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Creep setting is book thickness in InDesign CC 2017...?

Explorer ,
Dec 01, 2017 Dec 01, 2017

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I recently inherited some booklets that we print on an in-house copier. They have enough pages that they need to be adjusted for creep. The designer who set them up before seems to have entered the Creep value as the amount of movement per sheet, 0.004 inch for example. The printed booklets are acceptable, but I always thought the files didn't have enough creep. Setting the Creep value to the thickness of the book, 0.15 inch in this case, moved the text out more like I expected. Using the thickness value in this creep formula gave the 0.004 inch value the previous designer used: Creep = thickness of book/(number of sheets -1).

So is the "Creep" setting in InDesign actually a spine width value that the software uses to calculate the actual creep?

Thanks,

-Tami

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Community Expert , Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

Creep is an age old term in the printing industry changing the name doesn't make sense. The creep value is based on the thickness of a sheet of paper as you can't determine the booklet thickness without knowing that value. I think you're right though, I think the creep value in InDesign is the total amount of creep required based on the paper thickness. InDesign calculates the value per sheet (2 printers spreads) and normally you enter a negative value to push the image area closer to the spine

...

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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Hi Tami,

The only place where you can enter a creep value in InDesign is when you use the Print Booklet command. Beyond that, there's no creep setting within the InDesign document itself. I'm wondering if the designer possibly adjusted this manually? By moving the pages towards the spine by your defined value? It should be pretty easy to tell when you look at the doc because your x values will shift from page to page.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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The original designer could have saved the end result from an older version of InDesign, using the Build Booklet function to assemble the printer's spreads. I run across this a lot. So while the original designer may have created the file automatically, fixing it becomes a mechanical process on the current user.

There are two ways to fix this:

1) For a file you may be in once or twice, try the difference between the preset creep and your desired creep using the current File>Print Booklet... function. Chad's technique for measuring the original creep works well, as does going old school and using a set of uncut sheets and a pica pole. There will be waste, because this is often a trial and error process. If you can, print to PDF or print the center signature so you can measure up your results.

Or ...

2) For a file you'll be in a lot in the future, don't even try to manipulate the original file. It stinks, but it's much better to create a new InDesign document named [document name] - Straight Up.indd and copy the pages into reader's spreads with the original document's margins. If you want to use it as an editable document, it may or may not make sense to relink/rethread the text between pages (depending on your document layout). By taking the variables out of the pre-built original documents, you get a serviceable InDesign file where the settings you set are the results you get.

Short story – If you're going to be working in this document a lot, it may be worth the effort to rebuild it in a new InDesign document.

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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Thanks for the responses Chad and Randy. I've been looking into creep on the web, and it can be something of a rabbit hole!

I'm not having a problem adjusting the creep. It's just that the term "Creep" in the InDesign UI seems confusing. As I understand it, creep is the amount each page should move relative to the center of each spread. But when I enter that amount, the actual creep in the PDF is too small. The value seems to be used as the booklet's thickness, which InDesign then divides among the pages to get the amount of creep actually used.

For example, when I enter the booklet's thickness, 0.15 inch, as the Creep value in the Print Booklet dialog, the lines above and below the spine on the first spread in the PDF are 0.15 inch apart:

creep_1st_spread_0.15.jpg

Then as I move through the spreads to the center of the booklet, the lines get closer together, moving closer in increments 0.004 inch, which (as I understand it) is the actual creep amount.

So I'm suggesting that the term "Creep" in the UI should actually be "Booklet Thickness".

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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Creep is an age old term in the printing industry changing the name doesn't make sense. The creep value is based on the thickness of a sheet of paper as you can't determine the booklet thickness without knowing that value. I think you're right though, I think the creep value in InDesign is the total amount of creep required based on the paper thickness. InDesign calculates the value per sheet (2 printers spreads) and normally you enter a negative value to push the image area closer to the spine to compensate for the upshot that occurs when a signature is folded and when signatures are nested inside of one another. You can read more about it here Create printer spreads for booklet printing in Adobe InDesign..

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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The two are interrelated.

Just as the booklet gets "taller" with more sheets of paper by the thickness of each sheet, the difference of position between the outer-most and inner-most of the page signatures will move out from the saddle with more sheets of paper by the thickness of each sheet.

SaddleStitch w-Legends.jpg

Creep accounts for the difference between the edge of the outer-most and inner-most page signature. If you do it correctly, when the book is trimmed the outside margin of every page will be the same width measurement for every page of the booklet. If you disassembled a correctly built booklet, you'd find that the gutter space – the distance between the margins in each spread – grows proportionately at double the paper thickness (accounting for a difference of the paper thickness on each side of the spread), multiplied by how many sheets the signature is away from the inner-most page signature of the booklet.

So if your .15-inch measurement off the cover form (.075-inches on each side of the gutter) accounted for a 20-page booklet made from five .015-inch sheets, folding it over would also measure .15 inches.

Hope this helps,

Randy

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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The two are interrelated.

Yes you are right—the problem I'm showing only happens when the sheets are flat. Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

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My post only confused the issue, so I deleted it.

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Explorer ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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I see these are very old posts, so in case anyone is still monitoring, I need to create a PDF of a booklet. The Print Booklet command just results in printing to a known printer. The only way I can produce a file is by making a postscript, but then running Acrobat Distiller but it only produces a file with left-hand pages with no bleeds or crop marks. Print to PDF is not available, although if I drill down through these dialogs: Print Settings > Printer > Save to PDF, I then get a dialog stating "The Save as PDF option in the printer dialog is not supported."

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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Yes, very old but nothing's changed. This is the printer's job, not yours.

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Explorer ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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I am the printer (and a designer). But when customers supply final PDFs with no creep, we're in a pickle. I am hoping to request their ID files so I can generate the creep because no one out there among this generation of designers seems to have a clue.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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To get PDF from Print Booklet you need to install the ADPDF9.PPD printer description. You can download it from me at https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/U7yf0VHnH5

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Explorer ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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Thanks. Worth a try.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2023 Oct 09, 2023

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Doesn't your RIP (step) allow imposition adjustment? In my experience, printers only want/need/use square-up single pages and do all imposition, ordering, flipping, duplicating and things like margin and creep adjustment in their press setup. None of that falls back to the designer or source file layout.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2017 Dec 03, 2017

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I've written a piece some time ago about Creep on my blog: https://colecandoo.com/2011/05/06/being-creeped-out/

Compensation for Creep/Shingling/Thrust/Push-out (referred to as Creep from this point) isn't done in InDesign panels with the exception of Print Booklet, it's normally something that's done during the page imposition stage by the printing company that is printing the book.

Page imposition software such as Fuji XMF, Fiery Command Workstation and AGFA Apogee usually deal with imposition by taking the page artwork and pushing it towards the spine incrementally, clipping at the spine until reaching the middle of the book:

creep1.png

However, while this treatment of creep preserves the art on the foredges of the artwork, it creates an issue with art that crosses readers spreads in that they will no longer line up correctly:

creep2.png

AGFA apogee does have an alternate way of compensating for creep, and that is to adjust the width of the artwork only based on its position from the spine. This preserves the appearance of artwork that crosses a readers spread. The downside is that the artwork has been scaled non-proportionally, but the issue of its distortion is subjective and may be appropriate to some people and unacceptable for others. I've provided an exaggerated example below:

creep3.png

Creep affects any books that contain folded sections, but the bind method affects how much creep needs to be applied. On a saddle stitched/stapled book, the entire book will have to be compensated for creep; but on a burst bound/section sewn book, the creep needs to be applied to each folded signature separately (e.g. a book made of 5 x 32pp sections and 1 x 16pp section will need to have two creep values - one for the 32pp sections, and one for the 16pp section).

When designing books, it's always important to consider what will happen to the artwork that is close to the spine and foredge, regardless of its binding method. Don't assume that it will be identical to the screen, understand that books have binding margins; machinery that is involved with producing the books have margins of error such as the press, folding machines, or three-knives.

If the answer wasn't in my post, perhaps it might be on my blog at colecandoo!

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