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How to Preflight in InDesign

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Read Time: 4 min

Ever wondered how to Preflight in InDesign? What is Preflight anyway? In this quick tutorial, we'll take a look at what Preflight is in InDesign, where to find it, and how to do it.

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What Is Preflight in InDesign?

So what does Preflight mean in InDesign? If you're working in InDesign, Preflight will likely be an important part of your process.

In many cases, you'll likely submit your InDesign document to a printer or other provider of printing services. This is a big deal—the last thing any of us wants is to get our prints back with mistakes! This is what Preflight is for: you're taking the time to check your work for quality standards.

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In the Preflight panel, InDesign will help warn you of any problems that may come up in the printing process. 

Here's a quick cheat sheet to help get you started:

  • What is Preflight in InDesign? A method of checking your work for errors before you send it off to print, both traditionally or digitally. 
  • Where is Preflight in InDesign? Turn to the Preflight panel, although InDesign will often give warnings when you export too.
  • Curious about how to Preflight in InDesign? We'll cover the basics in this walkthrough, but keep in mind this is about finding the errors. Once you've found them, you'll need to address them.

1. How to Preflight in InDesign

Step 1

Let's start with the basics: where is Preflight in InDesign? We need to head to the Preflight panel. InDesign makes that easy for us via Window > Output > Preflight.

Here's what the Preflight panel in InDesign looks like. At the top of the panel, we can toggle Preflight on or off. To check out how it works, make sure you have it toggled on.

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Step 2

In this particular document, there are no errors. If we take a look at the bottom of the panel, you'll see a green dot here, and it says "No Errors". We're all clear! Everything in our document is looking good.

To the right of this, you'll notice that we can change which pages in our document are being checked. In this case, InDesign is checking the entire document, but you could specify particular pages if you prefer.

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Step 3

Now, let's take a look at what things look like when there's an error. In this case, I deliberately broke my image link—I moved the image source so that its path changed, and InDesign didn't know where to look for it anymore. This is a problem because then we're left with a low-resolution preview instead of the high-resolution file. 

Take a look at the Preflight panel in InDesign now. We see the error type (LINK), what the error is (Missing Link), and the name of the missing file. We can click on the name of the missing file to jump to it in our design.

With the name of the missing file selected, we can also check out more information in the info section, further down in the Preflight panel. This will further explain the error.

See how this could really come in handy? This way, you're not left guessing what's going wrong. InDesign takes that guesswork out of the equation for us. To fix this error, relink your images so the paths are correct.

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Step 4

Let's take a look at another common error. This time, we'll work with Overset Text. This means text that has gone over the designated text box, so we can't see it. Imagine if you were setting a lot of text for a book or a newsletter, and you didn't realize the last few sentences were missing. That would be a pretty big mistake. 

Take a look at what this error looks like in the Preflight panel. This time, it's a TEXT error, described as Overset Text, and then it lists the text frame where the issue occurs. As with our image error, we can click to conveniently jump to the specific text box.

To solve this error, make sure none of your text is overset. You could do things like deleting some of the excess text or resizing your text boxes (or text sizes) so the content fits.

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Now You Know How to Preflight in InDesign

Preflight in InDesign is designed to help you keep your work error-free. Remember to keep an eye out for those errors before you print or share your work.

Want to learn more about Adobe InDesign? Check out these other free Adobe InDesign tutorials right here at Envato Tuts+

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