PDF to Book

Locked InDesign Sizing suggestion, multiple PDF/X3 export standards

Having gone through the same sizing problems that many of you have gone through, I thought I would share what I have discovered about sizing and exporting InDesign files. I am working with CS4, but it should help anyone using InDesign and possibly those designing new templates.

The biggest problem is that there are TWO PDF/X3 standards floating around. One is the standard standard, the other is the Blurb standard, which is downloaded with the InDesign Templates. They are the same, except that the “Use Document Bleed Settings” check box is checked in the Blurb standard. If you use this with the templates it includes the extra 1/4 inch allowed for the bleed and all is good. If you use the standard PDF/X3 to export your pdf, your file will be shy by the amount of your bleed and your preflight will fail.

The same thing will happen if you use the book_size_calculator. Setting InDesign’s File > Document Setup : Page Size = Blurb’s Trim size (with bleeds set correctly) will give you good results if you export with Blurb’s modified PDF/X3 standard but will be too small with the standard PDF/X3. On the other hand, if you set you Page Size to Blurb’s “Final, exported PDF/X3” and use Blurb’s modified standard your page will be too large. In this case, exporting with the standard standard is a working (but not the best) choice—with this kluge you will lose an extra 1/8" that had been considered bleed.

The most consistent and understandable (with the language used in printing and page layout software) results come from setting Trim Size = Page size, setting the bleeds correctly, and exporting with “Blurb PDF X-3 Export Preset”, or using the standard PDF/X3 and then checking “Use Document Bleed Settings” in the Marks and Bleeds panel before exporting. Hopefully this will be clarified in future documentation.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

wp

Posted by
woodmanp
Aug 12, 2009 8:42am PDT
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woodmanp
 

Thank you so very much for this clarification! I’ve been struggling to get thigs right and as the upload methods are not many, it is really a pain in the a**. I hope this will do the trick. The guys at blurb.com have to adjust the templates, don’t they? Or at least make this information as prominent possible for everyone not too savvy in DTP.

Posted by
ginita
Aug 16, 2009 2:29pm PDT
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ginita
 

I am exporting to the "Blurb PDF/X 3 present…) It has the bleed preset already checked – do I need to check the “Crops” box as well – when I do everything looks off on the final preview.

I am using inDesign – NOT an expert by any means and you seem to know what your talking about, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Renee

Posted by
reneemueller
Aug 20, 2009 4:18am PDT
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reneemueller
 

Hmm. Renee, I’m not sure what the “Crops” box is, but if it you check it and “everything looks off.” then I would uncheck it. I’m guessing that you have checked something inside the “Marks” section of the Marks and Bleeds dialog. My post was about the “Use Document Bleed Settings” checkbox in the “Bleed and Slug” section of that same panel. I would use that export setting exactly as Blurb has it set up, and use it instead of the built-in PDF/X3 setting that comes with InDesign.

And ginita, the templates seem fine to me, it is the instructions for using the templates that caused my problem. They make it seem like you can use the PDF/X3 setting that is built in to InDesign without pointing out that there is a difference between that setting and the one that you download with Blurb’s templates. Pointing out that difference will be easy to do.

Good luck.

wp

Posted by
woodmanp
Aug 26, 2009 7:19am PDT
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woodmanp
 

Thanks for the clarification regarding checking the "Use Document Bleed Settings" box.

I have been wondering how to install or load the Blurb preset. I have not seen information on that. I was assuming there would be a "load preset" button in the expoert to PDF dialog box. All I saw was save preset. I also tried dragging the joboptions file to my acrobat settings folder where the others are stored, but that did not work. Any recommendations?

Posted by
Neil_WTI
Oct 16, 2009 1:52pm PDT
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Neil_WTI
 

The instructions for loading the Blurb preset are given in the Blurb documentation that comes with the templates.

Posted by
cbnewham
Oct 17, 2009 12:55am PDT
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cbnewham
 

I’m using the Blurb PDF X-3 Export Preset for my cover and I have set up the document settings to match what the calculator wanted. I put the cover image in to the bleed lines of course, but then at export it is exporting the full image which is 9pts greater on each side obviously, so then it doesn’t get Preflight Approved.

What do I do to make it work?

thanks…

Posted by
slybacon9
Mar 26, 2011 2:28pm PDT
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slybacon9
 

Hello slybacon9,

The Preflight expects the bleed set in our templates to be exported along with the document size, so this is correct. If you have used the downloadable InDesign template and have installed the Blurb PDF/X-3 Export Preset as described in our InDesign Guide, then your PDFs will export at the correct size.

The only template you will need to adjust is if you are designing a Softcover book. The variable Softcover spine requires a modification of the template. Instructions for doing this can be found here. This modification ONLY appiies to Softcovers. Do not modify any other templates.

Thanks!

-Joe

Posted by
JoeCro
Mar 26, 2011 2:55pm PDT
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