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3.10 Preparing Your Proposal for Print: Preflight

Hey there, we've covered a huge amount over the last few lessons. By this point, your proposal should really be starting to come together. For the purposes of this course, we're not gonna spend too much time building up the content of our proposal. Because once you have the design in place, it's really easy to fill in texts and images as you work. So let's say that your proposal artwork is finished. In this and the next lesson, we're going to talk about translate your proposal from artwork on your screen to a physical printed document. Creating a digital version of a proposal is really simple and you can simply export your art work as a PDF. But if you're looking to send your artwork off to be professionally printed, you'll need to take a few extra steps. In this lesson we're going to look at how to preflight your InDesign document. Performing a preflight simply means that you do a kind of health check of your documents. It highlights any issues of missing fonts or images and whether all the colors you're using are optimized for print. So, let's look at how to do it. Okay, so you can access the preflight panel in the InDesign from the bottom of the workspace. You'll either have a little green circle here with a no errors sign, which is good news, or you'll have a little red circle with a number of errors in the document. Obviously errors are not good but they're really easy to fix so it's nothing to worry about. I'm going to show you a common example of an error that you might encounter in pre flight and show you how you can fix it. One of the things that's really easy to miss especially when you're working with text heavy documents is text overflowing text frames. So if, for example, this text frame is too short to accommodate the text inside it, the preflight color will switch from green to red. So then what you do is you double-click on the errors text to open up the preflight panel. So we can see that this is a text error and expanding this we can see that it's specifically a problem with overset text. Expand again and you can see the page where this error is occurring. If you click on that page, it's going to take you directly to the problem and highlight frame, so you can get the text frame expanded. And once you've done that preflight will check if this is still an issue. And if it's all okay, we'll go back to the green no errors at the bottom. So really your goal with preflight is to make sure that you always have a green no errors symbol in the panel. Other errors you might encounter would be a missing font file, which just requires you to search for either the font or a replacement font. Broken image links can also happen if you move images between folders. Again, this is easy to sort out from the preflight panel. One other thing you need to check which won't be flagged up by the preflight panel is the color modes that you're using in your document. In our previous lesson about color we only created and used CMYK swatches which are suitable for print. But you still need to check if any stray RGB swatches have cropped up in the swatches panel, as these are meant to be use only for digital design not print. It's easy to spot an RGB swatch so let's take a look. So in this swatches panel, for demo's sake, I'm going to change one of our CMYK swatches to an RGB swatch like that. So you can see here that the little square symbol to the right of the swatch is switched from a four colour diamond, which is the CMYK symbol, to a three colours stripe symbol. So before you export your proposal for printing, you need to make sure that all swatches in the panel have the diamond CMYK symbol and that no RGB swatches are present. It's really easy to switch an RGB swatch to CMYK, just double-click on the RGB swatch and choose CMYK from the color mode menu before clicking OK. So once you check your swatches and made sure no errors are showing up in your preflight panel, your print-prep stage is done, and you're ready to export your document as a print-ready PDF. In the next lesson, we're going to explore our artwork which is the final stage in creating our proposal, and the last practical lesson of the course. So you're very nearly at the end and you've worked super hard. Exporting your document is going to be really satisfying, and so I'll see you over there in just a moment.

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