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Making sure black is black

Apr 22, 2013 6:38 PM

Tags: #black_text #grayscsale #black_ink

My print shop requests that I check my document to make sure that anything black on the pages is black, not CMYK or RGB.


I see the Black tile on the Color panel, but don't know how to see that when the black is indeed based on CMYK or RGB.  (As I recall, I changed a couple black text boxes to CMYK, thinking that was a good thing.  Now I know it's not.)


Where do I adjust the color to make sure the text black is black?  And although this forum doesn't address Illustrator, the same issue may be there as well, so I hope this will help me fix anything over there.  (Ugh, and a few graphics are in Paint!  Bigger question than I thought!)



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 7:28 PM   in reply to ceilr

    Make sure the document color space is CMYK. Double click on the black swatch to make sure it is 100% K only.


    Open your paragraph styles one by one and check that the black for your text is 100% K only (or a percentage thereof, but no CMY). At least as long as you used paragraph styles. Else highlight all the text and choose the black swatch. If the black text is not 100% K, change it by either each of the pragraph styles used or once all the text is highlighted. Do use paragraph styles in the future if you are not using them.


    Ask in the AI forum for specific issues. Screen shots of some of your art used would be good. Images, if they need to be black and not in color can be changed but not in Paint.



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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 8:33 PM   in reply to ceilr

    Where do I adjust the color to make sure the text black is black?

    InDesign only has 3 color modes Lab, RGB, or CMYK. The default [Black] swatch is 0|0|0|100 CMYK

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 9:07 PM   in reply to ceilr

    After making sure your InDesign document color space is CMYK, just open your Separations Preview.


    In the Separations Preview there should be plates for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black, (also Spot Colors if any were used)


    Select "View Separations" and turn OFF the Black plate, and anything that is Black only should disappear. If it doesn't, then the object has some values in the other plates - C, M, Y

    While you have View Separations active you can move your cursor over any element in your document and the color values of the color will show up in the Separations Preview panel.


    Since CS4 Illustrator has finally gotten a Separations Preview, but it doesn't have as many features as the one in InDesign.


    Acrobat Pro has an Output Preview that is even more useful.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2013 10:47 AM   in reply to ceilr

    Window > Output > Separations Preview and choose Separations in the dropdown.

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