April 20, 2006 8:30 PM   Subscribe

PageMakerFilter: How can I make PageMaker 7 and Acrobat 7 Pro play nice together to create 11.25x15 pdfs with a 10x14 live print area, with tabloid size PMD files as a source material. Other help with photos needed as well...

Essentially, my high school paper is sending our spring issue to the print house. However, the print house has asked for 11.25"x15" pdf files, with the actual print area being 10"x14". However, the "Print to PDF" function in PageMaker 7 is fairly primitive, and does not allow much in the way of margins or "live print areas". Thus, I had considered two options. First, making a 10x14 pdf and then re-placing it onto a new 11.25x15 pdf and compositing the two. My second consideration was attempting to use the more advanced exporting functions in Adobe InDesign to make the required PDF. However, the InDesign route must be completely easy and fast, as tomorrow morning i've got about an hour to figure out the process and pdf 16 pages and email them. Also, the printer told me to set the "dot gain" to 30% on a color profile of "US Web Uncoated" and yet the "Print to PDF" function of PageMaker sucks in this department as well. Any ideas?
posted by weaponsgradecarp to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
In my (sort of professional) experience, a 'live print area' is simply the portion of the sheet that actually becomes the page in the publication--that is, everything outside of it may be printed upon, but is ultimately lopped off before the binding's finished.

This is where slugs, calibration targets, trim marks, etc. live. If you don't know what these are, they can be spotted in the wild on the inside flap of your cereal boxes.

I'm also assuming that your publisher, being a yearbook-printing outfit and therefore accustomed to dealing with student-produced documents, doesn't expect you to insert these things yourself.

So, I'm not sure why you need to specify these dimensions in your pdf output process. You should be able to simply make an 11.25"x15" document, and then use PageMaker itself to set margins within it defining your 10"x14" page (the 'live print area') in the appropriate spot.

These margins are for your convenience only. If you lay out/copy your pages into the space indicated by them, and make a pdf of the whole page, you'll have an 11.25"x15" pdf with all of the stuff (your pages) located in a 10"x14" 'live print area' within it.

I'm fairly sure that there's no special mojo about these 'live print areas,' though if your printer has told you otherwise...
Can you call them? They'd be the last word on exactly what hoops you need to jump through.

US Web Uncoated: Your paper will come on a big roll, and won't have that stuff on it (sizing, right?) that makes it shiny.

30% dot gain: the ink halftone dots, when applied to your paper, are assumed to spread out/soak in, winding up larger than the dot on the plate that deposited the ink. 30% larger, in this case. This setting will undersize your halftone dots accordingly.

I don't have a copy of PageMaker here to refer to, but the dot gain/paper settings will be somewhere in the ink setup part of PageMaker's preferences; it's probably a PageMaker setting rather than anything to do with printing to PDF.

Good luck, dude. Page layout's a harsh mistress.
posted by pullayup at 9:56 PM on April 20, 2006

And stop using PageMaker!
posted by pullayup at 10:13 PM on April 20, 2006

Oh, right, newspaper, not yearbook. Same diff. Sorry, it's late here.
posted by pullayup at 10:15 PM on April 20, 2006

hehe. brings back memories.

Everything pullayup has said is good information. What it all boils down to, however, is this: call the printer. ask to speak with one of their prepress artists or designers. have him/her walk you through the process of setting the document up, in detail. Remember, you're paying them to print this for you; if it doesn't come out right they'll have to print it again until it does - so they want it to come out well as much as you do. And in my experience, if you're just honest and explain that you need help, they'll be glad to walk you through things.

i also second the "stop using PageMaker". Get your school to spring for Indesign CS2. It's the standard multi-page layout software these days, (though some people out there are still using Quark, which... why?) and it's much more functional than Pagemaker. and I'm pretty sure there's a Pagemaker plugin that makes it act more like Pagemaker (shortcuts/menus, etc.) if you're more comfortable with that interface.
posted by ab3 at 12:02 AM on April 21, 2006

I third the "Stop using PageMaker" From what the presses I deal with tell me, it causes nothing but problems on their end.

I cant think of one printer /press that considers it a "preferred format" in their file requirements.
posted by sandra_s at 3:29 AM on April 21, 2006

Thanks for the help, however I'm stuck using PM7 for a couple reasons. One, my school is broke. See my other thread on my vendetta against the school board for more info. Two, its ridiculously simple, and the neanderthals who must use it can easily learn it. Three, we've actually got 4 machines with InDesgin 2.0.2 on them in another room, but thats only 4. We've got about 100 witm PM7. Your help is appreciated. How can i set the dot gain when printing to pdf?
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 4:24 AM on April 21, 2006

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