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Rob Day 3,139 posts
Oct 16, 2007
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Acrobat XI Color Management Change

Mar 6, 2013 8:51 AM

I was responding to a thread (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1165011?tstart=30) yesterday about black turning to 4-color in Acrobat and realized that (unless I'm missing something) the Output Preview (and I assume print output) has change in Acobat XI. Something tells me we might be seeing more questions about changing black values.

 

In Acrobat X the Output Preview simulation profile always showed the CMYK values of a PDF/X-1a or an unprofiled PDF as unchanged—the appearance of color changed not the numbers because the numbers would always be output unchanged.

 

In Acrobat XI the Output Preview is working differently. For PDF/X-1a the numbers change for any profile that conflicts with the Output Intent. For untagged PDFs the numbers change for  profiles  conflicting with the current Acrobat working CMYK space.

 

I think this means PDFs exported without document CMYK profiles (i.e. the Press Quality or High Quality Print presets) might have color problems because the host Acrobat working CMYK space could be anything and there is a  chance of random CMYK to CMYK conversions.

 

Here's a PDF/X-1a with Europe ISO Coated as the Output Intent in Acrobat X:

 

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 10.58.24 AM.png

 

Changing the simulation profile changes the preview:

 

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 10.58.41 AM.png

 

 

Here's the same PDF opened in Acrobat XI, with the US Newsprint simulation profile the output numbers change rather than the preview:

 

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 10.48.51 AM.png

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 6, 2013 9:18 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Thanks for the heads up. COuld you show us the last tow shot withthe cursor over a color so we can see the numbers?

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 9:59 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    That is scary.

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 10:46 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Personally I am getting lost in all the screen shots of Acrobat showing different profiles. I really wish this forum software was akin to others where one can cycle through each post's images using next/previous buttons.

     

    All I can say--not adding anything of value I suspect--is the following screen shot from my PDF was using an unchanged Press Quality export setting. The PDF's profile is in view.

     

    capture-000073.png

     

    Mike

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 1:50 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    ID Working space:

     

    capture-000076.png

     

    PDF using Press Quality:

     

    capture-000075.png

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 1:59 PM   in reply to MW Design

    But waht settings did you use to export?

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 2:04 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Hi Peter--I started playing along when I read post #2, which was using Press Quality. Which was stated just above the Acrobat screen shot in my previous post.

     

    I'll redo with the PDFX-1a profile mentioned as well.

     

    I really got lost looking and reading through this thread.

     

    Mike

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 2:47 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Thanks, Rob.

     

    Thank you for your patience. I am slow but get there eventually. Usually.

     

    OK. I don't have my previous Acrobat version, which was 9, available. So I cannot play back and forth between the two versions. But I now understand better what you are saying about version 11.

     

    So I think I need to leave it there.

     

    Again, thank you. Mike

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 2:56 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Acrobat XI's Output Preview has changed - in many ways - including this one.  For both better and for the worse.

     

    In the case of PDF/X compliant files, Output Preview is now behaving 100% correctly.  Since all DeviceCMYK colors are implicitly tagged as being associated to the OutputIntent specified in the file, switching the simulation profile means that we (as per the PDF/X specs) to do a CMYK->CMYK transform to get the new color value.  So that is what you now see.

     

    HOWEVER, that (as you note) is also happening for PDFs w/o any embedded profile - and that's wrong - since DeviceCMYK should means that it takes on those same values regardless.  This bug has been filed and we hope to fix it in a future update.

     

    NOTE: this change is ONLY in Output Preview - it has NO IMPACT on printing or other operations.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 8:28 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    >if I print separations to my postscript printer DeviceCMYK values always output unchanged—

    >It doesn't matter if there's an Output Intent Profile (PDF/X) included and the print destination conflicts with that intent.

    So you are printing from Acrobat?  What version on what OS platform? And what settings do you have enabled for color management in the Print dialog?

     

     

    if I place the PDF/X back into an InDesign document

     

    Unfortunately, InDesign does NOT respect the file's conformance to PDF/X when placing it :(.  This is a long standing bug in InDesign.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:44 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    One thing I find odd about PDF/X-4 is document CMYK objects export as DeviceCMYK even though the standard includes all profiles

     

    Again, long standing bug in InDesign .

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 9:45 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    OH – you weren't kidding when you said you were printing separations.  I thought you meant that in the generic sense.

     

    Yes, when you print separations, no color management is applied.  The standard does not address the issue of separated output, so either model (with or without transform) would be correct.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 11:05 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    >What good is Output Preview if its not returning the actual output separation values?

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to return the "actual output separation values", since the software has no way of knowing how your press is calibrated (or if it even is calibrated).   All we can do is use the information you've provided and work from that.

     

    This is one reason why using color managed input (aka ICC profiled colors) instead of raw CMYK values is preferred.

     

     

     

    >By default in AcrobatX a PDF/X-1a opened in Acrobat with the Simulation Profile as the Output Intent—

     

    >both the preview and the separation output numbers were correct.

     

     

    For PDF/X-1a files, the Output Preview is still correct in Acrobat XI.  The only issue that has been identified is for PDFs that DO NOT comply with the PDF/X standards, so that no Output Intent exists.

     

     

     

    >If I send out a US SWOP X-1a and my printer blows off the intent and outputs to US Sheetfed,

     

    >there isn't going to be the CMYK to CMYK conversion the new Output Preview is showing.

     

     

    It is debatable if your printer is following the standard or not.  Some people say yes, some say no.  As such, both positions are valid.

     
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    Mar 8, 2013 12:41 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Rob – the details of a separated workflow are completely outside the PDF/X specification (and the PDF spec, for that matter).   Acrobat assumes a modern composite and/or digital workflow, where the PDF/X file will be processed by a native PDF RIP according to the rules of PDF/X (rather than a historical separated Postscript workflow).

     

    Neither InDesign nor Photoshop support PDF/X-compliant rendering, so the point is moot.

     
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    Apr 23, 2014 9:09 AM   in reply to lrosenth

    We just upgraded to Acrobat XI and I'm a bit confused on this whole Output Preview, Simulation Profie, Color Management change from the way it was handled in older verisons of Acrobat. We have all our Adobe products synchronized to utilize a profile we developed several years ago using the Custom CMYK option in the Color Settings area of PhotoShop based on the output of our presses. For our CMYK workspace we have SWOP (Newsprint) in our managed settings. In previous versions of Acrobat we had no issue with the Output Preview, but in XI we now see that the color separations are not being displayed correctly. For instance a solid 100% black according to Pitstop is showing as a 4-color black in Output Preview. In researching this it appears that now our Adobe Color Management settings for the CMYK workspace must match those shown in the Simulation Profile in order to get the correct results. The only problem is there is no SWOP (Newsprint) available to us in the Simulation profile list and we can't change all our Color Management settings to something else without doing extensive testing across all our proofers, RIPs, presses, etc. Is there no way to add a specific profile to the Simulation Profile list so that it matches any custom ones we have in our Color Managment settings?

     
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    Apr 23, 2014 10:49 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Thanks Rob! I actually just got back to my desk from doing just that and explaining it to our users and there was your message. :-) After posting I recalled that we had created an icc profile of our SWOP (Newsprint) setting to install on our Ricoh color copier to have it better match our press output and I just had to do some experienting on the Mac to see which Color Profiles folder it needed to be in to get it to show up in Acrobat. Once I did that we could choose it for our Simulation profile and everything was fine.

     

    The majority of our workflow is internal so we don't normally have an issue, but when we have to check customer-supplied PDFs we like to use the Output Preview to make sure things are separating correctly before we send them to press. Pitstop does a good job of letting us know, but some users like the visual representation Output Preview provides too.

     

    At some point we may change our newsprint profile to one of the newer industry standards, but so much along the line would need to change and be tested and we just recently got our color management working well across the board so hoping this will get us by for now.

     

    Thanks so much for all the great screen shots and help! I really do appreciate it!

     
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