14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 7, 2013 7:20 AM by Brad S.

    Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?

    iniadman12 Level 1

      CS6 Exporting with PDF Interactive, is the file CMYK or RGB? All I have on the page is form fields. Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
          PrintFusion45 Employee Moderator

          If your current working document has a CMYK colorspace and you have added interactive objects and then exporting to an interactive PDF, it will export to a CMYK as long as there are only B&W objects as form fields. As soon as you import a colored form field or an interactive object, then you'll get a pop up saying "Colors will be converted to RGB in interactive PDF". Hence, the PDF will be converted to RGB in this case. You can then change the transparency blending space from within Flattener preview settings in Acrobat Pro, Tools section.

          • 2. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            InDesign and Acrobat don't have document color spaces—there can be a mix of objects in different color spaces on the page. When you export an interactive PDF all page objects get converted to tagged sRGB. In AcrobatPro open Output Preview and use Preview>Object Inspector to see the color space of a selected object.

             

            A form field doesn't show as an object in Acrobat, so I don't see a way to determine its color space. If you use Output Preview's Show popup, a form field always shows no matter what space you choose as a filter.

            • 3. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              This is not correct!

               

              Anytime you export so-called interactive PDF from InDesign (and that is what you must do to preserve the forms fields), you end up with PDF that is totally sRGB with the exception of any content defined in spot colors which are ironically passed through “as-is” to the PDF file. Even black text is passed through as RGB and very difficult to properly print on color devices!

               

                        - Dov

              • 4. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                with the exception of any content defined in spot colors which are ironically passed through “as-is” to the PDF file.

                I'm not seeing that in AcrobatPro. Here I'm selecting the middle object which is Pantone Orange spot and the object inspector shows it as sRGB.

                 

                The form field at the bottom shows no matter what space I use as the filter, so Acrobat doesn't tell me what it is (unless there's another way?):

                 

                Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 10.58.15 AM.png

                 

                 

                Filter to show sRGB and the form field shows

                 

                Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 10.58.39 AM.png

                 

                But it also shows with any other filter Gray here:

                 

                Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 10.59.03 AM.png

                • 5. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                  Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  @iniadman12 – it's not quite clear what you try to do (at least not to me). Would you like to preserve CMYK values AND having form fields in one PDF document?

                   

                  Then you could do the Export to PDF two times:

                   

                  1. Export to "Adobe PDF (Print)" => CYMK intact, no form fields
                  2. Export to "Adobe PDF (Interactive)" => all sRGB + form fields

                   

                  In Acrobat Pro you could "Replace Pages" (Document / Replace Pages) in the interactive version of your PDF with the print version. The form fields stay intact.

                   

                  Uwe

                  • 6. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                    Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Rob Day said:

                    The form field at the bottom shows no matter what space I use as the filter, so Acrobat doesn't tell me what it is (unless there's another way?):

                     

                    @Rob – Hm. I'm working with InDesign CS5.5 and Acrobat Pro 9. If I export to PDF (Interactive) and check "Output Preview" I am not able to see any form fields in the preview. Unless I flatten* the form fields to "normal" objects.

                     

                    But of course, CS6 in conjunction with Acrobat X or XI could be different…

                     

                    Uwe

                     

                     

                    *Flattening can be done by a Acrobat JavaScript I downloaded somewhere years ago and is added as a menu item.

                     

                    See:

                     

                    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/790368?tstart=11

                    • 7. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                      iniadman12 Level 1

                      Updated to question.

                       

                      I've been traveling the last few days and unable to reply.

                       

                      Sorry for the confusion. I may not have asked my question fully.

                       

                      I'm designing a page in ID CS6 setup as CMYK. I'm setting the form fields (in black) then deleting the imagges and text so that all that is left are the form fields. I'm them exporting PDF Interactive. I was told that when you export to PDF Interactive, the file is converted to RGB which I do not want. Does the file remain as CMYK or does it convert to RGB?

                       

                      Thanks again for you assistance.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                        Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        @iniadman12 – you could check yourself, if you implement the Flattener script for Acrobat Pro I mentioned in answer #6. After flattening the form fields you have access to the color numbers and the applied color space through the OutputPreview in Acrobat Pro.

                         

                        My experience with form fields in InDesign says yes, all form fields are converted to sRGB.


                        However, there is a slight chance to generate form fields with Acrobat Pro that are in Black only.
                        But for that, I think you need a Mac version of Acrobat Pro.

                         

                        I'd ask the specifics for that in the Adobe Acrobat Forms forum.
                        See especially the following thread (no solution yet):

                         

                        http://forums.adobe.com/message/5378929#5378929

                         

                         

                        Uwe

                        • 9. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          All of the page items get converted to sRGB.

                          • 10. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            For Mac users, at least in Acrobat Pro 9 or X tested on Mac OSX 10.6.8, it seems to be possible to use GrayScale values for generating new form fields. After flattening (I just tested with Acrobat X), you'll get real Black values out of the CMYK color space.

                             

                            See the following screen shot (where 41% Gray  translates to 59 % K of CMYK after flattening):

                             

                            GrayScaleSlider_AcrobatPro.png

                             

                            Uwe

                            • 11. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              Apparently nobody believes Dov Isaacs post #3....

                               

                              Keep in mind his job title is Chief Scinetist for PDF workflow (perhaps not the corect wording, but you get the idea). I think he's in a position to know.

                              • 12. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                If I export an interactive PDF with a form text field and other non interactive page items, Acrobat XI's Object Inspector tells me the page items are ICC sRGB but returns no info for the form field—anyone can confim this with Acrobat's Output Preview panel.

                                 

                                If I fill in the form field in Acrobat, save, and place the interactive PDF back into ID, and look at the page items in Separation Preview the values appear to be a conversion from sRGB to document CMYK. Text that was 100% black in the original is now 4-color, which is what you would expect of a black RGB object.

                                 

                                However the text in the form field is not 4-color, which means it could not have been an RGB object in the placed PDF. If I export the new ID document as PDF/X-1a, Acrobat now tells me the form text is Device-N Black

                                 

                                Here's a capture of the ID file with the interactive PDF placed with Black on and off:

                                 

                                Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 7.57.10 PM.png

                                 

                                You can see the form text is black only:

                                Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 7.57.15 PM.png

                                • 13. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                                  Brad S. Level 1

                                  The reason I would like to output an interactive form in CMYK is that we have a lot of regional sales offices around the world, and I would like staff in these offices to be able to download a business card template which can then be filled out using Reader, without the need for specialty software or design skills, saved and sent to a local printer.

                                   

                                  This appears to have worked for me (Bob Levine also suggested the same thing here http://forums.adobe.com/message/5378879#5378879, thanks Bob):

                                  Laubender wrote:

                                   

                                  @iniadman12 – it's not quite clear what you try to do (at least not to me). Would you like to preserve CMYK values AND having form fields in one PDF document?

                                   

                                  Then you could do the Export to PDF two times:

                                   

                                  1. Export to "Adobe PDF (Print)" => CYMK intact, no form fields
                                  2. Export to "Adobe PDF (Interactive)" => all sRGB + form fields

                                   

                                  In Acrobat Pro you could "Replace Pages" (Document / Replace Pages) in the interactive version of your PDF with the print version. The form fields stay intact.

                                   

                                  Uwe

                                   

                                   

                                  I followed these steps, first saving my form out of InDesign as interactive, which saved as RGB and then the same page as print in CMYK, which excludes the form fields.

                                   

                                  I then opened the interactive form PDF in Acrobat XI Pro, entered a few form fields, checked the colours with the Output Preview tool, and sure enough they were all RGB. The form fields don't even register as a colour at this point with the eyedropper tool.

                                   

                                  I then replaced the page with the CMKY PDF, checked the colours again with the Output Preview tool, and all the colours, including the form fields switched to CMYK, with my exact colour formulas preserved. Form fields are showing as 100% process black at this point.

                                   

                                  I then saved this as a Reader extended PDF, enabling filling the form and saving the document, opened it in Reader, filled it out and saved it. I reopened it in Pro and, low and behold, the colours are still showing as CMYK in the Output Preview tool, includng the form fields which are still showing as 100% process black.

                                   

                                  I'm going to now send this to my printer to ask them if they see any issues with sending this to print as a 4 colour process job. I will report back my findings.

                                  • 14. Re: Exporting with PDF Interactive Are files CMYK?
                                    Brad S. Level 1

                                    I sent the PDF to my printer in the UK and they have confirmed that it rips OK, my CMYK colours are good, and that the black on the form fields is coming out 100% on what would be the black plate.

                                     

                                    One other thing to clarify, I am using Windows 8.