InDesign is a good few years old. And I reckon when they came up with the Print Dialog box moons ago they didn't consider that one day someone would want to print 1000 digital copies, as it was fairly scarce at the time, if at all done. Nobody really printed multiple copies from InDesign.
Perhaps back when they created indesign and the Print Dialog box that was a limitation that the programmers had to deal with, and there wasn't a way around it.
Perhaps over the last 1.5 decades nobody thought of revamping the Print Dialog box?
I'd say it's just something in the legacy of the creation of the Print Dialog box, and it wasn't ever an issue before. But clearly times are changing.
Your guess is as good as mine
You can make requests here for future features - https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform
Perhaps a script could do what you wanted? Try the scripting forum for a solution?
Print it from Acrobat. InDesign is design software and not print software.
Very unusual to printing that many copies directly from ID. In fact, I never print from ID at all.
I always export a PDF and print that. After all, that’s what’s going to the printer anyway so that’s what I want to test out.
Sounds like they are the print bearua. And to cut down a step out of their process of making a PDF, I think they are printing directly to say 10,000 copies.
But it's a limit set by InDesign.
It really wouln't bother me to go print "500" copies, then print "900" copies. It's two steps to take. And quite quick to do.
If they are printing 10,000 copies of anything digitally that is just flat out press work. Even if you did your own maintenance and paid for your own toner you'd get slaughtered on cost. After hitting print twice in InDesign you are right on the cusp of having digital not be a good decision.
Adobe does not need to realize that InDesign is an application for service providers. It is not. It is a content creation application and Adobe has invested millions and millions of dollars in the PDF specification for print providers. Acrobat is the only application on my Mac capable of doing over 9999 copies anyway.
We have to print directly from ID to various devices because of certain software/plug-ins used. A lot of variable data software that works within ID requires you to print directly also. So printing from ID is not uncommon and I can see why it'd be an annoyance if your workflow is interrupted by something as trivial as a 999 limit.
I'm surprised that a service provider that prints up to 10,000 copies digitally isn't using a RIP.
Even smaller operations these days have either a hardware RIP or at least a software RIP.
You would send 1 copy of the file to the RIP and when received you can adjust the number needed for printing,
There are many, many other elements that you can adjust with a RIP that will make the workflow go much smoother and print much more efficiently.
Perhaps you can convince the owners to look at a software RIP that can be run on one of your existing computers.
If you are using variable data and the plugin doesn't allow for export to a file you are using a pretty mediocre plugin. What VDP plugin requires InDesign to be the printer? With the bazillion printers out there and many other output devices not even able to accept print jobs that don't come from file. We have 5 output devices that require a file to be sent to a RIP or print queue system that are not able to be set up as "printers" and I'm going to assume we aren't the only ones who work in a workflow where nothing is ever "printed" in the sense of being sent as a File > Print from an application.
If you are printing <999 of something variable and by that grace unique I'm totally confused. When I do mailing and other items that use VDP I never print more than 1 of each unique record other than maybe the half dozen that end up as 2's for the cutter/folder/saddle binders to do makeready. If it were something like doing QTY 1000/2000/5000 business cards ganged on a sheet I could understand, but that's again where print management software is already doing this.
Great responses, everyone's! But, I guess I need to clear up a few questions in people's minds. Yes, we are a service provider. However, we are a very small company - 6 employees. We have two machines with RIPs, but we do have a machine that we generally use for short runs and it's cost prohibitive to purchase a RIP for it.
As a general rule, we don't do any runs over 1500 on this machine. We just have an emergency today in which I have to print 3800 copies, and I have to send it 4 times to get that number.
Second, and most important - because it got us off topic here - I did not say I was running 10,000 copies on this machine. I said Adobe shouldn't care whether I am running a handful or 10,000 or not. They shouldn't care how many copies I am preparing to run. The amount of copies run has no bearing on the design aspect of the job, so writing a limit into the code of InDesign was wasted time on the programmer's part.
Third, we don't print from InDesign because of plug-in issues. We print from it because of deadlines. Like I said before, we not only provide the print service for our clients, we also have two graphic artists on staff who design and typeset jobs for walk-in customers. The two of us are under the gun on deadlines just like typesetters in a job shop, designing or typesetting and printing upwards of 30 small jobs per day. Timewise, it's not practical at all to design something, then pdf it for print when there's a perfectly good print feature in InDesign. Well, I say perfectly good -- it's not really perfect because it limits us to 999 copies!
Keep the theories coming!
It was my understanding, but perhaps different in other places, that digital printing is only more cost effective up to about 1000 copies anyway. After that it's more cost effective to print litho? If you're going to do 10,000 copies digitally it will be likely 10x the price of 1000 copies. But 10,000 copies on litho would likely only be the cost of the paper and another few minutes on the printing press (plus other tidbids) but a lot less than digital.
Timewise, it's not practical at all to design something, then pdf it for print when there's a perfectly good print feature in InDesign. Well, I say perfectly good -- it's not really perfect because it limits us to 999 copies!
Keep the theories coming!
I don't know about your equipment, but I've generally found that PDF prints faster on my printers than printing direct from ID (at least as far as getting copy one out). Are you really so sure that you actually save time by letting ID export once, then printing all copies from Acrobat as compared to sending the job four times? And how long does that tie up ID and prevent you from getting on with your other 29 jobs of the day?
Wonderful perspective. Thank you, Peter!
Replying to me? We use a RIP or document server for all output devices other than office printers. Anything that would be considered a salable product we produce goes through a RIP or document server of one sort or the next, regardless of whether it is color digital, black and white digital, rollfed, sheetfed, offset, or digital cutting.
From the perspective of being a tightwad I'd just as soon have someone whose core competency is printing do the printing through Acrobat and that person wouldn't necessarily know the difference between InDesign, Quark, Photoshop, etc. There are plenty of people in the digital printing world who never touch InDesign. Very few who never touch Acrobat. My boss would tell me I need my head examined if I had to maintain InDesign licenses on machines that could get by with Acrobat Reader at minimum and Acrobat Pro at most.