In some print publishing workflows, documents are distributed in the format of the authoring application (called the native format). Once approved, the files are saved in PostScript or a proprietary format for prepress work and final printing. Because applications generate PostScript in many different ways, PostScript files can be arbitrarily large and complex. In addition, reliability problems such as missing fonts, corrupt files, missing graphic elements, and unsupported features can result at output time. In response, Adobe and its partners continue to create reliable, PDF-based publishing workflow solutions.
From InDesign, you can export your document to a composite PDF file called a digital master. These digital masters are compact, reliable files that you or your service provider can view, edit, organize, and proof. Then, at the appropriate time in the workflow, your service provider can either output the PDF directly, or process it using tools from various sources for post-processing tasks such as preflight checks, trapping, imposition, and color separation.