IDCS5.5, MacPro, OSX 10.7.4
I am working on a grayscale teacher’s guide that accompanies a CMYK schoolbook. The introduction pages contain miniature pages of the workbook (formatted as grayscale PDF), but InDesign refuses to output those pages as PDF ("Impossible d’exporter le fichier PDF"), or when it does produce a PDF (when exporting page by page), Acrobat warns of a possible problem and stuff is missing on the resulting page, not necessarily from the grayscale minipages.
I have tried grayscale PDFs created from the original CMYK PDFs in Acrobat Pro X, grayscale PDFs exported from the original CMYK file in InDesign CS6, PDFs reduced to 20% in InDesign, PDFs reduced to 20% with a third-party application and imported in ID at 100%, and all sort of variations on the export values. The problem is also present in InDesign CS4 (after exporting the file as IDML) and in CS6.
The thing is, there is no problem at all if I use the CMYK PDF version of the minipages (I then turned the resulting PDF into grayscale with Acrobat Pro X). But the printer expects to see only grayscale images in a grayscale job, not color... and a Photoshop version of those minipages is not acceptable.
Has anybody encountered that problem? Can you reproduce it, i.e. can you export to PDF if you use any type of grayscale PDFs in your layout?
Yes, I have tried to "correct" the file by exporting it to IDML. The grayscale PDFs were made by turning a CMYK PDF into a grayscale one in Acrobat Pro X, also by exporting the original ID file as a grayscale PDF in InDesign CS6. Nothing worked. I have tried since all kind of settings with other source files, but the result is always the same: a grayscale PDF in the layout means no export to PDF.
I have had this same problem where I am producing a program with ads and entire program will print one color. Some PDF ads received will be CMYK or RGB and I will use Acrobat's preflight profile to convert to grayscale. Place new gray PDF into Indesign... errors on export. Replace gray PDF with original, exports OK, but contains color Ads. I will use the preflight convert to gray on finished PDF... even though I would like to export a final PDF without any intervention.
Have you tested CS6's ability to export to grayscale. I tried exporting a doc to grayscale, placing it back into ID and exporting again to PDF/X-4 and it worked without a problem. When converting CMYK black percentages you have to watch out for undesireable conversions, i.e 100% black (0|0|0|100) to 91% grayscale when the source is the default US SWOP.
I have followed your instructions for exporting to grayscale but I’m stil getting the same error message. I have also tried different settings when creating the grayscale documents that will become the minipages, and quite a few settings to export the file to PDF, but no luck. If it depends entirely on two specific sets of export settings (one for the minipages, one for the actual output), I haven’t found the right combinations yet.
Have you tried the setup described by Rob? If so, does it work for you?
FOUND IT! Inspired by Rob solution, I was able to export my InDesign CS5.5 document containing some grayscale PDFs to PDF/X-3:2002 (and PDF/X-1a:2001), with or without the standard, but without converting to destination. For some reason, it does not work with PDF/X-4:2008, nor with any of the other presets.