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Tips for better printing from Adobe InDesign

Aug 12, 2014 8:31:09 AM / by

If you are using Adobe InDesign to print to office equipment, export your file to a PDF before sending the file to the printer.  This will resolve a number of communication issues between InDesign and your office equipment. I hope the tips and information below end some frustrations from printing from Adobe InDesign.


InDesign is a Layout program.

With each release InDesign adds new editing tools, but the basic principle has always been to build documents for print.  Elements of your layout should be created in the other software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc..) then placed in InDesign.

Files are Linked not Embedded

To save file size, InDesign does not embed files into the layout, it only creates a link to the original file and displays a thumbnail. When you print or export, those links are pulled into the file and your design is created. This is my main reason for not printing directly from InDesign. Use your computer resources to build the file, not the printers resources. Remember - even if you use a small cropped part of a large image, InDesign will still pull the entire image when printing.

Advanced Printing Features

The print properties dialog in InDesign has a lot of output options. The booklet option is probably the most frustrating one. I've seen many users click the default, "Print Booklet" and the result is usually just printed sheets. The problem is that most copiers that can print booklets, like to build the booklet and don't like to be told by the software how to do it. Export your file to a PDF (single 8.5 x 11 pages) and then use the printer's settings to print a booklet.

..But it's added steps in the printing process.

Yes. Exporting to a PDF adds additional steps to your printing process, however you will either wait for the export or wait for the printer. Don't forget, you many not be the only one waiting for a job to print at the copier. I've seen a number of large jobs deleted simply because a co-worker didn't want to wait and deleted jobs ahead of theirs.

I hope these tips help. Leave any further question in the comment section.

Topics: adobe indesign, booklet printing, Phillips Office Solutions, printing, Printing and Publishing, Tips and Resources

Michael Brandt

Written by Michael Brandt

I’m Michael Brandt and I write about a number of topics including events, activities and marketing. I also share ideas and tips. @mikebrandt13

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