Preflighting InDesign CC (Creative Cloud) Files Containing Placed PDFs

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Some InDesign users place PDFs as images within InDesign CC (Creative Cloud). Adobe InDesign’s pre-flight panel does not allow you to see inside placed PDF files, nor see used fonts or embedded images within placed EPS files, nor see if a font is missing, nor see if an image used is low resolution, etc. Markzware FlightCheck for macOS can, plus collects print files and provides a full report on the preflighting of the document.

Following is the video and transcript for the “InDesign vs FlightCheck – Round 1 – Placed PDF Problems” video on the MarkzwareTV YouTube channel at:

Some Adobe InDesign CC users place PDFs as images in InDesign via Command-D. However, Markzware‘s FlightCheck preflight solution for the Mac platform provides a more thorough check of such documents. In addition, FlightCheck collects and packages the print job files, and gives you a complete preflight report. In this video, David Dilling, Sales Director, Markzware Europe, and Alaina Shull, Marketing Database Administrator, Edward Don & Company, speak about these subjects and more.

DAVID: Here’s a job in InDesign with placed PDFs and EPS files. You see the InDesign pre-flight says no errors. No errors. No information, even further, on these files. Markzware‘s FlightCheck goes further and deeper than InDesign pre-flight.

Markzware FlightCheck PDF Ground Controls File
PDF Ground Controls in Markzware FlightCheck prepress app for preflighting

Check it out. Here’s an InDesign file we have, with placed PDFs and EPS files, EPS images. These PDFs are acting like images. They’ve been placed. They haven’t been converted, like with our Markzware PDF2DTP or other tools that convert the PDF into InDesign. No, these are placed. That’s all InDesign can do is place a PDF, but in that PDF are all different fonts, colors, and images used or embedded in the PDF.

Preflighting Multiple InDesign Files with Markzware FlightCheck
Information on images in a preflight report generated by Markzware’s FlightCheck app

The same with the EPS. It looks great, but it’s more than just a static, flat image or vector. It has actually, sometimes, live fonts and other images it references, within that file. So, this file here looks great in InDesign. As a matter of fact, it says “No errors”. InDesign pre-flight says, “It’s a-okay. You’re ready to go.” It doesn’t matter which profile I change or which preferences I adjust. It’s always going to be the same. No errors. No further information. InDesign can’t see it.

Markzware FlightCheck 7 Mac Images Ground Controls Expanded
Markzware FlightCheck Ground Controls can help professionals to
check on image resolution and many more print document details.

Now, we can close InDesign. I can even quit it, for that matter. And I can take that same InDesign file, here, which I opened in FlightCheck, now, to show you, and you’ll see it has all kinds of problems. Fonts are missing. Images have problems. RGB. Resolution issues.

You see that EPS? We get a little preview of that EPS, one of the EPSs we were using. It actually has a font in it that is missing. So, if we needed it, if it was referencing that font, it might print incorrectly. RGB might not be desired, in a CMYK workflow. Low resolution is not. You get the idea.

TAC (Total Area Coverage) Preflight Ground Controls in Markzware FlightCheck
You can examine color usage in a print document, by using
Markzware FlightCheck to inspect files, for you.

FlightCheck goes deeper. FlightCheck sees much more helps you navigate to the problems, in various methods and ways, to help you actually go in and find the problems, and take you back into InDesign, to fix it. And it’ll even collect the job, with all fonts and images. This is just a quick overview. I’m going to go in deeper in this, in a future video, but this is just to give you an idea of how powerful Markzware FlightCheck is.

Cruise over to and get a free demo version, and try it for yourself. Do you have any recent, real-life stories about how FlightCheck saved the day, or interesting things you might have found, through FlightCheck?

ALAINA: Actually, yes, there is something very interesting that kind of helped our entire team learn, at one time, because we actually didn’t really have any idea that this was a thing, because we don’t often put PDFs in our InDesign documents for catalogs, for a lot of ads coming in from suppliers.

Preflight Multiple InDesign Files with Markzware FlightCheck
FlightCheck will even allow you to batch preflight InDesign and other print documents,
so that you can check multiple files, in one preflighting session.

So, I went ahead and went about my normal closing routine, you know, stretching everything out for the bleeds, and I took the document and dropped it on the FlightCheck, but, because of the PDFs in the document, it took the PDF. What FlightCheck was doing was it was pulling apart just all of the elements and, now, we know how to process a PDF. So, we’re like, “Okay, so this is totally normal, and it’s just letting us know the resolution of everything that goes in it.

DAVID: Right, right.

ALAINA: So, I mean, we all kind of learned it, now. So, the next time we go through all the PDF stuff, we know what to look for.

DAVID: Well, I think that’s what you mentioned before earlier, and that’s what I know a lot of people use FlightCheck for, is like an educational thing, amongst the team, just like you said.

ALAINA: Mm-hmm.

DAVID: It keeps everybody on the same wavelength, so to speak.

ALAINA: Yeah, yeah, pretty much so. I mean, it was nice to see people that have been at this, for 10, 15 years or so, still learning more about what we do.

Markzware FlightCheck logo 150x150
Markzware FlightCheck
(Preflight for Print)

DAVID: Yeah, cool. FlightCheck versus InDesign pre-flight. It’s quite clear FlightCheck goes deeper. David Dilling for Markzware, wishing you a great day. And don’t forget. Don’t fight it. Preflight it with Markzware’s FlightCheck.

You can purchase the FlightCheck macOS app for preflighting, via the FlightCheck product page.
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Preflighting InDesign CC (Creative Cloud) Files Containing Placed PDFs

Title: Preflighting InDesign CC (Creative Cloud) Files Containing Placed PDFs
Published on: May 23, 2019
David Dilling

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