How to Package Adobe InDesign Files

Package Your Files Image

Over the years we've had customers submit 1000's of InDesign files. This isn't an issue if the InDesign file has everything included in it. However, most InDesign files are more complicated and link to external resources like fonts and images. So, how do you wrap everything up with a nice bow on it and send it to us? Here's some simple instructions on how to use InDesign's built-in Package utility. Using these instructions, you can package all the files that go with your InDesign file into a single compressed file that you can then send us. Of course, we are always here should you need additional assistance.

The instructions and screenshots were created and based on Windows 10 Pro 1803 and Mac OS X 10.13.5, both running Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud 2018. Windows screenshots on the left, Mac screenshots on the right.

  1. Open the .INDD file in InDesign.
  2. If there are any missing links or font errors when opened, resolve them if possible. Not resolving them may mean that something doesn't get included in your package.
  3. On the menu, go to File ➔ Package.
    Step 3 - Windows Open Package Dialog Thumbnail Step 3 - Mac Open Package Dialog Thumbnail
  4. At the bottom of the Package dialog box click the Package button (red box). In older versions of InDesign, the Summary tab was called Preflight.
    Step 4 - Windows Click Package Button Thumbnail Step 4 - Mac Click Package Button Thumbnail
  5. The Printing Instructions dialog box will open. Feel free to enter any information you feel is needed, though most people ignore entering data in these fields. When you're ready, click the Continue button.
    Step 5 - Windows Click Continue Button Thumbnail Step 5 - Mac Click Continue Button Thumbnail
  6. The Package Publication dialog box will open allowing you to browse to where you'd like to create the package folder. Your desktop is fine to use for this, but you obviously can use any location on your system or network you want. Location might be important to some, especially if you have a certain file workflow to adhere to.
    Step 6 - Windows Browse to Save Thumbnail Step 6 - Mac Browse to Save Thumbnail
  7. Make sure the following checkboxes are checked (red boxes):
    • Copy Fonts (Except CJK and Typekit)
    • Copy Linked Graphics
    • Update Graphic Links In Package
    • Include Fonts and Links From Hidden and Non-Printing Content
    Although it's not required, we also suggest you check the following checkboxes (orange box):
    • Include IDML — Useful if we need to revert to an older version of InDesign.
    • Include PDF (Print) — Useful to compare what's received with a digital proof.

    Step 7 - Windows What to Check Thumbnail Step 7 - Mac What to Check Thumbnail
  8. If you don't like the name that InDesign gives the folder by default (red box), change it to something you like. Simple folder and file names work best when transferring files between environments. Here are some suggestions when naming folders and files:
    • Be descriptive of the job being produced.
    • Name length is shorter than 100 characters.
    • Only use letters, numbers, spaces, dashes, and underscores.

    Step 8 - Windows Enter Folder Name Thumbnail Step 8 - Mac Enter Folder Name Thumbnail
  9. In the Package Publication dialog box, click the Package button (red box).
    Step 9 - Windows Click Package Button Thumbnail Step 9 - Mac Click Package Button Thumbnail
  10. Navigate to or find the folder that InDesign created (red arrow and text). Verify that the folder contains all the required files that are needed (blue box, arrow, and text). The screenshot shows the contents of a new file, your folder will contain more (e.g. fonts, images, etc.).
    Step 10 - Windows Click Package Button Thumbnail Step 10 - Mac Click Package Button Thumbnail
  11. Before sending your files, we suggest you compress the package folder. Doing so will speed the transfer process when uploading and downloading your files across the internet. It will also help keep fonts from becoming corrupted, which is a common problem when transferring fonts.
    • Windows — Right click the package folder and choose Send To ➔ Compressed (zipped) Folder.
    • Mac — Right click the package folder and choose Compress “Folder Name”.
  12. We suggest that you use our eCommerce site to upload files. This helps keep track of jobs that are uploaded and notifies the appropriate people, so we can start work on your project immediately. There are other options to choose from if you'd like:
    • Online cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.
    • If the file is less than 10 MB in size, you can email it to us.
    • We will also come pick a file up from your office if you're nearby.
    • There is also always old-fashioned snail mail.

For more information contact:
Nick Crockett
CIO / Systems Administrator / DBA / Webmaster
Call Keiger at (336) 760-0099
Contact Nick Crockett
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