There are portions of my document that were created in InDesign as 100% black, but when the doucument is outputted to PDF the "output preview" function in Acrobat is showing those same portions as 4c black. What is going on? I have the most recent versions of everything and this has never been a problem before. Thanks. -Wade
@Wade – what exact version of Acrobat Pro are you using?
In a recent version of Acrobat Pro the values could be misleading…
I'm using Acrobat Pro 9 and X. No problems here. But might be in version XI.
As a test, just place the PDF in InDesign and check the colors there.
Use the separation preview function.
You place the PDF in ID, not open it...
When exporting, what settings are you using for Color Conversion under Output? If you are converting to a profile (and are not preserving numbers) and that profile is differnt from the assigned working space, you will get 4-color black. If you Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers) the black will be preserved but other colors may shift.
Yes I misread Laubender's comment, sorry. I placed the pdf in InDesign and it did indeed have the same separations issue.
Now, what is my best plan of attack here in your opinion? My PDF output settings are prescribed by the printer I am using, but I think I can switch to convert to destination without any hitches. However, what do I do about color shift? That's not ideal either. Thoughts? -Wade
oh, and thank you so much for your time. this is really very helpful.
I'm sorry, I'm not sure where to look the things up that you are asking me. I'm pretty new to this. The only thing that I have been adjusting are the presets in the "Edit PDF Export Preset" screen in InDesign.
You're probaly using the default SWOP Coated v2 CMYK space, but we can confirm byt goint to Edit > Convert to Profile and see waht it says is the assigned document workspace, then cancel.
The destination space is going to be listed in the Export options the printer gave you, under Output, a couple of lines below Color Conversion.
If you are exporting without including profiles, there is a bug wth AcrobatXI where you'll get conversion numbers if Acrobat's CM CMYK Working space conflicts with the profile you've chosen as the output simulation profile.
Try opening Acrobats Color management and set the Working space to match.
Yes, those setting preserve the color numbers.
The destination space is for uncoated newsprint, very porous paper that runs at high speed, and your clors will come out a bit muted compared to what you are seeing on screen (but newpaper color ALWAYS looks pretty bad ). If your monitor is calibrated you can get a pretty good idea of what the file will look like by going to View > Proof Setup.. and choosing the SNAP profile from the list, then choosing View > Proof Colors, but you may find it easier to just go to Edit > ASSIGN (not convert) Profiles... and chooes the SNAP profile, then your working sapce will match the destination and you should see a good preview if you turn on Overprint Preview.
In addition to Peter's advice, SNAP has a really low total ink limit (220%), so your export setting will convert placed images to the SNAP profile honoring the limit, while leaving native CMYK alone. So you should double check that you don't have any swatches or colors over 220, for example dark red 40|100|100|0 would be a violation. You might check with the printer for their limit.
It's always better to start working with the final destination profile assigned to the document, the default SWOP profile could show you a very misleading soft proof as you choose color. And you will avoid CMYK-to-CMYK image conversions, which are never ideal.