for all the sides, just make sure its checked.

11. That’s it click SAVE. Now when you go back to your PreFlight dialog box, make sure this profile is selected in the Profile Drop down.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out, we can also review your needs and setup a Profile for your project.

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3 Comments

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