9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2013 1:17 PM by Peter Spier

    Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign

    Picturequest Level 1


      I'm working on a book cover project. The complete design including the text layers on the back, are created in PS CS6. I converted to CMYK.


      My first concern was setting proper bleeds and trims out of PS. Exporting the PDF.


      So, I created my ID doc to spec. Placed the PSD, Set all the PDF X/1a:2001 setting from the printer.


      The resulting PDF doesn't look as good as the PS generated PDF viewd in Acrobat. It looks soft.


      So my question, do my text layers (non rastered) survive PSD>INDESIGN>PDF?


      I don't really want to rebuild the text layers in ID. The cover is finished, just need to generate the best PDF for delivery.


      Should I have saved in a different format out of PS?


      I've got so many little changes requested, I want to keep my doc most easily editable. That is my reasoning.


      My Guess is this slightly softer PDF from ID will print great. But I just want to be sure since I haven't used this workflow before.


      Thank you!



        • 1. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          If you want to preserve text from Photoshop when placing in ID, save as Photoshop PDF, but why not just send the printer the PDF from Photoshop?


          If you're worried about crop marks, increase the canvas size and add marks. Your image should already be sized for the bleed (putting it into ID doesn't do anything magical like make it bigger), so the only thing ID is doing for you here is adding marks on export.

          • 2. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
            Picturequest Level 1

            Thank you. That was my original thout. But another forum, suggested bringing in the PS file to ID and set the trium bleed etc properly. I'm not that familiar with comparing the difference between the PS produced PDF and the ID exported PDF.


            Question if you know:


            The specs provided by the printer was for ID. For the PDF: I've put an astric by setting NOT available when saving a PDF from PS CS6.


            Interestingly, I saved the ID PDF settings. And they are available in the PS export. What happens when these PDF options are loaded from the preset (ID) but are not panels in the PS PDF settings?



            Compression : zip, CCITT Group 4

            No Profile assigned

            Convert to Destination: U.S. Web Coat CMYK SWOP v.2

            * Crop Marks only, weight: .5pt; Offset .125 on.

            * Use Document Bleed Settings checked (0.125")

            * ADVANCED: Enter 1% for Subset Fonts when percent of Characters used is less then:

            * Transparanancy Flattenter: Select (High Res) from drop down menu

            • 3. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              As far as I know, Photoshop and ID use exactly the same .joboptions files, so selecting PDF/X-1a should work fine in Photoshop (it already specifies the High Resolution flattener). Since the bleed is not being added by Photoshop (as I mentioned, you'd need to expand the canvas, say half an inch in each direction, then add your own crop marks -- and make a registration color swatch to use for them that is 100% of all the inks), you'll be taking care of the weight and offset when you draw them, and the bleed setting is also irrelevant.


              That leaves the font subsetting. Photoshop is going to subset any font used less than 100%, but I don't see that as an issue. Nobody is going to touch up the text anyway in Acrobat (I tried, and I couldn't select text in a Photoshop PDF with the text touchup tool). If there's an error, you'd be remaking the PDF (and be srue you save the unfalttened .psd file, too, just in case you do need to edit -- the PDF/X-1a does not retain Photoshop editability). You can ask the printer for their opinion, though.


              On the other hand, if you save from Photoshop as PDF/X-4 and place that in ID (with the .125" bleed setting in Page Setup) your crops will be easier and you have access to all the settings. Use the .pdp extension so that ID knows to edit original in Photoshop if necessary in the future. Re-exporting using the settings from above produced a valid PDF/X-1a file in my testing using the X-4 file from Photoshop (PDF/X-4 emebds profile information and leaves colors unchanged but does not preserve layers, and it will still subset the fonts in Photoshop, but at least it makes it suitable for color management in ID).

              • 4. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                Picturequest Level 1

                Very interesting. So PDF/X-4 would be the best option going out of PS to ID and then to the final PDF.


                Just to clatify. the PS doc is the correct dimensions including the 0.125" bleed required. Plus, From Sheridan Press, they don't want any other marks or color bars other than the crop marks.


                What are your thoughts.


                When I save the Sheridan PDF X/1a 2001 preset in ID, That same preset it available in the PS. I wonder even though PS does not show the ADVANCED tab, so no Crop marks, Font Subset, Bleed settings, and Transparancy Flattener options. If I select my preset will that "tick" those options anyway. Have to figure out how to test it.


                Essentially, I am just going to ID for those 4 elements. All the other specs are in the PS PDF options.


                Stange they would not include these options if they are part of the PDF standard.

                • 5. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                  Picturequest Level 1

                  I'm not sure HOW to set it up for the specific settings, but I have been bringing my PDFs into Acrobat Pro andd playing with preflight. It appears if you have the proper Preflight preset, that it can correct the missing options. I wonder if it can do the crop marks.

                  • 6. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    In workflows that will allow it, Adobe recommends (and I generally concur) PDF/X-4 as the PDF of choice as it leaves your colors unchanged (useful if you edit in RGB and want to repurpose for a variety of output devices) and embeds all the information needed for color management, meaning it is a very flexible format and likely to give you the best possible results at output.


                    Your printer wants PDF/X-1a, which is a single-purpose file that is converted already to the intended output space (not really a problem here, I think, since you aren't intending to repurpose the cover) and about as dumbed down as it's possible to make a PDF. This standard is basically intended for producing a PDF that anyone can print without screwing it up, much. SWOP is also a pretty low-end color space that any press should be able to hit, but it lacks the vibrancy that you might get out of a sheetfed press or a high end web press with good color management, so you are necessarily getting all the color that might be available under some conditions. This depends entirely on the images, however. If all the colors fall inside the SWOP gamut anyway, you won't lose a thing.


                    In my recommendation to save as X-4 you have a PDF version that you can archive for future use and conversion to the profile for some other press, and by palcing that into ID you are able to add your marks and do the converion on export to exactly what the printer asked for. It would be better, technically, if the photoshop file were still in a standard RGB space like AdobeRGB, but it seems like you already made the conversion to SWOP. Any RGB-to-CMYK converion is going to be device-specific and has the potential to lose some colors since CMYK spaces are smaller than RGB. Once those colors are lost you can't get them back, so a CMYK-to-CMYK conversion is generally not going to give as good a result, in terms of reproducing the original colors, as an RGB-to-CMYK conversion from the original to the new destination.


                    Photoshop cannot give you the crop marks automatically, nor will it look at the bleed settings. You get what's on the canvas. The font subset might work, if you save a preset from ID that has that option set. You can tell by using it in Photoshop, then opening the PDF in Acrobat Pro, go to the Document Properties dialog and look on the Fonts tab to see if it says "embedded subset" or not.

                    • 7. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I think in theory you might be able to add crops in Acrobat (it has the function to add marks), but I'm not having any luck getting it to expand the size of a Photoshop PDF to have a place for them. I think you'd need to pose this in the Acrobat forum.

                      • 8. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                        Picturequest Level 1

                        Good info Peter,


                        I went with X/1a becauyse that is what the printer spec'd.  Originally, I thought I should convert from sRGB to CMYK inside PS first because it might do a better conversion. But I'm gathering from you. Leaving it RGB and let the PDF "Convert to Target" CMYK is equal.


                        You are correct, I don't see why anyone would need to edit the text, so the lack of a full embedded font shouldn't be an issue.


                        Will experiment with the crop matks in Acrobat. One option in Preflight was to correct the problems. That is where I think it could add the crop marks.


                        interestingly, PS has all the crop, bleed etc functionality when you print. Registration marks, color bars.


                        So it is funny Adobe, the creater of PDF, Photoshop don't add that ADVANCED tab in the PDF box.


                        I wonder if there is an export plug-in by a third party that does that.

                        • 9. Re: Generating Press ready PDF from PSD via InDesign
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          There's a differnce between printing a file (where you can add marks outside the document area if there is space on the paper) and saving the file itself, which is what you are doing when you make a PDF from Photoshop. In ID you are not saving the file, you are exporting it, which is more similar to printing, and again you are adding more space around the document.