So you’re happy with your translation, and would now like to proceed with the printing process. We will now talk you through the basics of creating a document that’s ready for printing.
First of all, it is essential to make sure that the document’s dimensions are exactly the same as in the original source file. To check this in InDesign, go to File, then Document Setup. The document’s dimensions will then be shown as below:
The most important item for the printer here is the bleed and bleed area, so that he knows exactly where the edges of the document will lie. A “bleed” is any object (such as an image, text, colour, etc) that extends past the edge of the area to be printed. No printing press can print exactly to the edge of a piece of paper, especially if hundreds or thousands of sheets are being printed. Therefore if you have inserted a bleed, your piece must be printed on a larger size of paper and then reduced to your finished size. It is important to communicate clearly with your printer provider to ensure this point has been fully understood on both sides. As you can see in the settings above, our bleed is 0.5 cm. You can see the bleed area of the document in the screenshot below:
Creating and printing your final PDF.
To export your file to a print-ready PDF, select File, then Export. When the export menu appears, select the Marks and Bleeds tab, and tick the All Printer’s marks boxes, as shown below. Also make sure that the Use Document Bleed Settings option is ticked. For best results, always make sure you are printing in the highest quality, as in the example below:
Once you have exported to PDF, all crop and bleed marks will be displayed, as below.
These marks explained:
Crop Marks: small lines offset from the edge of the finished piece that tell the printer where to cut or trim the final page to a finished size. These will not appear on the finished piece. As a general rule, do not change the default settings of these marks unless you know a specific reason to do so.
Colour Bars: These sit outside the printed area and are used to correlate the different colours or plates used in offset lithography. Please check with your printer if it is necessary to display these marks, as it may not always be necessary.
So there you have the core elements for preparing your documents for printing. We will also give you some tips soon on how to optimise your colours and graphics, so stay tuned. And remember, if you have any doubts, always check with your printer before firing up the presses.