11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2012 2:35 PM by Bob Lag RSS

    Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work

    Bob Lag Community Member

      Using indesign CS5, I make a pantone solid spot colour background.

      I import two of the same photos: one a greyscale circular pshop file with transparency surrounding the circle ( the file is not flattened).

      The other is the same photo, but I make a clipping path around the circle and then flatten the file and save as a jpg.

      Both photos are put on top of the pantone solid color background in Indesign.

      I export the indesign file as pdfx 1a using pdf-presets under the file menu.

      If I open the pdf in Acrobat and open the "output preview" panel and turn off the "simulate overprinting" box, the pshop photo disappears, but the jpg with the clipping path is fine. They print as they appear: one disappears (Pshop file)  and one is OK: the jpg.

      If you import the pdfx 1a pdf back into Indesign, you will see that the pshop image has disappeared.

       

       

      I understand this happens to others not just me. is there a fix?

      Does it work with all a spot colours and transparency?

       

      If I save as a higher version of acrobat (say 7). The pdf looks fine and imports back into indesign fine.

      And if I send to the RIP the RIP seems to handle it fine. But if I take that Acrobat 7 file and put on a page and export as pdx-1a, I get the same problem

        • 1. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
          BobLevine UGM

          PDF  X/1-a is an archaic standard. Use X/4 and I assure you the results will be fine.

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
            rob day MVP

            If I open the pdf in Acrobat and open the "output preview" panel and turn off the "simulate overprinting" box, the pshop photo disappears, but the jpg with the clipping path is fine. They print as they appear: one disappears (Pshop file)  and one is OK: the jpg.

             

            I assume your problem is proofing to a composite printer and not separations? I can replicate your display problem with overprint unchecked, but there's nothing wrong with separation output numbers. Do you have Simulate Overprint checked in the output tab when you print composite?

            • 3. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
              Bob Lag Community Member

              If I print the pantone plate, it works fine, but if I send to the RIP as a composite to be printed on cmyk plates the image disappears.

               

              I found that by pdfing as Acrobat 7 (so there is no flattening) and allowing the RIP to separate all colour (including the Pantone sport) as cmyk, everything seems to work fine.

              I read an on-line file that said setting the RIP to overprint will fix the problem of not being able to use the pdfx 1A file, but I haven't had time to try that yet.

               

              If I send the orginal file from indesign, and don't use pdf at all, everything works fine to the RIP.

              But sometimes we get national GM files as pdfx 1a that don't work. At least now I know what the problem is and getting them to change the Pantone spot colour in their ad to cmyk fixes that problem. We usually don't send spot colour to the rip.... we press cmyk on all colour ads.

               

              Thanks

              for all the suggestions

              Bob

               

              • 4. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                Why are you specifying a Pantone spot color if you don't intend to use a spot plate?

                • 5. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                  Bob Lag Community Member

                  It looks like pdfx 4 doesn't convert rgb to cmyk, so I guess a person could begin with those settings and add "convert to destination preserve numbers" to convert RGB and keep existing cmyk the same???  Maybe???

                   

                  Bob

                  • 6. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                    rob day MVP

                    It looks like pdfx 4 doesn't convert rgb to cmyk, so I guess a person could begin with those settings and add "convert to destination preserve numbers" to convert RGB and keep existing cmyk the same???

                     

                    That would convert RGB or Lab objects to CMYK but not spot colors—you would still get a CMYK + spot document and the spot will need to be converted in the RIP.

                     

                    PDF/X-4 ensures all objects have a color profile, so your client could choose convert to destination and make the conversion on export, or you could convert RGB in the RIP. The results would be the same assuming you are both using the same destination CMYK profile.

                     

                    If for some reason you want to stay with PDF/X-1a, you could ask the client to check All Spots to Process in ID's Ink Manager before exporting X-1a.

                    • 7. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                      Bob Lag Community Member

                      National ad sometimes come with spot Pantone plates and this where we started having problems.

                      The same agency a couple years ago used only clipped masks - which didn't cause a problem.

                       

                      With transparency now in the mix, we have had a few national company logos disappear.

                      • 8. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                        BobLevine UGM

                        Instead of going through all of this hassle, may I respectfully suggest

                        that you write up some strict file requirements for ad submission and if

                        they aren't followed, reject the ad or charge to fix it?

                         

                        Bob

                        • 9. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                          Bob Lag Community Member

                          Rob Day wrote:

                           

                          If I open the pdf in Acrobat and open the "output preview" panel and turn off the "simulate overprinting" box, the pshop photo disappears, but the jpg with the clipping path is fine. They print as they appear: one disappears (Pshop file)  and one is OK: the jpg.

                           

                          I assume your problem is proofing to a composite printer and not separations? I can replicate your display problem with overprint unchecked, but there's nothing wrong with separation output numbers. Do you have Simulate Overprint checked in the output tab when you print composite?

                          If I choose separations from the Indesign print Box the "simulate overprint" is greyed out in indesign cs5 when printing to a cheaper HP laser printer.

                          I will have to check tomorrow if that option is there when sending to the RIP. I have seen an online suggestion about turning a preference on at the RIP similar to "simulate overprint", but haven't tried that. I am also wondering if that would cause a Greyscale or Color Image to overpint the pantone colour and leave me with a duotone looking effect?

                          • 10. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                            rob day MVP

                            Can you require PDF/X-4 instead of PDF/X-1a? X-4 would be better.

                            • 11. Re: Pantone spot colour & Transparency don't work
                              Bob Lag Community Member

                              I am just starting to realize how to fix this problem and thanks to all the suggestion I now have a better understanding of the different options that I have.

                              First and foremost I will now set Pitstop and Acrobat pre-flight to warn me of spot colours and transparency and then I can print off a proof and see if there are problems with images.

                              If so I will inform the agency contributing pdfs to either upgrade to acrobat 7 or to change spot colour to cmyk.

                              That should fix the problem.