When you need to send us your Adobe layout files

If you’ve ever wondered why we ask customers to give us their layouts in PDF format, part of the reason for this is that PDF documents are a bit like suitcases… they contain all the font and graphic resources needed to accurately print your layout. When you export your layout to a PDF, regardless of where the original resources are located on your computer or local network, they are copied into that PDF file.

PDF for printing, original files for troubleshooting…

Sometimes, though, what we need are those original resources… often so we can troubleshoot or fix them for the commercial printing process. Gathering those original files, however, can be a difficult and tricky business for customers… often resulting in unfortunate delays or additional costs.

Packaging is the answer

For a long time now, Adobe InDesign has included a built-in feature to automate gathering up copies of your layout file and resources into a single folder. Like the PDF Presets feature, the Package command is one of the most useful and least known tools in Adobe’s layout application. Here are the 5 simple steps for using it like a pro.

  1. Check your original for broken links…
  2. Issue the Package command…
  3. Package summary…
  4. Choose options and location…
  5. Compress the Document Fonts folder…

Step 1: Check your original for broken links…

Before you initiate the Package command, you should check that none of your layout’s links are broken. Use the Links pane to see them as a list and view their link status. Remember to save your file when finished.

Step 2: Issue the Package command…

The Package command can be found under the File menu. This is true for all versions of InDesign from CS5 on up.

Step 3: Package summary…

After you issue the Package command, you are immediately presented with a dialog box showing some information about the package contents. Possible warnings may include font or image alerts, but these are often nothing to be concerned about. Please call or email our customer support specialists at (909) 825-6970 if you have concerns about what the summary is telling you.

Step 4: Choose options and location

After the Summary pane, you continue to a Save dialog to let you choose the location for this collection. There are also some options– depending on your version of InDesign. The latest version– shown in the image– includes some important steps that in earlier versions are additional steps. This would be Include IDML and Include PDF. In older versions, the IDML file must be exported separately from the File > Export menu. A High Quality Print PDF proof can be created from the File > Adobe PDF Presets menu. Whatever your version of InDesign, these two additional files are critical.

Step 5: Compress the Document Fonts

This last step is optional– but we highly recommend it, and that is to protect the Document font files. To do this, we suggest you compress the fonts into a .zip archive. Adobe InDesign will have collected the fonts you used (if they are not prevented by licensing restrictions) and copy them to the Document Fonts folder. Once done, delete the Document Fonts folder as shown, leaving the archive in its place. This step will protect the font files from corruption when they are transmitted to us.

Sending your files…

There are a number of ways to send us your packaged files. You can ask us to send you an upload link, or upload files through our website, you can even FTP files directly to our server (call for details). We also work with different commercial file sharing services like Dropbox and others.

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