There really is no one PDF export settings.
You should contact your print vendor and ask them to supply a suitable .joboptions file to use when exporting the PDF.
Or ask them what settings to use in the PDF export.
Of course there are generic ones - but unless you know the Output Destination - then it's really a shot in the dark.
thank you for that help, Eugene. the 'final print guide' you point to does provide 'press quality' settings, which appear surprisingly simple (output colour conversion as 'convert to destination' seems really the only key definition recommended).
However, checking joboptions data with the relevant printer seems a very good idea as this will likely reveal settings that will hit the critical nail on the head... much better than my habit of hopeful guesswork!
Convert to destination is a good idea, but do you want to preserve numbers or not (that's another option), most like if any of your work contains 100% black only (like black type) then you probably want to preserve numbers rather than converting everything in the document to the destination profile.
It's always wise to check with your printers.
Send them a sample file and ask for any help in setting up the file for them.
They'll be much more appreciative than if you send over a file that's a mess to clean up and that will add on extra time and cost to your job.
There should be other presets installed with ID, like High Quality Print, Smallest File Size, PDF/X1-a (Not japanese) and PDF/X-4, the las being waht is often the recommended setting these days. If you are not seeing them it meas something is a bit off on your install.
thank you Peter. I do see the X-4 setting you mention (shows in the 'Standard' dialogue as 'PDF/X-4:2010') and this is the one I use for commercial printing output.
I stopped seeing the ID default templates (high/smallest/press etc) some months ago, so re-installed ID, which resolved the problem... for a while... but they disappeared again! Rather than do yet another re-install, I have taken Eugene's advice, set up my own presets based on greatest likelihood (inc 'preserve numbers'), and then checked the joboptions with the printer (which sort of puts the responsibility on them).... and so far so good!
I am very grateful for the help given by you both
But how do I change the settings? My PDF used to look beautiful, but now these pixels are so big, I can see the squares in them.
Where is there a guide to show you how to get a greater resolution in the PDF file that you are creating? It should be simple instructions, like to go file, etc. I don't see these in the instruction manuals.
Just a suggestion, for good joboptions, ask your printer what he wants to have. But, take a look at gwg.org and eci.org. Certfiedpdf.net is another great site to look for joboptions.
@shipbuilding5: change settings: just edit the preset and you can change almost everything.
You can't get a greater resolution in a PDF than the effective resolution of the placed images in your InDesign document.