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InDesign booklet: Export as PDF instead of printing

Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Instead of printing an InDesign booklet (with correct imposition) is it possible to instead export it as a PDF?

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Community Expert , Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

Hi @mttplbkp , InDesign’s Print Booklet has more imposition features than Acrobat’s Booklet—you can impose for perfect binding, set signature sizes, add a creep amount, apply printer marks.

 

Screen Shot 1.png

 

 

In order to Print a postcript file you need to install the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD, which can be downloaded from this page:

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/add-acrobat-ppd.html

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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No, and I'll add my usual soapbox statement:

There should be no reason at all to provide anyone with an imposed document. If you're using this for inhouse printing, export a proper PDF and use Acrobat's booklet printing feature.

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Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Thanks, but is it possible to do this whilst including bleed + crop marks?

 

If I export a PDF as individual pages (with bleed / crop marks) then I end up with a gap in the middle of the spread when I go to print as a booklet from Acrobat

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Inside bleed should be set to zero. 

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Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Thanks, I've removed the inside bleed but the crop marks still cause a gap in the middle.

Is it possible to add the crop marks in through Acrobat to trim off the bleed that is already on the PDF?

 

Screenshot 2023-02-01 at 15.13.09.png

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Hi @mttplbkp , InDesign’s Print Booklet has more imposition features than Acrobat’s Booklet—you can impose for perfect binding, set signature sizes, add a creep amount, apply printer marks.

 

Screen Shot 1.png

 

 

In order to Print a postcript file you need to install the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD, which can be downloaded from this page:

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/add-acrobat-ppd.html

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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Can Acrobat export an imposed PDF? I would really like to send a ready-to-be-printed document to a family member without guiding them through printing dialogs. It would of course be much easier if I could just get the PDF out of inDesign.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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No, but Acrobat can print an imposed pdf using file> Print> Booklet.

If you need crop marks on your imposed pdf, there is a work-around to eliminate inside crop marks:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/booklet-and-bleed/m-p/9737476

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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If your family member can’t handle the print dialog are they really going to be able to duplex, collate, fold, and staple the printer spreads?

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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Printing duplex is nothing new for them, yes, any printing software can print duplex. Folding and stapling will be done by hand.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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Printing duplex is nothing new for them

 

Then Acrobat’s booklet feature shouldn’t be a challenge, it would just be a matter of selecting a paper size that can contain the spread, and clicking Booklet in the print dialog:

 

Screen Shot 25.png

 

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 15, 2023 Apr 15, 2023

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@LauchMitSchlauch Please note: So even though your family member can navigate printing the booklet themselves, they should note what may happen to the sizing of the pages.

Acrobat's Booklet Printing's major flaw is that it prints the pages within the printable area of the selected paper size, and this is variable depending on what kind of printer and its abilities.

It also does this by using the smallest dimension that will fit inside the printable area on each side of the sheet.

It then scales the pages to FIT, CENTERED on each of these printable areas. It DOES NOT start at the center of the sheet and go out from there, despite what others may think would be logical.

In a perfect world, an 5.5"x8.5" booklet will print perfectly in a 11"x 8.5" paper that images the entire sheet with no unprintable margins. (Top of A in my illustration).

Of course, most printers can't print full image, so Acrobat reduces the pages proportionally within each side. You have no control over this (again: major flaw). Depending on the proportional reduction, gaps may start to show between the pages.

Many inkjets have a larger non-printable margin on one end of a sheet due to the necessity to grip the head of the page properly, so Acrobat's sizing gets even smaller on these (C) to keep everything within that space but still be physically centered on the sheet, even though there might be more printable aea availble at the other end (C).

Even if you had a printer capable of printing to the edge of the sheet, if you add bleed and trim marks, these also get reduced (bottom of A), or even more on a sheet with a margin (B & C).

SO, not at all ideal. and definitely not professional.

 

Using InDesign's Print Booklet does things properly. Unfortunately, what it can't do is Export a PDF that way, Right now the only way is to to Print to Postscript (using the Acrobat PPD mentioned earlier) and Distill a PDF from that (or: If you have a Win machine and an Acrobat PDF (or any PDF printer driver installed), you can forego the print to Postscript step and Print from InDesign's Print Booklet directly to your PDF printer driver).

The drawback here (and this is what gets "people" up in arms) is that printing this way requires flattening of the file (transprency effects etc), but for your own printer of even your familiy's printer, this is not a big deal and will likely have zero impact in the quality of your printout. Of course, you never want to do this to send to a professional printer. Even decent copyshops can properly booklet proper PDF files from properly made single page PDFs.

Screen Shot 2023-04-15 at 2.27.20 PM.png

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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Thanks very much! That will help

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Community Expert ,
Apr 16, 2023 Apr 16, 2023

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For simple in-house impositions, you can try this script—it imitates Print Booklet, but Exports the imposition:

 

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/3bfdb004-f188-4f3d-5904-d82dd8f8e2d1

 

Dialog:

Screen Shot 28.png

 

Run:

Screen Shot 27.png

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Contributor ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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Yes you can "print" the pdf to a PostScript file (when you choose which printer) and then open the .ps file in Acrobat Distiller, this will then generate an imposed PDF.

 

I don't get why we can't just export like this direct from InDesign, but at least it's still do-able

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2023 Apr 17, 2023

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I don't get why we can't just export like this direct from InDesign

 

Because imposition is a print related task and should be handled at print output not export. It’s like trapping, separations, screening, etc.—settings which are all dependent on a particular press condition and are not included in a PDF Export.

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Contributor ,
Apr 19, 2023 Apr 19, 2023

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Yes but sometimes it's good to be able to do a quick test on your own printer before sending it to the printers

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Community Expert ,
Apr 19, 2023 Apr 19, 2023

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Then test via the Print dialog— in any case you would be limited by your printer’s capabilities.

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