failed to export

InDesign Troubleshooting: Failed to Export the PDF File

Ive ran across the “Failed to Export the PDF File” error on dozens of documents over the years. In every instance of this particular error message, placed media have been the issue. On the other hand, colleagues of mine have found corrupt graphic frames as the culprit. All is not lost! This article describes a process[…]


Acrobat Automation—Flatten Annotations

Earlier this week, I was provided multiple PDFs with text markups that did not appear in InDesign. In my article PDF Markups Missing When Placed Into InDesign, we discussed the source of this type of issue. In my article Acrobat Automated!, we discussed Acrobat Droplets and I provided an example to embed missing fonts. In[…]


Maximize usability and minimize file size of PDFs using Acrobat’s Object Character Recognition

Problems with scanned documents Unable to perform a word search Unable to copy text Unable to edit text Too large to email Too large to archive Acrobat’s Object Character Recognition (OCR) can fix these problems! As an example, I’ve scanned in an 129-page proposal at 300dpi on a Sharp MX6240, which resulted in a 119.3[…]

acrobat droplet 7

Acrobat Automated!

Ive been using Photoshop Droplets to automate work for years and was pleasantly surprised to find similar functionality in Acrobat. In Acrobat Pro DC, select “Tools” then “Print Production”. Select “Preflight” Acrobat’s Preflight, it offers some powerful tools for managing all aspects of your PDFs. PDF Fixups include most of the tools I typically use[…]

GREP Units

InDesign Grep Styles, Prevent Units of Measurement from Breaking

Is there a name for units of measurements that break to a new line and leave behind their number? Let’s call them strays. If strays bug you, GREP is here to help. 1. Establish your character style Set up a character style, which has No Break set. 2. Creating the basic GREP Style Set up[…]

PDF Markups - source

PDF Markups Missing When Placed into InDesign

PDF markups created using Acrobat or third-party PDF applications may not appear when placing the PDF into an InDesign file. This is exceptionally frustrating when the markup is very minor and easily overlooked. Markups (e.g., added text, lines & shapes, and comments) are not modifications of the original file. They are created separately. Here are[…]

pdf fonts

Missing Fonts in PDFs Embedded/Linked within an InDesign Document

If you frequently collaborate with partner firms on large InDesign proposals, you have likely had instances of missing fonts. Fixing missing fonts prior to production is critical but it is an easy fix. Linked or embedded media can include missing fonts, which is the topic of this post. Why should I be concerned with missing[…]

grep INSERT complete

InDesign GREP Styles

GREP can be used in both InDesign’s Paragraph Style and Find/Replace functionality. For those of you whom like the details, check out InDesign Secrets’ Grep Page, as well as Wikipedia for a general description. What can GREP Styles do for my Proposal/SOQ workflow? The following examples only scratch the surface of what GREP can do for[…]

toc style

InDesign Table of Contents for Proposals and SOQs

Do you manually create a table of contents (TOC) for your proposals and SOQs? I have noticed a steady increase in clients reducing the number of hard copies and opting for digital submissions. Digital copies, which were probably requested for archival purposes (e.g., public record) in the past, are now the document being used by[…]

document mess

Solicitation Mechanics, Part 1 The First Pass (RFQ/RFP)

A solicitation hits your desk. At this point, I hope you and your team are in the endgame phase of your pursuit of this project, which could have started over a year prior to the release. You and your team have built a relationship with the client and their perception is that your firm is[…]