Tips & Tricks

Acrobat 6, InDesign CS -- Printing to Adobe PDF from OSX

March 28, 2005


This tip has been added by popular request. On installation of Adobe Acrobat, the Adobe PDF printer is added to the list of printers in your printer utility (Applications/Utilities folder). This printer can be used to output files to PDF directly as if printing to a normal PostScript printer. The following example is using Adobe InDesign as the source application for the document printed.

Printer setting from within InDesign

Start by selecting the Print command from the application from which you are printing, and select the Adobe PDF as your printer.

Print setup

When printing to Adobe PDF from InDesign CS, you select paper size "custom", as InDesign's print feature will automatically extend the media size of the PDF that is to be created with space allocated for things like bleed, slug and registration marks. The document in the example contains a bleed.

Marks and bleed

n the Marks and Bleed section of the InDesign print dialog box I enable the "Use Document Bleed Settings" feature. This will extend the PDF media size by 3 mm all around. In some applications you will be required to manually add the bleed requirements to the media size (paper size you are printing to), check the documentation for your application for more information on this.

Continue to set the required settings for Output, Graphics and Color Management, Advanced. The example below is used to create a process color PDF file.

Saving print preset from InDesign CS

Having saved your preset you are now ready to Print. Click Print in the OSX print dialog box. You will be prompted to name and save the PDF file. Click on Save to return to the InDesign print dialog box.

Save As

Then click Print again, to start generating your PDF file.

Use Acrobat's Preflight command to check the accuracy of your PDF prior to sending it to your commercial printer.

This tip originally appeared on, and has been reproduced with permission.

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