Before creating a PDF for a service provider, make sure that the InDesign document meets your service provider’s specifications. The following list offers some recommendations:

  • Use the InDesign Preflight feature to ensure that image resolution and color spaces are correct, that fonts are available and can be embedded, that graphics are up-to-date, and so on.
  • View your Adobe PDF export settings before exporting, and then adjust them as necessary. The Summary area includes a warning section that indicates when preset settings can’t be honored.
  • If your artwork contains transparency (including overprints and drop shadows) and you require high‑resolution output, it’s a good idea to preview the effects of flattening using the Flattener Preview panel before saving the file.
  • If your artwork contains transparency, ask your prepress service provider if they want to receive flattened or unflattened PDF files. Flattening is performed as late in the workflow as possible, preferably by the service provider. However, if your service provider wants you to flatten transparency, submit a PDF/X‑1a compliant file.
  • If your document is going to be separated, you can preview the separations and ink coverage limits using the Separations Preview panel.
  • Use only high-resolution images in your document.
  • For best results, use only CMYK images in a four-color-process job. Alternatively, you can choose to convert RGB images to CMYK in the Export Adobe PDF dialog box (Output category).
  • You can exclude hidden or nonprinting layers from the exported PDF document.