What's the question here?
Distilling a PDF is an archaic method. Exporting is recommended.
I heartily concur using a method that is more current and modern, however what does one do when something is specified? See Below:
We only accept print-ready PDF Files to the following specifications:
• CMYK PDF Files using Adobe Acrobat Distiller 4, 5 or 6. • Pages must be saved as individuals and not double-page spreads. • A minimum 5mm (1/4”) bleed is required around all pages to ensure
any images or tints do not end up short of the page.
• Text or subject matter should not fall within 5mm (1/4”) of the trim edge
to prevent any of the content being trimmed.
• Files must contain high resolution CMYK images and have ALL FONTS EMBEDDED.
Am I missing something but that is what you do with the InDesign PDF Presets for Export Correct?
I am almost finished with this project and just want to check all the boxes.
I’ll bet they haven’t updated those specs in 15 years. Is this a printer you have to use? If so, export a PDF X/1-a.
They’ll never know the difference. If you have a choice, run, don’t walk, to someone else.
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You haven't been able to buy the software they spec for over 10 years. No, Distiller is not the same as InDesign export. The advice is frankly ignorant. especially saying "CMYK" without a profile. I suggest you export from InDesign and if they complain tell them you can't get Distiller 4,5 or 6 And even if you could they wouldn't run on your system Or any Mac sold in the last 10 years. So nobody is following them.
I plan (and planed) to do As you and Test Screen Name have suggested, Export my PDF for Print from InDesign as usual.
This project is going into a publication for NATPE in Miami in a week https://www.natpe.com/. This layout was easy enough and didn't take that much time. What blew my mind was the Distiller requirement.
The irony is that these guys are supposed to be cutting edge.
I’ll bet if you called them, they’d admit that they just haven’t bothered to update them and that an exported PDF would be fine.