Placing A PDF in InDesign CS2
June 20, 2005 7:33 PM   Subscribe

I've got a project coming up that will involve placing pages from a large PDF into an black ink-only InDesign CS2 doc. The PDF will be created by MS Word. In the past when I've done this, the PDF has separated out onto multiple plates, so I've had to break the document into single page PDFs, which I've then rasterized in Photoshop and saved as greyscale TIFFs. I can't believe there isn't a simpler way to do this. Ideally, I'd like a way convert the PDF to K-only, then break it into individual pages. I'm on a Mac running Tiger.
posted by boombot to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Hmmm, it seems to me like you should be able to avoid the Photoshop step entirely. I just got Creative Suite 2 last week, so I'm more familiar with Pagemaker, but what I'd do in Pagemaker is place each individual PDF on its own page, then go to Print... From there the Print dialogue opens, and you'd select Adobe Distiller as the printer, then hit the color button and select the Composite radio button and then Print colors in black. (I'd also add crops and change the page size to a custom that would accomodate them.) Then I'd write the Postscript to a file, then open the Postscript file in Distiller and make the PDF from there.

Can InDesign open multipage PDFs? That might even save you the step of placing them on individual pages.

There's got to be an equivalent in InDesign; unfortunately, that's at my work computer. I'd start by poking around the Print dialogue.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:46 PM on June 20, 2005

I think ghostscript would be able to separate the PDF to multiple TIFF files, if that's what you want to feed the printer, with possibly even a single command line, or a short shell script.

Sorry, I'm not the one to make that command line up for you as my knowledge stops at understanding what the tools are for the job, but not how to use them. :-S

Hey, wait, here you go:

A: Try ghostscript, e.g.: gs -sDEVICE=jpeg -sOutputFile=temp.%03d.jpg -c save pop -f your_file.pdf This will create one jpg file for every page, the "%03d" being replaced by a 3 digit page count.

Change it to -sDEVICE=tiff and .tiff instead of .jpg and I'm betting you're good to go.
posted by shepd at 7:56 PM on June 20, 2005

You can find out if InDesign is at fault by placing the PDF (yes CS2 can place multi-page PDf files) and opening the Separations Preview palette and checking to see if the other color plates are there. If so, just print the K plate to a separated PS file, Distill, and you're done.

If the SepPreview only shows K, then Word is the problem and I can't tell you how to fix it other than to not use Word.
posted by glyphlet at 7:58 PM on June 20, 2005

Indesign CS2 has an excellent ink manager that can easily separate this file the way you want to. The problem with Word-generated PDFs is that instead of 100% K they use a 4-color black called "auto," which is a pain in the ass. However, go into the ink manager when printing, and you'll be able to covert all to process and print only the black plate. You shouldn't have any problems.

With Acrobat 7 pro, you may be able to force all inks to black as well, but I'm not sure how. Probably easiest to print to PS and monkey with the PS header to make it all black.
posted by luriete at 10:00 PM on June 20, 2005

My $.02 =

Do try to keep the file as PDF (or convert to EPS) -- as opposed to TIFF. You want the letterforms to show up either as the text font, or an outline of the letterform. Saving as a TIFF rasterizes the whole thing.

Curious to know if there is any difference between exporting as PDF from Word and using the (incredibly handy) "save as PDF" print dialog box option?
posted by omnidrew at 10:42 PM on June 20, 2005

Depending on what final format you need the document in, this may work, if you have Acrobat Distiller (I'm not a at a Mac right now, and I don't have CS2, but this is how I'd do it in CS1): Put your document together in InDesign, for the moment ignoring your color issues. Print it, choosing Postscript File for your printer, and the PPD for Acrobat (whatever it's called). In the output tab, select Composite Gray for color, and print. Distill the postscript file you just made. It should be grayscale.

Or if someone you know shelled out the big bucks for the Pitstop Acrobat Plugin, have them do it in about 6 mouse clicks.
posted by jaut at 10:44 PM on June 20, 2005

Coming at it from a slightly diffferent angle: Do you have access to the MS Word document? How about saving/exporting that as XML, and then importing that XML file into InD? Sorry, I'm vague on the details because a) it's been a year or so since I did this and b) I don't have access to MS Word anymore, but basically you're tagging the parts of the doc appropriately (e.g., heading, subhead, pagebreak, initial cap, etc.) and then InD maps styles onto those tags.
posted by bricoleur at 4:56 AM on June 21, 2005

if you are on a mac with tiger, open the pdf in preview, choose file->print, then go to the Color Sync tab, pull down the Quartz Filter menu and chose Black and White. Print to pdf. You now have a black and white version of your pdf, which I think solves your issue.

Whatever you do DON'T just use the black seperation of a CMYK plate set. That is in no way the same as a grayscale rendering of your document and will look terrible. honest.
posted by n9 at 5:12 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

The Quartz Filter idea is pure gold, thanks much.
posted by boombot at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2005

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