Typeset QC

Check the following to confirm the quality of a typeset file:

PDF Checks

Design and Version Continuity

Check that the file is the proper trim size. (This can also be checked in the InDesign file.)

Does the PDF meet the required page count?

Front matter pages should use roman numerals, and image galleries may require separate numbering.

This includes the publication date, ISBN(s), copyright data, and impression lines.

For final pages, if CIP data is not available, the following (or the appropriate country-specific equivalent) may appear in place of the CIP data: “Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available from the Library of Congress.”

Table of Contents

Front matter pages should use roman numerals, and image galleries may require separate numbering.

Check that entries in the TOC match the titles and heads in the book for wording, spelling, italicized terms, and location.

Master Page Elements

Check for spelling, character styles, and alignment.

Check that elements such as chapter titles and master page objects are placed consistently.


Check for widows and orphans.

Check for paragraph section breaks occurring at the top of a page. If so, a tsectop or tsecbot should be used to mark the section break.

Check for hyphenation across pages due to style settings or the presence of footnotes.

Check for bad URL breaks.

Check for bad breaks due to bracketed letters (for example, “[T]his”).

Check for social titles like “Ms.” or “Dr.” and the person’s name.

Check for initials and the rest of a person’s name

Check for numerals along with a spelled-out number or a unit of measure or currency (e.g., “1 billion,” “10 cm,” “100 dollars,” or “$1 million”).

Check for abbreviations like “pp.” or “no.” and the numeral that follows.

Check for names of biblical books that are preceded by a numeral (for example, “2 Corinthians” or “1 Peter”).

Check for punctuation, letter, and word stacks.

Check for any loose or tight leading or kerning.

Check that long lines balance or align properly when wrapping.

Check for text crashes.

Check that illustrative elements are placed in the correct location.

Check that images appear in their entirety.

Check that heads and captions are consistently placed.

Have endnotes that will fall outside of the main text flow been converted to footnotes or table notes?

Typically, pages do not need to align if the page that follows begins with a head or title.


Run a preflight in Adobe Acrobat to analyze the document.

Check for color vs. grayscale.

Check for proper page size and print marks.

Check for image size and settings.

InDesign Checks


Check for the proper composition of elements.

Acceptable ScML styles include “-alt” style name variations.

All styles, including “structure” and any other style identified as conditional text, should be defined. The disk icon should not be visible, and unused styles should be removed by the time files are considered final.

All styles on master pages (e.g., running heads and folios) should be defined through the style sheet.

Italic characters within paragraphs defined with an italic base font should be reversed to roman.

Italic small caps should be constructed by skewing the small caps font (typically by 10°), rather than applying a small caps setting to an italic font.

Check for font mismatches between paragraph styles’ base fonts and the character styles appearing within them.

Right-to-left languages, such as Hebrew, require both the language and "World-ready paragraph composer" selected.

Check that the designated stop character or GREP pattern is present.

Check for any nested style conflicts, resulting in two character styles applied simultaneously to a character or word.

Check that center-aligned text does not also include a first-line indent.

Check that tabs used to center text are set to the mathematical center of the text box.

Text Flow and Pasteboard

All text boxes should be linked except tables, sidebars, and figure captions.

The pasteboard should be clear by the time a file is considered final.

Soft Returns and Paragraph Breaks

The following GREP search in InDesign will find soft returns that are not preceded by a space. The replacement expression will add a space. Do not replace all if this will affect URLs or other soft returns that should not have a space in front of them.

Find: ([^ ])\n

Replace with: $1 \n

There should be no empty paragraphs, and spacing should not be added through the use of soft or hard returns.

Text File Checks

Export .sam from InDesign and check the following.

Quotation Marks, Parentheses, and Brackets

Mismatches may be due to multiparagraph quotations.

Mismatches may be due to closing parentheses being used to punctuate list numbers.


The following search is inclusive and might find some abbreviations, file names, or URLs in addition to dropped spaces.

Unexpected Character Patterns

This search will find ISBNs that use hyphens and/or dashes:


There should be none.

This search for nonbreaking and zero-width spaces is not exhaustive. In order to exclude ellipses, it skips any nonbreaking space next to a period.

Search for spaces at the start of any line (after the opening tag) or at the end of any line.

Special Characters

Review the file stats in the Digital Hub to obtain a list of special characters. From the Assets tab, select the icon in the Stats column to view the file statistics report.

Does the file include combining Unicode? (It should not.)

Incorrect Line Breaks

Do a “case sensitive” search using the following expression. It is inclusive and might find some lines that correctly begin with lowercase letters.


Examples: em dashes, en dashes, or spaces.

This following search is inclusive and might find some abbreviations or file names in addition to URLs.