26 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2014 10:49 AM by bernst@fastline.com RSS

    Acrobat XI Color Management Change

    rob day MVP

      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

        • 1. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
          Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

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

          • 2. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
            rob day MVP

            Here's X-1a with the output intent and then a conflict sampling  a 0|0|0|50 ID object:

             

            AcrobatScreenSnapz001.png

            AcrobatScreenSnapz002.png

             

            Here is the same ID file saved with the [Press Quality] preset (no profiles). My Acrobat Working CMYK is US SWOP, so the US SWOP simulation outputs 0|0|0|50 unchanged:

             

            AcrobatScreenSnapz004.png

            AcrobatScreenSnapz003.png

            • 3. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              That is scary.

              • 4. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                MW Design Community Member

                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

                • 5. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                  rob day MVP

                  When the PDF does not include a profile I get 0|0|0|50 no matter what  CMYK Working Space or Simulation Profile is chosen in Acrobat X and earlier—the Press Quality preset doesn't include profiles.

                   

                  In Acrobat XI the numbers change if the Working and Simulation Profiles conflict. So what happens if you leave the Simulation Profile at US SWOP and change your working space to something else?

                  • 6. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                    MW Design Community Member

                    ID Working space:

                     

                    capture-000076.png

                     

                    PDF using Press Quality:

                     

                    capture-000075.png

                    • 7. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                      But waht settings did you use to export?

                      • 8. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                        MW Design Community Member

                        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

                        • 9. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                          rob day MVP

                          The InDesign profile doesn't matter because it's not included when you export via the Press Quality preset:

                           

                          Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 4.57.34 PM.png

                           

                          Try changing your Acrobat Working Space:

                           

                          Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 5.00.14 PM.png

                          If the Simulation Profile is US SWOP I get a conversion from US Newsprint to US SWOP. That didn't happen in AcrobatX or earlier:

                           

                          Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 5.00.29 PM.png

                          • 10. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                            rob day MVP

                            I really got lost looking and reading through this thread.

                             

                            If you have everything sync'd to the US SWOP defaults you wouldn't notice the change because by default the Output Preview opens with your Acrobat's Working Space as the Simulation Profile, so there would be no value change.

                             

                            This might not be a problem in practice because by default the print destination is the same as the Working Space when a profile is not included.

                             

                            The conventional wisdom has been if you don't include a CMYK profile the CMYK values should output unchanged—as with Press Quality or High Quality Print presets. It doesn't look like that's the case anymore.

                             

                            So it seems like at least including an Output Intent (PDF/X-1a) is more important now.

                            • 11. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                              MW Design Community Member

                              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

                              • 12. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                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.

                                • 13. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                  rob day MVP

                                  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.

                                   

                                  In all my testing I see a difference in the effect of an embedded profile vs. an output intent profile. I see it two ways when I export PDF/X.

                                   

                                  With PDF/X exports, any InDesign Document CMYK colors list as DeviceCMYK in Acrobat. So, 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.

                                   

                                  Furthermore if I place the PDF/X back into an InDesign document, with a Preserve Embedded Profiles policy, all DeviceCMYK color shows as unchanged in Separation Preview even when the InDesign document profile conflicts with the placed PDF/X's Output Intent.

                                   

                                  On the otherhand if I export a PDF with no output intent and set the output to No Color Conversion/Include All Profiles, I do get expected CMYK to CMYK conversions when the destination conflicts with the embedded source profiles, both from my printer and when placing back into InDesign.

                                  • 14. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                    lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                    >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.

                                    • 15. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                      rob day MVP

                                      10.6.8. Here are the files I'm testing:

                                       

                                      http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/ProfilevsOutputIntent.zip

                                       

                                      One thing I notice is that the Print dialog thumbnail preview does show the output intent having an effect, but that's not what happens in the printed separations. The color is 50% K so it's easy to see a conversion.

                                       

                                       

                                      Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 11.59.32 AM.png

                                       

                                      Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 11.58.43 AM.png

                                      • 16. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                        rob day MVP

                                        One thing I find odd about PDF/X-4 is document CMYK objects export as DeviceCMYK even though the standard includes all profiles. But if I  set the standard to None the export is still Including All Profiles and now Document CMYK color exports as calibrated.

                                        • 17. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                          lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                          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 .

                                          • 18. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                            lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                            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.

                                            • 19. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                              rob day MVP

                                              Yes, when you print separations, no color management is applied.

                                               

                                              It is from my printer when the PDF includes profiles.

                                               

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

                                               

                                              I think it makes sense that X-1a exports as DeviceCMYK so there's a workflow available that stops color management at export but notifies everyone downstream of the expected output. PDF/X-4 makes complete sense when the destination is unknown, but not if the profiles aren't working.

                                               

                                              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.

                                               

                                              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. However, my unchanged 50% K fill might print darker than expected if the press is really printing to the US Sheetfed profile, which is what the old output preview would preview when US Sheetfed was chosen as the simulation profile instead of the US SWOP output intent.

                                              • 20. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                >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.

                                                • 21. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                  rob day MVP

                                                  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.

                                                   

                                                  The output preview should show what values are outputting to the separation plates—the press has nothing to do with the separation output values. So my PDF/X-1a example is always outputting a 0|0|0|50 separation no matter what destination I choose. There's no way I'm getting a 25|25|35|0 separation which is what Acrobat XI's Output Preview is showing I'll get if I coose the conflicting US Sheetfed simulation profile.

                                                   

                                                  InDesign and Photoshop work that way, the Separation Preview and Info panels are showing the plate values not the press values.

                                                  • 22. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                    lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                    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.

                                                    • 23. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                      bernst@fastline.com Community Member

                                                      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?

                                                      • 24. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                        rob day MVP

                                                        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.

                                                         

                                                        If you are using the legacy Photshop CMYK setup you can save the setup as a profile for use in CS Apps—although for newsprint it seems like a newer generation newsprint profile would be better.

                                                         

                                                        So from Photoshop's Color Settings choose CMYK>Custom CMYK, give your custom setup a name and click OK. Then choose CMYK>Save CMYK and save the profile with .icc extention into your Profiles folder. Your saved profile should show up in Acrobat's Simulation profile list.

                                                         

                                                        Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.57.20 PM.png

                                                         

                                                        ScreenSnapz001.png

                                                         

                                                        ScreenSnapz002.png

                                                        • 25. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                          rob day MVP

                                                          Also, if you are saving your PDFs with no profile the Simulation profile needs to match your Acrobat's Preferences>Color Management CMYK Working space for the number to show unchanged.

                                                           

                                                          In earlier versions of Acrobat, PDFs with no profile simulated how the color would change—the numbers remained unchanged and the preview was adjusted.

                                                           

                                                          In all of my testing PDFs with no profile output unchanged when printing separations—the changed Output Preview simulation numbers do not reflect the separation output.

                                                          • 26. Re: Acrobat XI Color Management Change
                                                            bernst@fastline.com Community Member

                                                            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!