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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

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InDesign Software Tips for Books, Magazines, Brochures, Catalogs, Digital Poster Printing…

Whether you’re preparing InDesign files for a book printing job, a catalog printing job, or your digital poster printer (book printing, catalog printing, digital poster printing), here are some tips for catching errors prior to sending your job to press. These tricks with InDesign should save you both time and money.

  • In the bottom left-hand segment of the InDesign screen is an automatic preflight tool. Look for a red or green light. When you get a red light, click on it and a window will pop up explaining your error. This is a great tool. It’s better for you to catch and correct your errors than to receive a call from your printing company.
  • Under the InDesign “Window” menu is an option called “Links.” Any photos (Tiff files) or drawings (eps files) you have placed show up here. If you move the linked file to another folder without thinking (i.e., if you break the link), this menu will alert you and allow you to “re-link” the live art (drawings and photos) to your InDesign file prior to submitting the job to the printer.
  • Under the “Type” menu is an option called “Find Font.” Perhaps you have chosen a font that you really don’t have (or there’s some other problem with the font, like it’s damaged). You can use this feature to find all instances of that font and replace it globally with another font. (Maybe your book is set in Garamond, and for some reason one of the “space” characters between words is set in Times Roman. This little feature will search the whole book automatically, find that one instance, and correct it.)
  • Maybe you forgot to change all the TIFF files from RGB to the CMYK color space. Bad error. The “Package” command under the “File” menu will run another preflight check (“Package,” then “Summary”). This particular error-check will flag all these bad color-space decisions, allowing you to make corrections prior to submitting the files to your printing company.
  • Colors (under the “Window” menu, then “Color” then “Swatches”): Make sure that if you’re producing a four-color book, you are not picking a PMS color to accent a headline. Instead, be sure to pick “Process” in the “Swatches” window. The “Swatches” window will list all colors in use in a file. On the left side of the box you’ll see a colored square, then the name of the color, then (if your color is a 4-color build, for instance), you’ll see a little square made up of four triangles: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Click on the name of the color in question, and the “Swatch Options” window will come up, showing the name of the color and whether it is “process” or “spot.” Then you’ll see under “Color Mode” every possible color space you might want (you’ll probably use some variant of Pantone, or CMYK). Then below that, if you’re in the process mode you’ll see percentages of C, M, Y and K that you can change. If you’re in the PMS arena, you can choose a PMS swatch. Remember to delete any colors you’re not using, and name the colors exactly the same in all your programs (i.e., InDesign, Illustrator, etc.)

All print jobs, including business stationery printing and envelopes, digital poster printing, or book printing, should start with clean, accurate art files. InDesign helps you achieve this goal.

4 Responses to “InDesign Software Tips for Books, Magazines, Brochures, Catalogs, Digital Poster Printing…”

  1. Brilliant blog! I got the details I was looking for. I will be coming back. Keep up the good work.

    • admin says:

      Thank you. It is very gratifying to know that you find the blog helpful. Please consider setting up an RSS feed so you can be alerted to new postings. There should be an RSS link at the bottom of each printing blog entry.

  2. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.


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