I'm in the process of converting a pile of InDesign documents to PDFs.
While exporting the latest one, I noticed it was set to export to an interactive PDF rather than print which is what I intended.
These documents don't have and won't need any interactive elements.
I'm not sure how that happened, but now I'm wondering how many previous exports went to interactive without my knowing it.
So that leaves me with a couple of questions:
1. Could it screw anything up if you use an interactive PDF for print when the original documents have no interactive elements?
2. If it could screw anything up, is there any way for me to tell which documents are interactive so I'll only have to re-export those?
If you had the option to export as Adobe PDF (Interactive), you must be using InDesign CS5 or later (you didn't tell us your InDesign version).
If you chose Interactive output, and your document was already set up for a Print intent, your color swatches would be CMYK and you transparency blend space would Document CMYK (Edit > Transparency Blend Space).
When you chose Adobe PDF (Interactive), you would have seen this dialog box:
In fact, all colors would be converted to RGB. You could confirm this in Acrobat > Tools > Print Production > Output Preview and choosing RGB from the Show menu.
So you could check it out in Acrobat Pro. But if you didn't see that dialog box, you're probably OK.
All CMYK colors are converted to sRGB when exporting so-called interactive PDF from recent versions of InDesign. Such PDF files are almost useless for printing purposes since the CMYK black (0,0,0,1) is not turned into RGB (0,0,0), which can be special cased by Acrobat and many RIPs to be CMYK black (0,0,0,1) or gray (0), but rather sRGB (0,137,0.123,0.126), a rich black interpreted in SWOP CMYK as (0.69,0.67,0.64,0.74), a very muddy rich black with 274% ink coverage.
We have a request in to the InDesign team to eliminate this arbitrary (and capricious?) conversion of color space. But it may be a while before any such fix is implemented.
Avoid the interactive PDF option at all costs unless you absolutely must have a PDF file with interactivity.
Such PDF files are almost useless for printing purposes since the CMYK black (0,0,0,1) is not turned into RGB (0,0,0), which can be special cased by Acrobat and many RIPs to be CMYK black (0,0,0,1) or gray (0),
In CS6 I can force the conversion of default black in Print intent documents to 0|0|0 on an Interactive Export by changing the Black preference to Output All Blacks as Rich Black. If the document's intent is Web then the default [Black] starts as 0|0|0 RGB and stays that way. Of course you can't expect someone on the other end to know they need to convert 0|0|0 to 0|0|0|100.