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Print InDesign document to PostScript file

Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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Can anyone think of any reason to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign and then convert to PDF using Adobe® Acrobat Distiller? Ever?

I am asking for serious answers, please.

I am asking because InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book mentions this as a viable option on page 263 in the lesson on Printing and Exporting.

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Print InDesign document to PostScript file

Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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Can anyone think of any reason to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign and then convert to PDF using Adobe® Acrobat Distiller? Ever?

I am asking for serious answers, please.

I am asking because InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book mentions this as a viable option on page 263 in the lesson on Printing and Exporting.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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Serious answer - in Russia still many firms have old imagesetters, and they are in working state.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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In my opinion, only a very ancient workflow would use PostScript and Acrobat Distiller. It should never be recommended in a book.

I wrote a post for InDesignSecrets.com in 2006 about why you should use File > Export > PDF [now PDF (Print)] which lists all the reasons we use that far superior workflow. It's even more true today.

Creating PDF: Export or Use Distiller? - InDesignSecrets ...

EDIT: Not too many Russian readers of Classroom in a Book, I'd bet.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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@Steve Werner

Yes, you are right. "Classroom in a Book" is a lamer yellow-paper. Russian like to read full help in PDF

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign

Occasionally the question of how to deliver an imposed booklet to a copy service where there is no imposition capability comes up (there's no imposition option via Export). In that case there is the Print Booklet option which works fine with the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD. You could easily have a document with no complex transparency or downstream color management needs, which would survive that workflow.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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Thank George, Steve, and Rob, for the answers so far.

I used to do the .ps to Distiller 25 years ago, but it is not something I would teach or encourage people to do now, especially new students.

George, the old imagesetters don't take PDFs?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2017

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Actually, even old imagesetters can be output from PDF files. It's the old printers (meaning, the people doing the printing) who don't want to change old workflows.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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>> George, the old imagesetters don't take PDFs?

Yes, they are have some unique .ps drivers.

In Russian army we have the proverb: don't touch hardware if this hardware work good. If this imagesetters still work, why not? InDesign have it this old feature, - let it be.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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If a student asks me about Step 11, George, may I use your proverb in class?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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jane-e  wrote

Can anyone think of any reason to ever print to PostScript® from InDesign and then convert to PDF using Adobe® Acrobat Distiller? Ever?

Yes.

But not in my regular workflow.

1. Working around with bugs in PDF Export:

If something goes wrong with PDF Export I would test the PostScript => Distiller => PDF workflow to see if there is a bug with PDF Export or if it's something else.

2. Very special workflow where I am using small EPS files with PostScript programming instructions.
The technical term is pdfmark instructions for e.g. formfield creation with PDFs. Even JavaScript for the formfields is possible.

PDF Export will not pass the instructions to the exported PDF. Distiller will transform them into valid PDF widgets etc.pp. if the code has no bugs 😉 .

3. Minimizing PDF file size for web viewing.

If you know what you are doing with Distiller settings this could give you a better quality/file size ratio than the options you have with Acrobat Pro DC. Depends of the job of course.

Just a question:

is InDesign (2017 Release) Classroom in a Book also telling where to get the ADPDF9.PPD printer description file, explains what a PPD file is, and how to install it? If not, this chapter about printing to PostScript is indeed misleading and perhaps should be taken out. Or at least marked as deprecated together with some explanations.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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Screenshot. The first 10 steps go through the Print Settings and creating a Preset. They say it as if it's a normal course of action.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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And my point is: Classroom is a Book is a book to teach beginners good practices to use in InDesign. The book is sold in first world countries (primarily US and Europe, I'd guess) where the technology is available to follow best practices.

At best, PostScript is a special case situation which would be used by people with a lot of graphic arts knowledge who generally understand the limitations of the process, or old operators who don't like to change their methods.

It's not appropriate to teach it in Classroom in a Book.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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jane-e  wrote

Screenshot. The first 10 steps go through the Print Settings and creating a Preset. They say it as if it's a normal course of action.

Hi Jane,

I assume the export to PDF workflow is also part of CIB…
So I think, it's just one of the capabilities—among others—of inDesign's output options that is described here.

At least, I hope the bigger weight lies on InDesign's PDF Export feature.

What is alerting with step 11 is this:

"The PostScript file could be provided to your service provider or commercial printer…"

Providing a PostScript file will not happen. Everyone who is right in his/her mind will refuse it.

We all know here: That's a workflow of the last century.

Who is the author of Classroom in a Book ?

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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Uwe—yes, Export to PDF is covered first.

The chapter covers preflight, then packaging, then creating a PDF proof (via Export). The exercise in question covers the options in the Print dialog box and creating a print preset. In step 10, we save the print preset as "Proof". Then comes the final step 11 that Jane has shown above.

Not that anyone cares at this point, but the exercise is on pages 360–363 (not 263 as cited).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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I think the people who we should be telling are probably John Cruise and Kelly Kordes Anton, who are listed as the authors. I think they have been authors of the InDesign CIB since at least the CS5 book (I have a copy of that one). They're not the authors of CS3, my oldest copy.

It could be that they have just left that section unchanged for many editions, and no one pointed it out to them.

However, I don't have contact info for either one of them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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I can put Jane in touch with them, Steve, if that's how she wants to proceed. Or she can take a less confrontational approach and put it on the Errata Submission page: Contact Us | Peachpit.

I see this as a bigger issue than the one sentence, Steve. I teach from a lot of the CIB books and have for my entire career (the oldest CIB on my shelf is the Advanced Photoshop for version 3). I think Adobe should be working with the book authors, particularly on the printing-related issues which is where this keeps surfacing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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Yes, it is a bigger issue.

I fix the files themselves, especially in the InDesign CIB to add styles where they are not used (best practices) and to check the defaults for text wrap, character styles, paragraph styles, and object styles so that when a beginner opens a document and types in new text, it isn't 26/30 Bold and new frames aren't drawn already formatted. I fix anywhere from a half dozen to three dozen things in each chapter and the students use my fixed files.

I think I'll put this one on the Errata page.

And thanks for all of the feedback! I wrote it at the end of a long, frustrating day of going through the book and making changes to the files, and that one paragraph stopped me in my tracks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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To deal with the bigger picture, we could start a thread on the subject in the ACP (Adobe Community Professional) forum. I haven't checked. Are both of you in the ACP? I covers all the Adobe apps and through the staff like Tricia we have a way of getting to the right people in Adobe.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Steve+Werner  wrote

To deal with the bigger picture, we could start a thread on the subject in the ACP (Adobe Community Professional) forum. I haven't checked. Are both of you in the ACP?

Yes, Steve, we are both ACPs, moderators, ACIs, and CTTs.

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