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Print Troubleshooting Tips for Adobe InDesign

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Do you need a time-saving companion in the fast-paced world of design?

Adobe InDesign is a commonly used creative design tool across many industries, especially those relating to page layouts and graphic design.

Here are some practical tips to optimize workflows and troubleshoot common InDesign printing challenges.

Documents and Layouts

To ensure a perfect final print, start by inspecting:

Document size and bleed settings. Ensure your document size matches the intended page size and that any bleed (an extra amount of printed image that extends to the edge of a page) is set up correctly. Bleeds usually extend beyond the trim edge by 1/8 inch or 3 mm.

Color profiles. Does the color profile in your document match the printer’s specifications? CMYK is typically used for professional printing.

Image resolution. To avoid pixelation, all images should be 300 dpi or higher.

Fonts. Before sending files to print, all fonts must be embedded. Go to File > Package to include them.

Software & Presets

InDesign comes with many settings that make printing a snap. Here are a few:

Use the PDF/X-1a preset when exporting for printing. This ensures compatibility with most professional printing systems.

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Before printing, go to Window > Output > Preflight to check your document for glitches.

Verify the correct printer is selected in the print dialog box. Use Document to modify settings such as output and color management. Use Print Separations to investigate colors that are displaying incorrectly.

Print-Specific Problems 

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There’s nothing more frustrating than getting paralyzed by last-minute tech troubles. If you’re stuck at the final stages, try any of the following:

  • Confirm that your printer is turned on and properly connected.
  • Make sure the most recent, up-to-date printer drivers are installed.
  • Use the correct paper type and clear any paper jams before attempting a second print run.
  • Streaks or smudges? Check for damaged ink cartridges or clean printheads if needed.
  • Consult with your printer manual or a technician if you experience ghosting or double printing.

Finally, it’s always wise to test print a small part of your document before sending bigger projects to print. If you are working with a professional printer, contact the print service in advance to discuss their preferred settings and requirements.

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