Best Settings for Exporting your Files Using Adobe Indesign

Settings shown in this article are using InDesign CC2023 on Mac OS X Ventura 13.0.1, and we recommend using these settings if you are working with typical colour images. If you are using unusual images or pushing boundaries, we advise you to work with a repro house to establish the most appropriate settings for your work.

Using the screenshots and instructions shown below, ensure that your file is properly prepared with all fonts & images linked to ensure your InDesign file is ready for export.

  1. File > Export > Name with .pdf and Save
  2. Follow the instructions below to create a preset suitable for Imago and our printing partners

Step One

  • Go to File > Export.
  • In Format select Adobe PDF (Print).
  • Name the file, select where to place your saved PDFs, and then click Save.
  • When the Export PDF settings then come up, right at the top where it shows the Abobe PDF Preset, select PDFx-1a:2001 and then edit that as shown here.
  • Then Save the Preset and name as you like. Shown in the images below as ‘CC2023_Imago PDF Instructions’.

Step Two

  • The General tab should then be almost correct.
  • Check that Standard is set to PDF/x-1a:2001 and Compatibility to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3).
  • Ensure that Pages are set to ‘On’ and that you include your page range for the PDFs (if you’re not exporting the entire document)

Step Three

  • Click the Compression tab
  • Set Colour Images to 350 for images above 525
  • Set Greyscale Images to 350 for images above 525
  • Set Monochrome to 2400 for images above 3600
  • Set Compression to Automatic
  • Set Image Quality to Maximum.

Step Four

  • Click on Marks and Bleeds
  • Enable all Printer’s Marks
  • Unselect Colour Bars
  • Set your Bleed and Slug to 5mm (it’s also OK to use 3mm, but no less*).

*The advantage of setting higher is if PDFs are later re-used to smaller size

Step Five

  • Select Output
  • Select Colour Conversion as shown to Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers).
  • Set Destination to Document CMYK– PSO Coated V3 (Fogra 51) or PSO uncoated V3 (Fogra 52), or with your appropriate CMYK profile*

*Find Out How to Set Up Fogra 51 and 52 Colour Profiles
**If using Rhodamine, or spot colours & no CMYK, then select No Colour Conversion.

Step Six

  • Select Advanced
  • Set Transparency Flattener to High Resolution.

Step Seven

  • Select Security
  • Ensure no security settings are checked as shown.

Step Eight

  • Select Output once again
  • Select Ink Manager
  • This is a quick way to check that all the colours are in CMYK. Spot colours can be changed here to CMYK by clicking on All Spots to Process.

If you need any support with setting up your files for print, please do get in touch with us at Imago for assistance using the contact form below.