Signature Book Printing - Book Printer

Configurations for InDesign

InDesign is the most modern, most powerful page layout program today. It has grown to eclipse the old standard QuarkXpress in popularity.

We accept book materials in a wide variety of file formats and work with them comfortably, but when we do layout work ourselves we use InDesign.

The InDesign feature of  Transparency is a powerful tool for designers, enabling exciting and sophisticated effects, but transparency can be tricky.  It has to be flattened at some stage for printing. This can take place either as the PDF files are being made (by exporting as PDF version 1.3 = Acrobat version 4), or it can be done as a separate step after the PDFs have been exported.

There are two critical elements in getting successful flattening:

1) The Transparency Blend Space and all of the (non-spot) colors in the InDesign file must be in the same color model, and that should be CMYK. Otherwise, colors can be converted back and forth among the CMYK and RGB models as InDesign or Acrobat flattens the files. This can lead to wrong colors in the flattened file.  The Transparency Blend Space can be set under the Edit menu.

2) Where regions affected by transparency overlap with strokes or type, the strokes and type need to be above the transparency layer.  Otherwise they will be affected by the flattening (they will be rasterized), and the quality of the type or stroke may change at the boundary of the transparency region.

Here are our presets for Flattening and for Exporting PDFs from InDesign:

These presets are based on some assumptions about your setup and workflow.  For example, if you built your INDD workflow with continuous tone images that have excessively large resolution, then in the export to PDF, you'll need to set the downsampling to 300 dpi.  (The reason the preset doesn't automatically do this downsampling is that for some situations, such as with fine linework or engravings, you'll want to leave the resolution higher.)

The presets also assume you have your bleeds set up correctly.

For InDesign CS2  Start by grabbing these files

Before you load the other two presets, first load the transparency preset.  This is necessary for the print and PDF presets to work correctly

    Transparency Flattener Preset Instructions
        a)  Go to the "Edit" menu
        b)  Select "Transparency Flattener Presets"
        c)  Click on "Load"
        d)  Load  Signature_TransFlat_Settings.flst

Now for the others

    Print Preset Instructions
        a)  Go to the "File" menu
        b)  Select "Print Presets"
        c)  Click on "Define"
        d)  Click on "Load"
        e)  Load Signature_Print_Settings.prst

    PDF Export Preset Instructions
        a)  Go to the "File" menu
        b)  Select "Adobe PDF Presets"
        c)  Click on "Define"
        d)  Click on "Load"
        e)  Load Signature_Export PDF_Settings.joboptions

Then when you print or export to PDF, use these presets in the appropriate places in the InDesign configuration screens which appear after you start the print or export dialog.

If you want more technical detail, it's all in the Adobe white paper "Transparency in Adobe Applications:  A Print Production Guide", available from the Adobe web site here.

For InDesign CS3.  Grab one of these files and uncompress it:

    SBP CS3 Presets.sit    for Mac
    SBP CS3    for PC

We have not provided a Print preset because it's sufficient to export to PDF.  Follow the loading instructions above for CS2 and you're all set.


For InDesign CS4, you can use

    SBP CS4 Presets

(Reminder, set transparency blend space to CMYK.)


For InDesign CS5 or CS5.5, you can use

    SBP CS5 Presets

(Reminder, set transparency blend space to CMYK.)


For InDesign CS6 and all later versions of InDesign, you can use

    SBP CS6 Presets

(Reminder, set transparency blend space to CMYK.)

Signature Book Printing   has been a Book Printer   of choice for the past 25 years. We have been on the web since 1997. From the beginning, we have focused not only on Book Printing   but also on smooth, easy customer service, excellent quality, and very competitive prices .  We have broadened our Book Printing offerings significantly from the beginning. Check out Signature Book Printing  as your Book Printer . As a Book Printer , we have earned the confidence and recommendations of a wide variety of customers nationwide to support their Publishing . Our capabilities include Hard Cover Book Printing , Full Color Book Printing , Case Bound Book Printing , Perfect Bound Book Printing , Smythe Sewn Binding , Soft Cover Book Printing , and Web Book Printing for longer runs.

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Dyn 1 - ver   1997 - 2015  Signature Book Printing, Inc.           Updated 06/29/23 15:15   301-258-8303