InDesign: Printing


As a general rule, it’s best to use InDesign’s File > Export menu to create a PDF document for printing. Hardcopy printing should be done from Acrobat whenever possible.


Oversize or large multi-page documents can be economically printed by vendors such as FedEx Office or OfficeMax. For most of these vendors, you can export your work as a PDF and provide it on a flash drive or via online FTP site. In some situations it may be necessary or desirable to package the InDesign document for the vendor.


Most problems in InDesign are related to images and printing. To minimize problems, try to work within these guidelines:

1. Always print as a PDF from Adobe Acrobat, not directly from InDesign.

2. While working, save InDesign documents directly to your computer’s hard drive or a locally connected USB drive.

3. Collect all of the images you are planning to use in your InDesign document into a single folder. This will simplify organization and prevent individual graphics from getting lost or misplaced.

4. Be consistent with graphics: always use the File > Place command to insert graphics, and always make sure that all graphics in a document are of the same file type (e. g. JPEG or TIFF).

5. Make multiple back-up copies using the File > Save As command. If you name your publication Portfolio, save it as Portfolio01 after an hour. An hour later, save as Portfolio02, and so on. This habit, if practiced rigorously, prevents you from losing more than one hour’s worth of work in the event of a crash; it is cheap insurance.

6. When you are ready to print, budget at least twice the amount of time you think it will take. Printing will almost invariably not work the way you expect it to on the first try.


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