26 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2017 3:56 AM by Randy Hagan

    Print InDesign document to PostScript file

    jane-e Adobe Community Professional

      Can anyone think of any reason to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign and then convert to PDF using Adobe® Acrobat Distiller? Ever?

      I am asking for serious answers, please.

       

      I am asking because InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book mentions this as a viable option on page 263 in the lesson on Printing and Exporting.

        • 1. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
          George_Salnik Adobe Community Professional

          Serious answer - in Russia still many firms have old imagesetters, and they are in working state.

          • 2. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            In my opinion, only a very ancient workflow would use PostScript and Acrobat Distiller. It should never be recommended in a book.

             

            I wrote a post for InDesignSecrets.com in 2006 about why you should use File > Export > PDF [now PDF (Print)] which lists all the reasons we use that far superior workflow. It's even more true today.

             

            Creating PDF: Export or Use Distiller? - InDesignSecrets ...

             

            EDIT: Not too many Russian readers of Classroom in a Book, I'd bet.

            • 3. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
              George_Salnik Adobe Community Professional

              @Steve Werner

              Yes, you are right. "Classroom in a Book" is a lamer yellow-paper. Russian like to read full help in PDF

              • 4. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign

                Occasionally the question of how to deliver an imposed booklet to a copy service where there is no imposition capability comes up (there's no imposition option via Export). In that case there is the Print Booklet option which works fine with the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD. You could easily have a document with no complex transparency or downstream color management needs, which would survive that workflow.

                • 5. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                  jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                  Thank George, Steve, and Rob, for the answers so far.

                   

                  I used to do the .ps to Distiller 25 years ago, but it is not something I would teach or encourage people to do now, especially new students.

                   

                  George, the old imagesetters don't take PDFs?

                  • 6. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                    Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Actually, even old imagesetters can be output from PDF files. It's the old printers (meaning, the people doing the printing) who don't want to change old workflows.

                    • 7. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                      Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      jane-e  wrote

                       

                      Can anyone think of any reason to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign and then convert to PDF using Adobe® Acrobat Distiller? Ever?

                      Yes.

                      But not in my regular workflow.

                       

                      1. Working around with bugs in PDF Export:

                      If something goes wrong with PDF Export I would test the PostScript => Distiller => PDF workflow to see if there is a bug with PDF Export or if it's something else.

                       

                      2. Very special workflow where I am using small EPS files with PostScript programming instructions.
                      The technical term is pdfmark instructions for e.g. formfield creation with PDFs. Even JavaScript for the formfields is possible.

                      PDF Export will not pass the instructions to the exported PDF. Distiller will transform them into valid PDF widgets etc.pp. if the code has no bugs ;-) .

                       

                      3. Minimizing PDF file size for web viewing.

                      If you know what you are doing with Distiller settings this could give you a better quality/file size ratio than the options you have with Acrobat Pro DC. Depends of the job of course.

                       

                      Just a question:

                      is InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book also telling where to get the ADPDF9.PPD printer description file, explains what a PPD file is, and how to install it? If not, this chapter about printing to PostScript is indeed misleading and perhaps should be taken out. Or at least marked as deprecated together with some explanations.

                       

                      Regards,
                      Uwe

                      • 8. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                        jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                        Screenshot. The first 10 steps go through the Print Settings and creating a Preset. They say it as if it's a normal course of action.

                        • 9. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          And my point is: Classroom is a Book is a book to teach beginners good practices to use in InDesign. The book is sold in first world countries (primarily US and Europe, I'd guess) where the technology is available to follow best practices.

                           

                          At best, PostScript is a special case situation which would be used by people with a lot of graphic arts knowledge who generally understand the limitations of the process, or old operators who don't like to change their methods.

                           

                          It's not appropriate to teach it in Classroom in a Book.

                          • 10. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                            BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                            Sometimes FrameMaker will flat out refuse to create a PDF using the preferred routes, and my only option is to print to a .ps file and distill manually. When I need to get a proof to a client, I'll do what it takes.

                             

                            I am asking because InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book mentions this as a viable option on page 263 in the lesson on Printing and Exporting.

                            Dov Isaacs has weighed in against a number of workflows coming directly out of the Adobe Acrobat Classroom in a Book series. I think it would be very helpful to have someone at Adobe review the "official" materials, because most ACIs (and many other instructors) base their classes off of the exercises in these books. I don't know how the other books are reviewed, but when I worked on a FrameMaker CIB, I chose my own tech editor and Adobe Press provided the "regular" editor. I am unaware of anyone else—besides the three of us—who reviewed the content before it went into print.

                             

                            It's one thing to blow by the single sentence in the InDesign CIB, jane-e, but when it comes to the Acrobat DC CIB, we either have to opt to create our own materials or be constantly saying, "I know the book teaches this workflow, but Adobe doesn't recommend it".

                             

                            These books are expensive, and I purchase a copy for each of my Rocky Mountain Training students. It's a very frustrating situation.

                            • 11. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              I think it would be very helpful to have someone at Adobe review the "official" materials

                               

                              The question wasn't what's a general best practice for PDF output, it was—Acrobat Distiller? Ever? Best practice guidelines are useful until they slip into dogma.

                              • 12. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                I agree, Rob. But when you're teaching you try to teach best practices. In a similar example, in my InDesign class for future designers, I teach the value of using a grid system when creating a layout. But, I also say that sometimes you have to "break the grid."

                                 

                                But you have to learn the best practices first before you learn when it's necessary to break out of the box. And Classrooom books are beginners books.

                                • 13. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  But, I also say that sometimes you have to "break the grid."

                                  Exactly, I think Jane knows what the best practice is, she was asking for the exceptions, which are rare.

                                  • 14. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                    Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    jane-e  wrote

                                     

                                    Screenshot. The first 10 steps go through the Print Settings and creating a Preset. They say it as if it's a normal course of action.

                                    Hi Jane,

                                    I assume the export to PDF workflow is also part of CIB…
                                    So I think, it's just one of the capabilities—among others—of inDesign's output options that is described here.

                                    At least, I hope the bigger weight lies on InDesign's PDF Export feature.

                                     

                                    What is alerting with step 11 is this:

                                    "The PostScript file could be provided to your service provider or commercial printer…"

                                    Providing a PostScript file will not happen. Everyone who is right in his/her mind will refuse it.

                                    We all know here: That's a workflow of the last century.

                                     

                                    Who is the author of Classroom in a Book ?

                                     

                                    Regards,
                                    Uwe

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                                    • 15. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                      BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                      I am asking because InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book mentions this as a viable option on page 263 in the lesson on Printing and Exporting.

                                      Based on this statement, Rob, I believe jane-e is trying to ascertain why this sentence appears in the official Adobe materials for InDesign 2017. And, like any good instructor, Jane is making sure she isn't missing something.

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                                      • 16. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                        jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                        The CIBs don't always have "best practices", but rarely do they have "worst practices", and this step pretty well jumped out and screamed at me.

                                         

                                        Yes, I was wondering if there were any exceptions—any at all!

                                         

                                        As BarbBinder said, Dov Isaacs has spoken against using Distiller, and so have Leonard Rosenthol and Duff Johnson at the  PDF Day conference.

                                         

                                        Uwe Laubender, the authors' names are on the screenshot that Barb posted.

                                        • 17. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                          BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                          Uwe—yes, Export to PDF is covered first.

                                           

                                          The chapter covers preflight, then packaging, then creating a PDF proof (via Export). The exercise in question covers the options in the Print dialog box and creating a print preset. In step 10, we save the print preset as "Proof". Then comes the final step 11 that Jane has shown above.

                                           

                                          Not that anyone cares at this point, but the exercise is on pages 360–363 (not 263 as cited).

                                          • 18. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            I think the people who we should be telling are probably John Cruise and Kelly Kordes Anton, who are listed as the authors. I think they have been authors of the InDesign CIB since at least the CS5 book (I have a copy of that one). They're not the authors of CS3, my oldest copy.

                                             

                                            It could be that they have just left that section unchanged for many editions, and no one pointed it out to them.

                                             

                                            However, I don't have contact info for either one of them.

                                            • 19. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                              BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

                                              I can put Jane in touch with them, Steve, if that's how she wants to proceed. Or she can take a less confrontational approach and put it on the Errata Submission page: Contact Us | Peachpit.

                                               

                                              I see this as a bigger issue than the one sentence, Steve. I teach from a lot of the CIB books and have for my entire career (the oldest CIB on my shelf is the Advanced Photoshop for version 3). I think Adobe should be working with the book authors, particularly on the printing-related issues which is where this keeps surfacing.

                                              • 20. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                                Yes, it is a bigger issue.

                                                 

                                                I fix the files themselves, especially in the InDesign CIB to add styles where they are not used (best practices) and to check the defaults for text wrap, character styles, paragraph styles, and object styles so that when a beginner opens a document and types in new text, it isn't 26/30 Bold and new frames aren't drawn already formatted. I fix anywhere from a half dozen to three dozen things in each chapter and the students use my fixed files.

                                                 

                                                I think I'll put this one on the Errata page.

                                                 

                                                And thanks for all of the feedback! I wrote it at the end of a long, frustrating day of going through the book and making changes to the files, and that one paragraph stopped me in my tracks!

                                                • 21. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                  Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  To deal with the bigger picture, we could start a thread on the subject in the ACP (Adobe Community Professional) forum. I haven't checked. Are both of you in the ACP? I covers all the Adobe apps and through the staff like Tricia we have a way of getting to the right people in Adobe.

                                                  • 22. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                    jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                                    Okay, and again thanks for the feedback on PostScript® and the Distiller.

                                                     

                                                    I don't want to split off into talking about the CIBs in this thread or on this forum. For the most part, I do think they are a great resource for beginners.

                                                    • 23. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                      jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                                      https://forums.adobe.com/people/Steve+Werner  wrote

                                                       

                                                      To deal with the bigger picture, we could start a thread on the subject in the ACP (Adobe Community Professional) forum. I haven't checked. Are both of you in the ACP?

                                                      Yes, Steve, we are both ACPs, moderators, ACIs, and CTTs.

                                                      • 24. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                        George_Salnik Adobe Community Professional

                                                        >> George, the old imagesetters don't take PDFs?

                                                        Yes, they are have some unique .ps drivers.

                                                        In Russian army we have the proverb: don't touch hardware if this hardware work good. If this imagesetters still work, why not? InDesign have it this old feature, - let it be.

                                                        • 25. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                          jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                                          If a student asks me about Step 11, George, may I use your proverb in class?

                                                          • 26. Re: Print InDesign document to PostScript file
                                                            Randy Hagan Adobe Community Professional

                                                            I still use it, rarely, for a workaround when I have problematic output for a PDF.

                                                             

                                                            Sometimes a graphic refuses to print. Or some odd, unexplainable artifact appears in the PDF. The worst situations for me seem to be print PDFs I create from InDesign documents with interactive elements. Maybe two or three times a year I run across some little problem that gets completely fixed when I first create a .ps file and then turn it into a PDF through Distiller.