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Ed Nodland
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how to print grayscale image as process black?

Nov 27, 2012 9:28 AM

how to print grayscale image to PDF as process black only rather than CMYK colors?  I'm using FM10

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2012 9:41 AM   in reply to Ed Nodland

    Is this native Frame graphics or an imported image?

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    Nov 27, 2012 9:46 AM   in reply to Ed Nodland

    Are you certain that the images are actually greyscale instead of RGB or CMYK that look grey? What format is the image file? What joboption was specified for the PDF creation? How was the PDF created: SaveAsPDF or printing to PDF or printing to PS and distilling?


    True greyscales should print on the K plate when you use the CMYK output option in FM10.0.2. Note: if you haven't updated your FM version, then earlier versions didn't produce correct CMYK or spot output.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2012 1:16 PM   in reply to Ed Nodland

    > Photoshop shows mode grayscale, 8-bit.


    Ok, that indirectly answers one question - it's an imported object.


    But it leaves open the question of what file format you are saving to from 'Shop, and importing in Frame.


    Quick fix: save as Photoshop EPS (not DCS).

    Import the .eps (preview will be coarse; ignore it).

    It should survive as gray to the final PDF.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2012 1:50 PM   in reply to Ed Nodland



    What file format did you save the image in? It's important, as Error indicates. If you left it as a PSD, then FM does an RGB conversion. A TIFF or an EPS will properly stay as greyscales (i.e. on the K plate). Other formats, like PNG in greyscale are actually Indexed colours and resolve to RGB when FM creates the PDF in the presence of Spot plates and hence components get mapped to the CMY plates also.


    Here's a sample generated using SaveAsPDF with the CMYK option with the same "greyscale" file saved as PNG, TIF and EPS from Photoshop (note how the PNG isn't all there on the K plate):


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 11:28 AM   in reply to Ed Nodland

    > ... Framemaker ... and color management ...


    These two are orthogonal. FM has essentially no color management (ICC color profile: what's that? ). You can at least specify during PDF generation that you want all images tagged for color management. I've done some tests (on FM7.1), and have been able to preserve sRGB color matching into PDF, for example.


    > ... figure out how to bulk convert color PNG images to grayscale and then to CMYK JPGs ...


    JPG's will likely fare no better. I'd set up a Photoshop batch action that does the conversion and saves as EPS.


    > ... Process Black and Spot Pantone 186 ...


    Where is the 186 coming from? If it's on imported objects, and the name is actually encoded in the source file format, it should survive to PS or PDF if sent as EPS.


    If it's Frame Graphics, the name does survive to PS, and probably PDF. The CMYK values are probably irrelevant, and your print shop works from the encoded color name. FM internal colors, historically, appear to be encoded as CYMK, regardless of the color model you selected. I don't know if FM10 or 11 change that.


    This forum only goes back to the FM8+ era. If anyone ever wrote up "how color really works in FM", it probably needs to be unearthed, updated and reposted.


    > ... still confused why "In-Design" easily converts the grayscale PNG images to percentages of process black in the PDF.


    ID has real color management. FM would require a major re-write to get that, and Adobe tells us periodically that it's not happening.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 11:40 AM   in reply to Error7103

    I know that Arnis worked long on the FM CMYK issue directly with Adobe, and that if he's unavailable, I can also help you with your workflow and automation issues, for color management and other issues.


    It's not likely that you'll need more than an hour or two of someone's time.




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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 12:38 PM   in reply to Ed Nodland

    If your black text is distilling to a CMYK mix, check your color

    management settings in Distiller. Open Distiller and choose your Adobe

    PDF Settings File. Then, go to Settings> Edit Adobe PDF Settings> Color

    and check the Color Management Polices settings. "Leave Color Unchanged"

    or my favorite, "Tag Only Images For Color Management" should work. If

    "Tag Everything for Color Management" is turned on, even black text will

    be altered to match a color profile and become CMYK.


    I would add that the best format to use for imported graphics is EPS.

    This is because FrameMaker passes most graphics through the Windows GDI,

    which converts them to RGB, whether you want it or not. The exception is

    EPS graphics, which are passed around the Windows GDI unchanged. So EPS

    can contain CMYK and spot colors, such as Pantone. EPS also holds both

    bitmap and vector graphics.


    FM10 and FM11 have supposedly fixed CMYK transfers in Save as PDF, but I

    never use Save as PDF, so can't give personal experience. I would note

    that, if you use graphics drawn with FrameMaker's tools and the color

    conversion of those is important, Save as PDF might be the way to go.

    Presumably, its CMYK conversion would know what to do with them. Perhaps

    someone can elaborate on this, as I'm not sure. I use few drawn graphics

    and haven't cared if their colors are slightly altered, so never checked.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 9:23 AM   in reply to Ed Nodland



    [A bit late perhaps, I've been out of town]


    Why are you trying to use a JPG? This file format is lossy and will be created with indexed colours instead of a true grayscale (hence you won't get a proper conversion in FM as I showed in my prior examples - which also included the Pantone 186 spot). Do your conversion to either TIF or EPS from Photoshop - simple grayscale conversion. You're overly complicating things...


    Also, which Distiller joboption are you specifying?


    Have you configured the Adobe PDF printer instance to properly render gray text & graphics to Postscript Gray? This would also affect which plates you'll get output on.



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