I am saving a PDF from Illustrator CS4 that contains only 100% black text. My print provider is telling me that the text in the PDF has been converted to 4C, rich black. I have tried all different PDF creation settings (high quality, press quality, PDFX3, default) from Illustrator but nothing helps. How can I create a PDF that maintains 100% black and prevents it from converting to process black?
These preferences are valid for printing including printing to a PDF file from the computer where Illustrator is installed, but this is not on a document level and will not affect Saving as PDF. Saving as PDF should not change CMYK color values.
What are your color management options?
What are your color conversion options in the PDF dialog? If you are converting color from one CMYK profile into another, then your black will be rich black afterwards.
Monika, my global color settings are set to North America General Purpose 2. The document setting is set to CMYK although I realized there wasn't a specific profile assigned to the individual document. In the save as PDF dialog, if I choose the High Quality print PDF setting, the color conversion is set to "No conversion", so I thought that would preserve my current color numbers. If I choose a setting like Press Quality, the conversion setting is "Convert to Destination" where the destination is Working CMYK - U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. Since the destination is the same as the global color profile I thought that would maintain the current settings. I will try setting the individual document profile to "Working CMYK..." and/or PDF/x-1a as Mordy suggests and see if either helps.
works fine here and I can't reproduce your problem. CS5, Windows 7
Test made by creating a new document in CMYK color mode. Creating a few boxes with different amount of K. like 32% 50% 75%. Save As PDF with the default (Illustrator default) preset and one more time with the High Quality Print preset. Open the pdf files in Acrobat, go to Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview and move the mouse over the gray boxes, the color values read the same as in Illustrator - no conversion has been applied.
Do you get different results when you make this test?
When I go into the Output Preview dialog within Acrobat (for the Illustrator Default generated PDF) it shows me the separations but the coverage % for each one is listed as 'zero' so I'm not getting color breakdowns. I would have thought that it would say 100% next to black. However, when I turn off each one of the separations, it's clear that the black plate is the only one with any text on it. I've looked in this dialog box before during this troubleshooting process, but have always gotten the 'zero' percent readings, which is why I've been a bit confused (truthfully, I'm not very familiar with the pre-press functions within Acrobat). Therefore I've been relying on my print provider's word for it that the file is incorrect. However, I did also take the file into Photoshop as a CMYK PDF, and it is indeed 100% black.
Just a note: I had to submit this file last week, and the workaround I ended up having to go with was to use the type touch up tool in Acrobat to set the color to black. Apparently that solved the problem for the print provider. I really don't know if there was anything wrong with the file, but that adjustment seemed to help.
Ahh, just figured out how to get the percentages. I misread your original message about hovering over the artwork rather than the color listings in the dialog box. I can indeed reproduce your test, and I looked at the original file that the provider said was problematic. It is 100% black so the problem was somewhere on his end. VINDICATED! Thank you!