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We would need quite a bit more information to assist you.
From what you describe, you are submitting a PDF file exported from InDesign. What settings are you using? The optimal for printing are the PDF/X-4 settings.
In terms of the resultant PDF file, have you tried printing a single copy of those pages to a local print device? Does it print from Adobe Acrobat or even Reader? Assuming it does print without a problem, the focus must be on the “printer.”
Exactly what is their workflow? If they are somehow “imposing” the PDF by placing pages into InDesign, you have a very good indication that this “printer” has a very ad-hoc workflow. True, professional PDF print publishing workflows don't create printer flats by placing PDF pages into yet another InDesign document. Page imposition for creating printer flats for books, booklets, etc. is typically done at the RIP or at worst with specialized imposition software including Acrobat plug-ins.
Tell us a bit more about the printer's real and full workflow and maybe we get to the bottom of your problem.
It could also help if you could post the PDF file in question someplace such that we may analyze it and see if there is anything inherently wrong with the PDF file.
Thank you Mr. Isaacs for your reply! I wish I knew a bit more and could be more precise with answers. I am not at all familiar with what happens after I send them the PDF (other than what I was told when they said the file was crashing their system). I did get the impression that they were putting the PDF pages into INDD in order to layout the booklet adjust for creep and "bookletize" were some things that he said - but I could have misunderstood. Have received qual (similar booklet) for the last few years from them. Have not had any problem printing from PDF file to my office printer or for that matter to a local Fedex Print when we were doing a proofread. I was exporting the PDF originally from INDD using the Press setting and None in the Adobe Standard drop down. After printer explained file was crashing their system - When trying to troubleshoot with the printer he suggested the PDF/X-1 setting. I have exported per his suggestion and sent over - crossing fingers that this causes resolution. Also I removed a link to a ai. file with some transparency that may have been a problem - though I have no idea how specificially. It was just the first thing I could easily remove to test out. The file can be accessed at the dropbox link: Dropbox - Catalog Lace Removed.pdf
Thank you! Any additional feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm sorry that I'm not more versed.
OK, I've downloaded and looked at the file here at Adobe. (Beautiful job, by the way. Putting something like this together is an awful lot of work, especially when trying to get those ads properly placed – I know from experience doing some volunteer work! ).
I subjected the PDF file to all reasonable preflight tests. No issue that should cause anything to “crash.”
I printed the PDF file to my local Xerox Phaser 7500 Adobe PostScript 3 printer. All pages printed without any issue.
WRT/ a placed Illustrator file with transparency, that could not be the issue since all transparency is flattened when you make a PDF/X-1a file (which is what you posted).
We honestly don't know what your “printer” is doing, but there is no reason why a competent professional print service provider would not be able to successfully print your catalog. As I originally mentioned, if your print service provider is in fact using InDesign as an imposition tool (to create printer spreads for a booklet including creep adjustment), you might consider finding a print service provider who has the right tools for such work – you don't use a screwdriver to hammer a nail! Who knows whatever things your “printer” is doing to your PDF file pages.
I don't know if this helps you get this printed, but the fact is that the problem is not the file (or you)!
I truly appreciate you taking the time to review the file and get back to me! My heart completely sunk when I heard the printer was having problems and assumed I'd done something wrong to mess it up. Yes it is a big job (but I enjoy doing the volunteer work since it's for such a wonderful school). I've spent a lot of time working to put it together but since I'm not professionally trained (all self-taught) I know there is more potential of mucking things up. The team is counting on me to have this catalog done so we can distribute to the families and help raise the funds for the school. We may end up sending to another printer to get the job finished since we are now on a time crunch. I'm glad to hear that your review of the file didn't show any issues so I'm more confident about sending it out there again to another printer. Thank you for the positive feedback!