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PDFs not CMYK, not flattened

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Mike Cassidy
PDFs not CMYK, not flattened
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:32:06 pm

We are regional magazine using inDesign for layout. We do the layout on an iMac, running OS 10.6.7.
Most of our ads come to us as PDFs that we drop directly onto our inDesign pages. We then export those pages as PDFs, and send to the press. Every now and then, an ad will print without some elements. When I check on the original PDFs by opening them in Photoshop, I see they were not flattened.
Also, many times when I open the offending PDFs in Photoshop, I see they are RGB rather than CMYK.
When I bring up topic up with the accounts sending us those ads, they often respond: “We made them in CMYK — and nobody else asks us to flatten the files.”

So my question: If it is true they are creating the ads in CMYK, why do they get converted to RGB when made into PDFs; and don’t al publications need files flattened to run accurately on the press? Or, is there something our press (a regional newspaper operation) isn’t doing correctly?


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