Adobe InDesign and PageMaker

Tips and techniques using Adobe's flagship Desktop Publishing package

Setting Up Your Document

Unlike traditional offset production, our on-demand printing offset printing is optimized for a simple document that is the full size of the book with bleed, without crop marks.

The best way to set up your document is to set the document size as the final size, your bleed at 1/8" (9pts) on all sides, and specify your margins at 1/2" for general safety, as mentioned on our page about Cropping And Bleed.

exclaimPlease Read Prior to setting up your document!
When exporting your PDF, you must choose "Use Document Bleed Setting" as specified below, UNLESS you prefer to apply rulers to use as your guides to prevent transposing your gutter. You can read about how to accomplish this here -

Interior Page Layout

Our books print with Page 1 on the right, so you'll need to keep this in mind when designing your PDF. If your book has 2-page spreads, make sure that they start on the left, or on Page 2. You can see an example of this below. We recommend creating your covers in a separate document. Don't worry, you'll still be able to upload it to your book!

NOTE: InDesign’s default measurement unit is pic as (sixths of an inch). In order to change that setting to inches you will need to, first, make sure no document is open. If a document is open the changes will only occur in that document.
On a Mac (when all your documents are closed) go to the InDesign menu and under “Preferences” choose “Units & Increments” look for the “Points/Inch:” box, scroll down and select “PostScript (72 pts/inch) to change your measurement to inches.
On a PC (when all your documents are closed) click the “Preference” which is located under the “Edit Menu”, go to the “Units” tab on the right and select Inches.

The following is an example for our 11"x8.5" book. The document size is actually 11.1" (799pt), the margin is 1/2" (36pt) and the bleed at 1/8" (9pts):

Example Document

The resulting document looks like:

And here is how it would look with example content. Note how you must extend your background graphics beyond the document edge to the bleed guides. This is crucial for achieving full bleed printing. Your final PDF will include this bleed when you check the "Use Document Bleed Setting" when exporting your PDF.

PDF Export with InDesign

The simplest method is to use the preset "High Quality Print" found under File -> Adobe PDF Presets. Choose the highest PDF version, typically Acrobat 8 (PDF 1.7). Be sure that spreads are separated and not uploaded as one continuous spread since this will skew the size of the book and we would not be able to print your book. This means that you need to have individual pages, not spreads, being uploaded. During export just make sure that it will be saved out with all of the pages separated. You can certainly have 2 page spreads, just make sure that they are indeed two separate pages!

Please note: if an order is placed with the interior uploaded as two page spreads we will have to cancel the order. But don't lose hope! You can edit the file, upload it to the site, and place a new order. When a book is created with spreads instead of separate pages, the new file would roughly double your page count and also increase the price of the book, which is why a new order would be needed. If you're ever unsure just send us a quick note and we can double check before you place the order!

Setting Marks and Bleed

This is very important - assuming you created your document as specified above, make sure you check "X Use Document Bleed Setting".

Setting Output Color to sRGB

When exporting, we recommend you choose sRGB, as our production line is calibrated for that colorspace. You can see how to accomplish this in your document below.

Double Check Your PDF

Uploading PDF's can be very time consuming, and correcting errors requires an entire re-upload. Before uploading your file, open the PDF in Acrobat and make sure the file size is correct (it should be the final book size + 1/4", ie 1/8" on each side). Be sure to use two-page, continuous view to get a good idea how your book will flow.

If you find that the PDF resulted with transposed bleeds in the gutter of your book and you wish to correct this then you can click here: Transposed Bleed in Gutter Help

Adobe PageMaker

"I am using Adobe PageMaker 7.0 to create my PDF. My book is 9 x 7. My pmd file is about 35 MB. I am using Adobe PDF to create the PDF, printing through the pageMaker application. I have also tried using Acrobat 6.0 Professional and Acrobat Distiller to create the PDF."

Try these steps using PageMaker 7.0:
  • Create a new document with the size 9x7 and the orientation set to "wide"
  • Then go to Print
  • Select a PDF printer
  • There is an option for orientation, select the left option(with the man standing upright)
  • Next click on the "Paper" button on the right.
  • Under the paper size, select "Custom..."
  • A new window called "Custom Paper Size" should pop up
  • Set the width to 9 inches and the height to 7 inches and hit ok
  • Hit Print and it will create a 9x7 pdf file.



by , 19 Aug 2012 (01:51 UTC)
hey, so are we required to keep .5" margins or is that just an example? Seems somewhat exorbitant... I'm working at .25 right now.

Also, I'm making an 8.5x11 landscape book right now. Should it actually be an 8.5x11.1 book?

Re: Margins

by PrestoPhoto Support, 20 Apr 2015 (18:45 UTC)
Greetings from PrestoPhoto,

You only need a .25" margin on interior pages, you are correct. I would also suggest reading this page too as you begin, to get other options for setting up the pages: Transposed Bleed in the Gutter

There is an automatic trim that occurs during production to ensure that all pages are flush. This trim is approximately 1/8 inch on all sides. Due to any potential for shifting during production we suggest that all vital content is kept within .25" from all sides, and consider this the Caution Area. We do not guarantee any content that is not within the Red crop guide (.25") / Caution area. You can learn more about this here: Cropping And Bleed

Ideally all non-vital content should be extended to the edge of the page while all vital content like text and faces should be kept within .25" of all sides (for all standard size books.) In the crop guides you will also see the Pink Crop-guide for mini-books. This is a more aggressive guide due to the the mini-books small size, and therefore requires a more aggressive crop. As long as the book you select is 9x7 or larger then .25" is sufficient for interior pages. If you have questions about mini-books (smaller than 9x7) please let us know!

PrestoPhoto support

How does Bleed work at the center

by Sourav, 17 Jun 2011 (06:45 UTC)
I have created a bleed layout on InDesign for my 7x5 PDF according to your instructions.
Here is a screen shot of my InDesign file.

However, when I print according to your settings, the center of the pages look like this.

Is this what it is supposed to look like? Kindly let me know as soon as possible what I should do to correct it if it's wrong. I would like to upload a PDF to you by tomorrow so I may be able to get it by next week. I have a 42 page 7"x5" PDF Portfolio.

Thank you very much,

Re: How does Bleed work at the center

by PrestoPhoto Support, 17 Jun 2011 (12:15 UTC)

Thanks for your question! We received your email as well and have responded to it. Let us know if we can answer anything else for you.

-PrestoPhoto Support