Design QC

Check the following to confirm the quality of a Well-Formed Document Workflow design.

A design created in the WFDW results in a functional template regardless of whether the file will be used for a unique project or as the basis for multiple publications. This checklist is intended to address aspects for interior designs, cover/jacket designs, and e-book designs.

General Checks


Specifications and Output Requirements

Examples: using extreme baseline shift instead of spacing settings; using overrides instead of dedicated styles

Examples: PDF/X-1a for print; ePub 3 for e-book

Source Materials

Examples: fonts; images

Image Requirements

Check image size.

Check image rotation (are rotated images allowed?)

Check image location (top/bottom of pages? encroaching on the text area?)

Check image color/grayscale

Check image cropping

Missing Materials

Representative Text

Examples: the longest title or head; the most complex poetry; the most complex equation

Have exceptions and strategies been noted for future reference?

InDesign/PDF Checks

Reference Files and Author Intent

File Measurements

Check the trim size, internal measurements, and bleed.

Paragraph Styles

Examples: copyright, index, or structure styles

Aspects include: font; size and leading; alignment; keep options; hyphenation; indents; spacing; justification; color; language and text direction; ligatures; OpenType features


Empty paragraphs should not be used to control spacing.

Character Styles

WFDW Typesetting Conventions

Examples: -alt styles; combo styles

Aesthetics (For Original Designs)

Aesthetic judgments can be based on author instructions, publisher guidelines, the needs of the publication, and other factors. As part of the vetting process and design preparation, the preferences and requirements of the appropriate people and institutions should be established as much as possible.

Font Choice

If any characters require images to be substituted for them, does the image match the surrounding text?

Example: Do written language (wl) paragraph styles portray the appropriate meanings?

Example: If formal letters (lt) represent handwritten letters, has an appropriate handwriting font been selected and hyphenation been turned off?

Font Size and Leading

Content Arrangement and Ornamental Elements

Export Considerations

Check for text on a curved line or path.

Check for text placed as images.

Check for text or figures created as line art within InDesign.

Check for instances multiple overlaying text boxes used to create a visual effect.

Master Pages

Running Heads and Text Variables

Examples: -alt variations; text that mixes character styles

Live Content

Object Styles

If text wrap is being used, does this interfere with the vertical alignment of body text?

Example: gradients created in InDesign do not transfer to e-book.

InDesign’s Deeper Features

Features include: nested styles; GREP styles; automated footnotes; clip libraries

Cast-Off and Page Length Requirements


Accessibility and Future Uses

Example: Does the design include one major text flow?

Aspects include: reading order, alternate text, and metadata

**Note:** Scribe currently does not perform accessibility checks.

Document Preferences

Cover/Jacket Checks

Cover and jacket designs will follow most of the InDesign/PDF checks with an increased focus on strictly aesthetic considerations (at the proper measurements). Following proper ScML usage to create a functional template is often not required.

Acquiring Images


Spine Width

If the spine width is not yet established, how will this number be obtained?


If unavailable, has a placeholder box been used to indicate its placement?

If a barcode has not been provided, how will it be obtained?

E-book/CSS Checks

Reference Files

Device Review

Review in the following devices or apps: Chrome Readium; iPad; Nook; Kindle


Examples: copyright or index styles



If any characters require images to be substituted for them, does the image match the surrounding text?