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XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 10:30 AM
Hi,
We recently changed from Publisher to Indesign CS6. Publisher had a front/back cover template that we used for manuals, but InDesign doesn't seem to have one of these. The printing place that we are using has specific bleed/slug crop requirements, and I am having a bit of trouble seeing how to input these settings to create a proper sized front/back cover. These are the instructions for layout:

For Color & Grayscale Images
Bicubic Downsampling to 300 Pixels /inch for images above 350
Compression Automatic JPEG
Image Quality Maximum
Marks & Bleeds
Crop Marks
Weight 0.25 pt
Offset 0.125 pt
Bleed & Slug
0.125 all around

I thought I pretty much had this understood as editing printing preferences when exporting it as a PDF, but apparently that isn't how it is done either. Can someone give me a good point to start at (like, document size) as far as making a letter size front/back cover, and where to input the above print settings before exporting as a pdf?

annc
12-26-2012, 12:07 PM
Hello and welcome!

You need to create a preset to do this (File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define (or start with Press Ready and save as...). I suggest you start with Press Ready, because it will probably need few changes (I'm in Australia, so measurements in mine are in mm).

Create the Preset as above and change whatever you need to using the information the printer has given you, then save it (Save Preset box in bottom left-hand corner of the dialogue box). Don't forget to select the necessary checkboxes for bleeds and registration.

When you are ready to export the InDesign document, select File > Export as usual and select your new preset in the dropdown at the top of the Export dialogue box.

Just a hint... I always include the bleed marks in my documents to make life easier when placing elements, setting background colours etc.

XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 12:38 PM
Thank you for the reply. I actually had gotten that far, which is why I was having a bit of a hard time understanding what was wrong. I did notice that when I put in .125 for the offset it changes to "0p1.5"--is this a different unit of measure from "0.125 pt"?

These are the comments I received (as far as what had to be changed): "The only things were very minor like extending the Color boxes and photo beyond the 11" and 17" dimension by 1/8" and set the crop marks a little further apart."

I'm having a little trouble understanding what went wrong...and no, I am not a graphic designer by trade (I'm figuring it out as I go along lol).

Howard Allen
12-26-2012, 12:55 PM
I think maybe your instructions were a little funny: mixed units. The "0.125 pt" was probably supposed to be "0.125 inch" (1/8 inch, which is 0p9, or "0 picas, 9 points" in the notation). 0.125 pt would be microscopic. There are 72 points in an inch, 12 points in a pica, and 6 picas in an inch.

You don't mention what platform you're on, but if it happens to be Mac, there's a very handy Dashboard widget (freeware), available here:

Pica/inch converter (http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/calculate_convert/picatoinchconverter.html).

I'm sure there's something similar available for Windows.

don Arnoldy
12-26-2012, 12:55 PM
did notice that when I put in .125 for the offset it changes to "0p1.5"--is this a different unit of measure from "0.125 pt"?

You are having unit conversion issues. When you put in ".125" without any units, ID assumed you meant picas (your default unit must be set to that) and it converted that to 0p1.5— which is 0 picas+1.5 points (these are old typesetting measurement units). it is always safer to put in the units as well as the values.... type in ".125 pt"

That being said, .125 pt is a very odd distance for an offset ( its an incredibly small distance). I would have expected it to be .125in—the same with the bleed and slug distance. You may want to double-check with your printer.

--don

XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 01:04 PM
Thank you for your input Howard. That would definitely make sense that I got an incorrect result if Weight 0.25 pt was correct, and the Offset was supposed to be at 0p9! That would also explain a wrong result if the same problem arose with the bleed area, as instructions call for ".125 pt" and when entering ".125" the program shows me "0p1.5" when I should have "0p9" because the unit of measure is picas as opposed to points. This sounds logical, correct?

XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 01:08 PM
That being said, .125 pt is a very odd distance for an offset ( its an incredibly small distance). I would have expected it to be .125in—the same with the bleed and slug distance. You may want to double-check with your printer.

--don

It may very well be that it's supposed to be inches instead of points, which would seem to be consistent with the remark "Color boxes and photo beyond the 11" and 17" dimension by 1/8"-- am I correct? The instructions are copy and pasted directly from the document, though, so it DEFINITELY says "pt" after.

annc
12-26-2012, 01:08 PM
You're doing well!

The comment about the bleeds not extending far enough indicates that it would be a good idea to set a bleed line on your master pages to assist with placement as I suggested. Also, you can increase the registration mark offset in the preset. That would resolve both those problems. :)

Don and Howard have given you very good advice.

Howard Allen
12-26-2012, 01:11 PM
Yup, I think you've got it now. I see Don Arnoldy and I both squeezed through the door at the same instant. ;)

XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Time for a really amateurish question-- what exactly is the bleed line for?

Howard Allen
12-26-2012, 01:29 PM
Well, here's an amateurish answer (I'm not a pro, either!): bleeds are layouts where the printing goes right to the cut edge of the paper--like magazine covers. You print onto a bigger sheet of paper than your intended final size (cut size), and make sure your design slops over ("bleeds") beyond the cut size a little bit, so when the paper is cut after printing, you get the image right up to the cut. If you bleed 1/8 inch, that much gets trimmed off by the cutter, leaving a clean edge. The trim marks are positioned inside the bleed edge, to show the printer where to cut the paper.

don Arnoldy
12-26-2012, 01:35 PM
Howard-

That's essentially what I would have said. you're spot on.

--don

Howard Allen
12-26-2012, 01:44 PM
The trim marks are positioned inside the bleed edge, to show the printer where to cut the paper.

Oops, I misspoke (that's the trouble with us amateurs!). The trim marks are actually printed OUTside the bleed area, but are positioned so that the cut occurs INside the bleed area. Oh, and the "slug" is all the area outside the bleed where the printer's marks (trim marks, registration marks, color bars, etc.) are printed. It's mostly white and gets trimmed off with the bleed, so you never see it on the final product.

XOatWoodMaxx
12-26-2012, 01:55 PM
Thanks again for the explanation! It makes a lot more sense now that I actually know what I am supposed to be creating.