What is a PDF file?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has
captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image.
You can think of it as a snap-shot photo of the source file of your
book (as created and laid out in InDesign). In addition, it can contain
embedded fonts and interactive elements (buttons for forms entry and
for triggering sound and video).
PDF files for printing can be created from programs such as InDesign,
Photoshop, Word, Illustrator, etc.. Care must be taken to ensure that
the proper PDF settings are in place (font embedding, compatibility,
compression, image resolution, etc). Some printers will supply their
own preset property settings.
Viewing a PDF
To view and use PDF files, you need the free Acrobat
Reader, which you can easily download. Once you've downloaded the
Reader, it will start automatically whenever you want to look at a PDF
Making Changes to a PDF file
can be made to PDF files with Adobe Acrobat and
several other PDF editors on the market, some free. Since a PDF file is
like a snap-shot of the source document, and that Acrobat is not
for formatting, changes are limited to minor text and image
changes. You may find that text reflowing does not work well,
leaving excessive word spacing. Reflowing to the next page will not
work, since all subsequent pages in the chapter would also have to
reflow. Also, some embedded formatting styles can't be modified.
Changes to your Print-ready PDF should be made only if
you are sure that the InDesign source document will no longer be needed
or kept up-to-date, since changes made to your print-ready PDF are not
automatically reflected in the InDesign source document.
If the InDesign source
document is to be kept up-to-date for the production of new PDFs or future changes, then
changes should take place in the InDesign source document. These
changes are best accomplished through instructions given in a marked-up
PDF using the Adobe commenting function. See also:
Changing/Updating book drafts