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Adobe InDesign PDF Export Guide

This is a guide to help you convert a newspaper designed in Adobe InDesign into a PDF ready for upload to Newspaper Club.

InDesign to PDF

Not using InDesign?

If you're not using Adobe InDesign to design your paper, we've produced some instructions that are common to every desktop publishing package, as well as guides for other pieces of software.

View our other export guides

First things first…

Make sure you're exporting a PDF/X-1a:2001 format file. This is the simplest kind of PDF, and ensures that any advanced PDF features are stripped from your file, making it much less likely to have any printing issues.

If you’ve selected this, then most of the following options should be set up correctly, but we’ll go through each of them in turn in the sections below.

InDesign Export as PDF screenshot

General Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, general tab

Pages: set this to ‘all’ unless there are certain pages you don’t want to print. Either way, we need the correct number of pages to ensure your newspaper is printable. Make sure ‘spreads’ is unticked.

Options: untick all of these. Only export ‘Visible and Printable Layers’.

Include: make sure all of these are unticked, and ‘Interactive Elements’ is set to Do Not Include.

Compression Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, compression tab

We recommend you set the image resolution to a maximum of 300 ppi — anything higher and you’ll make your file slower to upload, without any improvement in quality.

Marks and Bleeds Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, Marks and Bleeds tab

Make sure all of these are unticked.

If you are exporting a Mini, tick ‘Use Document Bleed Settings’ to include the bleed area in your PDF.

Output Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, output tab

You shouldn’t need to change anything here.

Advanced Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, advanced tab

You shouldn’t need to change anything here.

Security Settings

InDesign PDF export screenshot, security tab

You shouldn’t need to change anything here.

Summary

InDesign PDF export screenshot, summary tab

Usually there isn’t anything in the Warnings box, but if you’ve used transparencies there might be an indication that they will be flattened.