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Tip of the Week: Use RGB PDFs to Avoid Packaging Errors

This InDesign tip on using RGB PDFs to avoid packaging errors was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on April 13, 2017.

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I take a lot of screenshots which I need to place into InDesign documents.

Because most of that work will be output as PDF for onscreen viewing, I leave the screen shots as RGB. But this causes InDesign to display an alert when I package my file: all the RGB images are flagged as a possible problem.

RGB package error

I finally figured out how to avoid the flagged problems. Instead of saving my screenshots as PSD or TIFF, I save them as PDF.

save as Photoshop PDF
InDesign doesn’t see an RGB PDF as an RGB document! If you place an RGB file saved as Photoshop PSD, it will not show up as using the RGB color space. Instead, the type of file is simply listed as PDF.

Package RGB PDF

This has become a terrific way for me to avoid unwanted RGB “problems” being flagged in the Package process. It is also something important to remember if you do want to flag RGB files. In those cases, remember that Photoshop PDF documents won’t get flagged during Packaging, but they will be flagged by the Preflight feature when you use a profile that doesn’t allow RGB.

RGB PDF color space error in Preflight

Sandee Cohen

Sandee Cohen

Sandee Cohen

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3 Comments on “Tip of the Week: Use RGB PDFs to Avoid Packaging Errors

  1. I’m not on board with this idea. It’s the equivalent of sticking a band-aid over the low-oil warning light in your car. Sure, it hides the warning, but the warning is there for a very good reason.

    Important to note in the article – Sandee does mention it – but she has created a special preflight profile to pick up on RGB images. For users who haven’t changed their default preflight profile and are using either [Basic] or Digital Publishing, it won’t show up as an error.

    It might serve a purpose in the author’s use-case where the artwork is on-screen, but for print projects, I would not do this at all.

  2. Nope dnt agree. It doesnt work. Only if its a flat pdf yes made from a flat image. If its an open pdf it will still read all pantones and rgbs. Just convert ur image to cmyk first b4 u place the image.

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