22 Replies Latest reply on Jun 18, 2014 3:03 PM by NAJ

    InDesign converting legacy spot colours

    NAJ Level 1

      Hi there,

       

      I have been supplied a pdf that contains the spot colour Pantone Yellow C. The PDF properties says that it was created in InDesign CC and I have no reason to doubt this. For our own internal prepress  workflow I need to bring the PDF back into InDesign CC and make another PDF. When I do this the spot colour appears in InDesign swatches palette as a Lab Spot colour. Now I know this is down to the introduction of Pantone+ libraries since CS6 but I do not want to print the spot colour, I want to convert it to CMYK. The Pantone Plus book states that this colour should have the breakdown 0%C 1%M 100%Y 0%K however InDesign CC converts this colour to 2%C 9%M 100%Y 0%K which is quite a difference and gives quite a brown tinge through our ISO proofing device. I then forced the PDF open in Illustrator CC and the swatch appears as a CMYK Spot with the correct pantone breakdown. So my first question is why if Illustrator and InDesign CC are using the same Pantone+ libraries do they both interpret the colour differently?

       

      Hopefully you're still with me on this as it has been melting my brain. My next test was to place the supplied PDF into InDesign CS4, when I did this the spot colour came in as a CMYK spot with the correct breakdown. So my last test was to create a new CS4 document and add the swatch colour to my document. I then opened that document in CC and what do you know it preserved the colour as a CMYK spot.

       

      The nature of our business means that we have to bring supplied PDFs back into CC to produce a new PDF but my concern is that will now be incorrectly converting spot colours to the wrong values.

       

      I know you may say go back to the client and ask them to convert the colour but this is not always practical and we may receive multiple PDFs from different design agencies.

       

      If you have any input/solution I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

       

      Many Thanks,

      Nik

        • 2. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
          NAJ Level 1

          Hi Eugene,

           

          thanks for taking the time to read my issue and replying so swiftly.

           

          I have just converted the supplied PDF and the conversion appears to be accurate to the Pantone CMYK values.

           

          This is an extra step to what we would have done pre CS6 but from the tests I've done there's no way of telling whether a spot colour was created using the pantone+ libraries (Lab CS6 & CC) or legacy Pantone libraries, when it's inside a PDF.

           

          Thanks again,

          Nik

          • 3. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I agree it's an extra step but I don't have another way unfortunately.

            • 4. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Try assigning SWOP as the working CMYK profile and see if the colors come into line. In theory using Lab is more accurate for getting the best possible match to whatever cmyk destination space you are using, but if you want the book values I believe they are based on SWOP.

              • 5. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                NAJ Level 1

                Eugene, I've tested a few more files and these appear to accurate. I'm in the process of documenting this as a workflow for our prepress operators.

                 

                Peter, thanks for your reply also. I will take a look assigning SWOP but I was lead to believe that SWOP was mainly an American standard and that this may give different results when the origination of the files is from a european based design agency, which most of our work is.

                 

                Many Thanks,

                Nik

                • 6. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  It absolutely will change the color appearance of any CMYK colors if you change the working space assignment, but it won't change the actual numbers (as opposed to Convert to Profile, which maintains appearance by changing the numbers).

                  • 7. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                    NAJ Level 1

                    I think I understand Peter. I will play around with a few options and see what results I get. Because we receive files from so many design agencies keeping track of colours and conversions is becoming a real issue. We may receive open InDesign or Illustrator files or a PDF, some people include spot colours in there files but only want to pay for CMYK so we have to convert. We then have to try and match colours over different substrates and across Litho, Screen and Digital print process.

                     

                    If I can convert accurately in Acrobat (preserving CMYK numbers as per pantone book) that's a step in the right direction. The other issue is what if we're supplied open InDesign files with spot (Lab) colours that we need to convert. If the spot colour originates in InDesign then I can convert the colour and check the CMYK values against a pantone book, but if the spot colour is brought into InDesign from a link what process should I use then to convert the spot colour? If the link is Illustrator then I can edit the file but if it's a pdf then I suppose I would need to use the process Eugene describes (Sorry, thinking as I type). Our operators are so used to just allowing InDesign to convert the spot colours it's going to be more work for them to do.

                     

                    Thanks for all of your input,

                    Nik

                    • 8. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Well, I'm probably going to disagree here. I'm a believer in color management and using the Lab values to get the closest possible visual match (even if the color numbers are different) for each output condition. You do need to have the correct destination profiles, though, and your new more accurate conversions may not match old documents printed with the book colors.

                      • 9. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You can get CS6 and CC to use the old Pantone CMYK simulation defintions by replacing the new Pantone+ libraries with the legacy Pantone Solid libraries and unchecking Use Standard Lab Values in Ink Manager.

                         

                        Here's Adobe's help page—you'll need access to an older ID installation to get the libraries:

                         

                        Pantone Plus color libraries

                         

                        If you use the legacy libraries and check Ink Manger's All Process to spots, exported (document CMYK) PDFs will have the legacy CMYK builds.

                         

                        If your clients are using the Pantone Solid ink swatch books as a process color picker and don't really intend to print spots, Pantone now provides Pantone+ Color Bridge which are process CMYK builds for some unknown generic printing condition. Neither generic build formulas or color managed conversions get around the solid ink out-of-gamut problems. You don't want your clients thinking you can print Pantone Purple with CMYK.

                         

                        If you do make color managed conversions the destination profile and the Rendering Intent have an effect. So for a color like Pantone Yellow, which is actually a bit out-of-gamut for most CMYK spaces, the rendering intent has a significant impact. GRAcol Coated 2006 Perceptual converts to 6|10|100|0, Relative Colormetric converts to 2|7|100|0, and Absolute Colormetric converts to 0|3|100|0.

                        • 10. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                          NAJ Level 1

                          Hi Peter,

                           

                          Yesterday I created a new InDesign CC document and added the Pantone Yellow C to the swatches pallet using the Pantone+ Solid Coated library and then changed it to have a CMYK colour space and a process type. I then drew a box and added the colour as a fill. I then created another box with just a fill of Process Yellow. I then created a PDF from then document and Ran that through our ISO standard GMG Epson proofer. The Pantone Yellow C colour that came out of the proofer looked Closer to brown than yellow whereas the process yellow was spot on. Today using Eugene's suggestion of converting the spot colour in Acrobat I got the correct CMYK number conversion and when it was proofed it was damn near perfect. Do you think that this is correct or maybe you think that I have something wrong when creating the PDF? Our output profile is Fogra 39L

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Nik

                          • 11. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                            NAJ Level 1

                            Hi Rob,

                             

                            when CS6 was first released we replaced the swatch libraries with the versions that where in CS4/5, the thought was it would take sometime for agencies to upgrade to CS6. Now that CC is becoming more common and we're seeing less CS4/5 files we've reinstated the Pantone+ Libraries in CS6. One of the many problems we're finding is that colours that have previously been printed can't be matched when being processed through CS6/CC.

                             

                            The other problem that we have is that we can't convert all Spots to process as there maybe spot colours in jobs that we want to print or the job may need a spot white or sealer, which need to be preserved.

                             

                            I have even written a script so that our users can drop InDesign or Illustrator files onto and it will open the file in the correct application version.

                             

                            Sadly I would say that a huge amount of design agencies just choose a swatch from a Pantone Book, without knowing what it will look like in CMYK and now it appears that the CMYK numbers can't be matched in InDesign CC unless you load the previous libraries. I keep hearing how Lab values achieve a better result for Pantone colours but the output that I'm seeing would suggest otherwise.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Nik

                            • 12. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              Is your working space the same as the output space? What settings are you using to create the PDF?

                              • 13. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                NAJ Level 1

                                Our working space is: Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 23.03.35.png

                                 

                                and our pdf export preset are this:

                                Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 23.04.57.png

                                • 14. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                  It certainly looks like the conversion should be correct.

                                  • 15. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                    Sometime I had to replace spot colors to CMYK process colors. The CD guide required different values than the Lab or tables told us to do. When I have got closed files, like PDF I used following workaround:

                                    1. PDF file with spot color XYZ
                                    2. Different process values required
                                    3. Create a new spot color with the required values XYZ-REQUIRED
                                    4. Go to the ink manager (fly out menu in swatches)
                                    5. In the ink manger target XYZ to XYZ-REQUIRED
                                    6. Export the INDD to PDF, the process colors of the XYZ-REQUIRED will be used.

                                     

                                    Don't use EPS and Distiller together as it will bypass the ink manager.

                                    • 16. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                      NAJ Level 1

                                      Hi Willi, I just tried your suggestion. I created a cmyk spot swatch in InDesign CC and then mapped the Spot contained in the placed pdf to it via the Ink Alias.

                                       

                                      The pdf that I then exported contained my remapped spot colour. This still leaves me with the problem that I have PDF with a spot colour that I need to convert! I don't seem to be able to point the embedded spot to a CMYK process swatch.

                                       

                                      Am I missing something here?

                                       

                                      Thanks,

                                      Nik

                                      • 17. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                        You can convert individual spots to process in the ink manager as well, so alias the original to your new spot, then convert the new spot to process.

                                        • 18. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                          NAJ Level 1

                                          Hi Peter/Willi,

                                           

                                          I just figured that out, thank you. The great advantage of this process is that if I get a large campaign with multiple PDF files being supplied I can setup the Ink Alias in a document and only need to do this once rather than having to individually convert the spots in each PDF.

                                           

                                          Many Thanks,

                                          Nik

                                          • 19. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            I created a new InDesign CC document and added the Pantone Yellow C to the swatches pallet using the Pantone+ Solid Coated library and then changed it to have a CMYK colour space and a process type. I then drew a box and added the colour as a fill.

                                             

                                            I've found that converting ID swatches can be unreliable. It's as if the document doesn't respond to a change in the assigned profile or rendering intent. There doesn't seem to be a problem when using Ink Manager.

                                             

                                            Letting color management handle Pantone Solid conversions doesn't guarantee better results because the destination profile and rendering intent have to be exactly right, which takes more operator skill. If the color is on the edge or out-of-gamut like Pantone Yellow or you need a perfect neutral like a Warm or Cool Gray a preset CMYK color build could easily be better.

                                             

                                            If you turn on Separation Preview and use Ink Manger to make the conversion you can see the significant effect of the rendering intent on the output values. Perceptual creates a big problem for a saturated color like Pantone Yellow adding 10% cyan and 11% magenta. The default Relative Colorimetric isn't much better (4|8|100|0)

                                             

                                            Perceptual.png

                                             

                                             

                                            Absolute Colormeteric returns 0|4|100|0

                                             

                                            Absolute.png

                                            • 20. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                              NAJ Level 1

                                              Hi Guys,

                                               

                                              I've been doing lots of testing today and think that Willi's solution works the best. I have written a script that gets a list of all spot colours in a file and presents the user with a window asking them to choose the colours that they would like to link to an Ink Alias. The script then asks the user to enter the CMYK values to use for the Pantone. The script then creates a new spot cmyk colour with the input values, and maps the Pantone Spot to this colour as an Ink Alias. Lastly it changes the Ink in the ink manager to a process colour. When the user exports a pdf the CMYK values in the pdf for the spot colour match the input values. This relies on the Acrobat Simulation profile matching the Destination output profile within the PDF export settings in InDesign.

                                               

                                              I trying to find if theres a database or csv file anywhere that holds the values for the Pantone CMYK to Spot values, if I could find that then I could probably get my script to read the values and this would prevent the user haven to input them.

                                               

                                              If anybody is interested in this script then please let me know.

                                               

                                              Thanks,

                                              Nik

                                              • 21. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                This might help, it's a document with all of the Pantone to Process swatches (PC), which use the legacy CMYK builds:

                                                 

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

                                                 

                                                Wouldn't be hard to write a script that extracts the CMYK values for each swatch. Or you could use the file itself to get the values.

                                                 

                                                Like this AppleScript, which will ask you to open the above file and get CMYK values. This would work for Pantone colors ending in C

                                                 

                                                 

                                                set clist to []

                                                tell application "Adobe InDesign CS6"

                                                    activate

                                                    --get a list of colors in the active document that start with PANTONE

                                                    set pcolors to every swatch of active document

                                                    repeat with x in pcolors

                                                        if name of x begins with "PANTONE" then

                                                            set clist to clist & name of x

                                                        end if

                                                    end repeat

                                                  

                                                    --open the pantone process swatch file

                                                    tell application "Finder"

                                                        activate

                                                        set myPantones to choose file with prompt "Select Pantone Process File"

                                                    end tell

                                                    activate

                                                    open myPantones

                                                  

                                                    --get the process colors as a list

                                                    set processc to every swatch of active document

                                                  

                                                    repeat with c in processc

                                                        --get the color's name and change PC to C

                                                        set pname to name of c

                                                        set cnt to count of characters of pname

                                                        set pname to characters 1 thru (cnt - 3) of pname as string

                                                        set pname to pname & " C"

                                                      

                                                        --check if the color is in the target document's color list

                                                        if pname is in clist then

                                                            my makeProcess(c)

                                                        end if

                                                      

                                                    end repeat

                                                    close document 1 saving no

                                                end tell

                                                 

                                                --make a CMYK Swatch and add PROCESS to name

                                                on makeProcess(s)

                                                    tell application "Adobe InDesign CS6"

                                                        set active document to document 2

                                                        set sv to color value of s

                                                        set n to name of s & " PROCESS"

                                                        tell document 1

                                                            set processcolor to make color with properties {space:CMYK, model:spot, color value:sv, name:n}

                                                        end tell

                                                        set active document to document 2

                                                    end tell

                                                end makeProcess

                                                • 22. Re: InDesign converting legacy spot colours
                                                  NAJ Level 1

                                                  Hi Rob,

                                                   

                                                  that InDesign document is great. I've just knocked up a quick script to get the values and write them to a csv file. The reason I want a csv file is so I can embed this in my script and just use grep to find a colour and get it's cmyk values.

                                                   

                                                  set cmykSpotFile to POSIX path of ((path to desktop as string) & "Spot_to_CMYK.csv")

                                                   

                                                  tell application "Adobe InDesign CS6"

                                                    set spot_list to every color of active document whose model is spot

                                                    repeat with thisSpot in spot_list

                                                    set colourName to name of thisSpot

                                                    set colourValues to color value of thisSpot

                                                    my updateList(colourValues, colourName, cmykSpotFile)

                                                    end repeat

                                                  end tell

                                                   

                                                  on updateList(colourValues, colourName, cmykSpotFile)

                                                    set the beginning of colourValues to colourName

                                                    set recordString to ""

                                                    repeat with thisItem in colourValues

                                                    set recordString to recordString & thisItem & ","

                                                    end repeat

                                                    set recordString to text 1 thru -2 of recordString

                                                    do shell script "echo " & quoted form of recordString & " >> " & quoted form of cmykSpotFile

                                                  end updateList

                                                   

                                                  Many Thanks,

                                                  Nik