COMM 362: Design for Print
Instructor: Ross Collins

Links and pre-flight exercise

In this short exercise you'll explore the concept of linking text and graphics to your design files, and of running a pre-flight check on files to learn the status of items a printer would need to make your digital mechanical usable. Graphic artists should always run a pre-flight before submitting a digital mechanical to a printer.

1. Set up a new file folder on the student document folder (hard drive) or your own disk. Label it "coffee."

2. Download this InDesign file, save on desktop.

3. Open InDesign. and Open the saved file. You'll see dialogue boxes warning you that some things are missing. Choose Ok, don't fix, and open anyway.

The pink highlighted text indicates font substitutions for fonts you don't have on your machine.

4. Run a pre-flight check to ascertain the status of links to the file. To do this, choose Preflight from the File pulldown. After a moment, you'll have a report on the status of your links. There will be problems, as indicated by the yellow triangles. (Remember the basic shapes? Triangle for tension?)

5. Oh, dear, looks like we'll have to deal with these things. Choose Cancel.

The illustrations you see in the InDesign file are screen illustrations. When you Place an illustration into InDesign, normally what you see is a low-resolution illustration. It is linked to the high-res illustration you have saved. When you print the file, the high-res illustrations will substitute for the low-res. Low-res is used to avoid hogging RAM and so speed up your work. But what happens when you lose the link to the high-res file? You have to find and relink.

6. Make a folder to save your InDesign file, and drag the file into it. Now download globe and java jive clip art from the resources page, illlustrations link at bottom. Save in your folder.

7. Open the Links palette from the Window pulldown. Double click on Globe. In the dialogue box, choose Relink, and find the link in your folder. Keep in mind that unless you embed your graphics and photos in your text (seldom a good idea, except for small files), you need to include those documents in your file for a printer. Otherwise, he'll see an annoying yellow triangle just like this one.

Note: Exporting your document as a pdf embeds all high-resolution illustrations, if linked.

8. Choose Relink. Find your folder and link the globe picture. Do the same for the Java Jive clip art.

9. Hm. Still a wee problem: we do not have the typeface from the original document.

10. Drag over pink highlighted type. Choose a typeface you think complements the newsletter theme.

11. Save, and again run a Pre-flight. Everything okay? Print, sign, hand in for credit.

12. Alternatively, export your file as a pdf: Choose Export from the File Pulldown, and Adobe PDF. Leave defaults.

The pdf will embed all photos and typefaces.