3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 27, 2014 5:14 AM by gsbatchwva

    Need protected files and a .pdf proof in InDesign


      Im fairly new to InDesign and have just completed an announcement and have it saved.  Now, I am wanting to create a .pdf to submit to someone else to look at it, but I dont want them to be able to edit it at all (like a proof).  So, does that mean that I need to first "pack" my files, then flatten it, then create the .pdf?  Ive never done any of these and I am having a hard time understanding what "flatten" actually is.


      I know of people who use Photoshop who flatten their work before providing any .pdf or .jpeg files so that others are not able to modify their work.  The other reason I want my work not to be modified is that there are elements in the announcement for which I have purchased from others (they use Photoshop). They have requested that any elements that I have purchased from them be flattened, so that it protects their work (and of course, I want to protect mine as well).


      In the mean time, I will continue to search the forums for answers.


      Thank you!




      Oh and let me just add this info as well...I have 10 layers.  FYI: i just read some info about flattening in Photoshop (although Im using ID)...keep everything editiable, do a copy merge, combine elements to keep file size low (so you dont have to flatten) and flatten for transparecies. Confused.

        • 1. Re: Need protected files and a .pdf proof in InDesign
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          The short version is that anything you publish in any form can be stolen by someone who is determined.


          You can send a flattened PDF with security to prevent editing if they are honest, but if you trust the client there's no need to do that.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Need protected files and a .pdf proof in InDesign
            NeverWasBefore Level 1

            Thanks Peter,


            Yes, I agree with your first statement. Im guessing the elements I am buying are being custom made by the person Im buying from and they want to ensure its not being taken by non buyers.  If its not secure, someone could just move the element into a file on their computer and use it anyway they want and not buy it from the party who made it.   So it appears that the parties Im buying the elements from seem to believe that flattening their work prevents files from being stolen as they have it written in the TOU's that their work is copyrighted and when I buy an element I get a TOU on how I can use it commercially. Some sellers are picky on how you can use their work..and I must use the purchased element in a new creation as part of my work and flatten it before I distribute it.


            Thanks for the information.  Unfortunately, I would not ever see any clients face to face as they'd purchse my announcements online. For the most part, purchasers of my work would be consumers who know nothing about ID, so I could trust that they would not be able to edit my files.  However, there could be others who do know how to use such publishing software....either clients or those who also make announcements as well.

            • 3. Re: Need protected files and a .pdf proof in InDesign
              gsbatchwva Level 1

              For some jobs where I just don't trust the client I export my proofs as 150 dpi JPG rather than PDF. Then right-click and convert to PDF (if single page) or combine in PDF (for multiple pages). Delete the JPGs afterward. It's a few steps but goes quickly. For most clients I export as PDF, setting security to no editing and no printing allowed. It sure would be nice if Adobe would let us save security settings in a profile rather than having to set them each and every time we make a PDF though. Many online invitation/announcement printing companies provide only a low-rez JPG image for proofing.