Preflight and Exporting

With all of this information on what you need to communicate to a printer, it is equally important that you know how to deliver files correctly by preflight and exporting. Fortunately InDesign has some built in tools that make the final steps of design very easy.

Why Preflight

Preflight is a term coined to describe the process of double-checking a final document to ensure that everything is set correctly for printing. Preflight is actually running at all times in InDesign, constantly checking for potential errors.

How to use Preflight in InDesign

This video tutorial walks you through how to detect any errors in your document and how you know the correct way to fix the error. Note: In the video he talks about overset text. This just means that there is additional text within the frame that isn’t currently visible.

Youtube video on using Preflight:


The instructions on setting up a custom Preflight Profile and defining color modes so that InDesign will notify you if you are using something other than CMK can be extremely helpful.

Packaging Your projects

Now that you have finished checking your document with Preflight you need to package all of the different objects and fonts together so that you have one folder that houses everything that you used in the InDesign document. This is extremely helpful if you need to send the original documents to a printer and also for archiving your work. Just for example, I did some design work a few years ago on an old computer. Last week the client asked me to take the old file and make some adjustments to it. On my new machine I don’t have the same fonts installed and couldn’t locate some of the images that were originally used. Because I packaged the file I had one folder with all of those elements and didn’t have to waste time searching for those resources.

Watch this video the explains how to package your documents:

You may have noticed that when you package your files you get another final check for potential errors in the document. Just like with Preflight the packaging tool runs one final sweep of all assets used and checks to make sure they are formatted and liked correctly.

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