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Lesson 12. Printing and PDF Exporting > Printing a laser or inkjet proof

Printing a laser or inkjet proof

InDesign makes it easy to print documents to a variety of output devices.

Choose File > Print.

From the Printer drop-down list, choose your inkjet or laser printer.

Notice how Adobe InDesign automatically selects the PPD (printer description) that was associated with this printer at the time you installed the printer.


If you do not have a printer connected to your computer or computer network, choose PostScript File from the Printer list and choose Device Independent from the PPD list. This allows you to follow the steps in this lesson without being connected to a printer.

Click the Setup option on the left side of the Print window and choose the following options:

  • Paper Size: Letter.

  • Scale to Fit.


If you selected PostScript File along with the Device Independent PPD, as opposed to an actual printer, you will not be able to apply scaling or adjust the positioning of where the file will image.

Click the Marks and Bleeds option on the left side of the Print window and click to enable the following options:

  • Crop Marks.

  • Page Information.

  • Use Document Bleed Settings.

  • Include Slug Area.

Enter a Marks offset value of .1875 in. This value determines the distance from the page where the specified marks and page information will image.

The crop marks print outside of the page area and provide guides showing where the final document will be trimmed (cut) after printing. The page information automatically adds the document name along with the date and time it was printed, to the bottom of the document.

Using the document bleed and slug settings causes InDesign to print objects that extend outside the edge of the page area. These check boxes eliminate the need for entering the amount of extra area that should be imaged.

Click the Output option on the left side of the Print window. Confirm that Color is set to Composite CMYK in the Color drop-down menu.

This setting causes any RGB objects, including images, to be converted to CMYK at the time of printing. This setting does not change the original, placed graphic. This option is not available if you are printing to a PostScript file.


You can have InDesign maintain the existing colors used in a job by choosing Composite Leave Unchanged in the Color drop-down menu. Additionally, if you are a printer or service provider and need to print color separations from Adobe InDesign, choose Separations or In-RIP separations based upon the workflow that you use.

Click the Ink Manager button in the lower right corner of the Print Window.

You can use the Ink Manager to convert spot colors, such as Pantone colors, to process (CMYK) colors, and to manage duplicate spot colors. You will address both these issues.

In the Ink Manager window, click the spot icon () to the left of the Pantone 484 color swatch. It changes to a CMYK icon (). This color will now print as a combination of CMYK colors as opposed to printing on its own, separate color plate. Keep the Ink Manager window open.

In the Ink Manager window, click the Pantone 2582 U color swatch and then select Pantone 2582 C from the Ink Alias drop-down menu. The Ink Alias tells Adobe InDesign to treat these two colors as if they are identical, so they will print as one color separation rather than as multiple separations.

By applying an Ink Alias, all objects with this color will now print on the same separation as its Alias color. Rather than getting two separate color separations, you will get one. Repeat this process to select Pantone 2582 M and choose Pantone 2582 C from the Ink Alias drop-down menu. Now all three duplicate Pantone colors will print on the same separation. Click OK.

Click the Graphics option on the left side of the Print window. Confirm that Optimized Subsampling is selected from the Send Data drop-down menu.

When Optimized Subsampling is selected, InDesign sends only the image data necessary for the printer you have selected in the Print window. To have the entire high-resolution image information sent to the printer, which may take longer to image, select All from the Send Data drop-down menu.


This option cannot be changed if you selected the Device Independent PPD.


When printing to a PostScript file, this option is not available.

If necessary, select Complete under the Font Download drop-down menu.

This causes all fonts used in the job to be sent to the output device.

Options for printing graphics

When you are exporting or printing documents that contain complex graphics (for example, high-resolution images, EPS graphics, PDF pages, or transparent effects), it will often be necessary to change resolution and rasterization settings in order to obtain the best output results.

Choose from the following options in the Graphics section of the Print dialog box to specify how graphics are handled during output.

Send Data— Controls how much image data in placed bitmap images to send to the printer or file.

All— sends full-resolution data, which is appropriate for any high-resolution printing, or for printing grayscale or color images with high contrast, as in black-and-white text with one spot color. This option requires the most disk space.

Optimized Subsampling— Sends just enough image data to print the graphic at the best possible resolution for the output device. (A high-resolution printer will use more data than a low-resolution desktop model.) Select this option when you’re working with high-resolution images but printing proofs to a desktop printer.

Note: InDesign does not subsample EPS or PDF graphics, even when Optimized Subsampling is selected.

Proxy (72 dpi)— Sends screen-resolution versions of placed bitmap images, thereby reducing printing time.

None— Temporarily removes all graphics when you print and replaces them with graphics frames with crossbars, thereby reducing printing time. The graphics frames are the same dimensions as the imported graphics, so you can still check sizes and positioning. Suppressing the printing of imported graphics is useful when you want to distribute text proofs to editors or proofreaders. Printing without graphics is also helpful when you’re trying to isolate the cause of a printing problem.

—From InDesign Help

Options for downloading fonts to a printer

Printer-resident fonts are fonts stored in a printer’s memory or on a hard drive connected to the printer. Type 1 and TrueType fonts can be stored either on the printer or on your computer; bitmap fonts are stored only on your computer. InDesign downloads fonts as needed, provided they are installed on your computer’s hard disk.

Choose from the following options in the Graphics section of the Print dialog box to control how fonts are downloaded to the printer.

None— Includes a reference to the font in the PostScript file, which tells the RIP or a postprocessor where the font should be included. This option is appropriate if the fonts reside in the printer. TrueType fonts are named according to the PostScript name in the font; however, not all applications can interpret these names. To ensure that TrueType fonts are interpreted correctly, use one of the other font downloading options.

Complete— Downloads all fonts required for the document at the beginning of the print job. InDesign automatically subsets fonts that contain more than the maximum number of glyphs (characters) specified in the Preferences dialog box.

Subset— Downloads only the characters (glyphs) used in the document. Glyphs are downloaded once per page. This option typically results in faster and smaller PostScript files when used with single-page documents, or short documents without much text.

Download PPD Fonts— Downloads all fonts used in the document, even if those fonts reside in the printer. Use this option to ensure that InDesign uses the font outlines on your computer for printing common fonts, such as Helvetica, Times, and so on. Using this option can resolve problems with font versions, such as mismatched character sets between your computer and printer or outline variances in trapping. However, unless you commonly use extended character sets, you don’t need to use this option for desktop draft printing.

—From InDesign Help

Click the Advanced Tab and set the Transparency Flattener Preset to High Resolution from the Preset drop-down menu.

You can choose the appropriate transparency flattener preset for your needs. The preset determines the quality of placed artwork or images that include transparency. The preset also impacts the quality of objects with transparency applied to them using InDesign’s transparency feature, including objects with drop shadows or feathering.

Click the Save Preset button and name the preset Proof and click OK.

Creating a Print preset saves these settings so you do not need to individually set every option each time you print to the same device. You can create multiple presets to meet various quality needs of individual printers you may use. When you want to use these settings in the future, you can choose them from the Print Preset drop-down menu at the top of the Print dialog box.

Click the Print button.

If you are creating a PostScript file, click Save and browse to the Lesson_12 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the InDesignCIB folder on your hard disk. The PostScript file could be provided to your service provider, commercial printer or converted to an Adobe PDF using Adobe Acrobat Distiller. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Distiller, you can delete the PostScript file after you have completed this lesson.



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