3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2014 9:18 AM by G.Hoffmann

    Colour Changes when exported to PDF

    Albert17 Level 1

      I’m using CS5. Every time I create a PDF from InDesign the colours become completely different. Is this because of the colour management? How can I fix this problem?

      The colour profile assigned for the creative suite is Europe Prepress 3. RGB: Adobe RGB (1998) CMYK: Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004). The PDF Setting is the High Quality Print. The ICC Profile for the computer monitor is sRGB display (default).

        • 1. Re: Colour Changes when exported to PDF
          G.Hoffmann Level 3

          Some guidelines for a clean workflow:

           

          1. Don't use sRGB but a valid measured profile for the monitor.

           

          2. Synchronize color settings manually or by Bridge.

           

          3. Check whether these settings are valid as well in Acrobat Pro for viewing (they are

              not automatically synchronized in Acrobat Pro 8, which I'm still using).

              Use 'Output Intent overrides single settings', or so.

           

          4. Define in InDesign an RGB and a CMYK workspace as document color spaces.

              InDesign exports Grayscales correctly, but the monitor preview can be wrong. Grayscale

              should not be used.

           

          5. Place only images which are already in these RGB or CMYK color spaces.

           

          6. For inkjet printing use only RGB images with embedded profile.

           

          7. For CMYK offset printing use only CMYK images with embedded profile.

           

          8. Don't redefine image color spaces in InDesign for individual images.

           

          9. For any printing, especially by inkjet, use in Export as PDF

             – Leave Colors Unchanged (European Prepress doesn't change colors)

             – Embed all Profiles

               or

             – Use always the same profiles for inkjet RIP printing

           

          10. For offset printing use Export as PDF/X with pure CMYK content.

             Assign Output Intent (the valid CMYK ICC profile). Single image profiles will be stripped.

           

          In cases of color shifts:

           

          a) Import PDF pages in Photoshop in the assumed color space and check appearance.

          b) Analyze PDF by Acrobat Pro (which cannot be explained here, except for Acrobat Pro 8).

              Eventually show us an example. 

           

          A PDF can be much more complex, but then the process will be even more prone to errors.

           

          Everything in my humble opinion...

           

          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

          • 2. Re: Colour Changes when exported to PDF
            peter_whittaker Level 1

            Hi Gernot,

             

            Thanks for the helpful list. In my case, your point 9 is of particular interest:

             

            9. For any printing, especially by inkjet, use in Export as PDF

               – Leave Colors Unchanged (European Prepress doesn't change colors)

               – Embed all Profiles

                 or

               – Use always the same profiles for inkjet RIP printing

             

            I've spent the day trying to print an RGB doc to our inkjet HP Designjet 130 from within ID CC2014, with the colours coming out very muddy no matter what settings/profiles I've chosen. However If I export the file to a PDF (as you specified above) and print from OS X Preview, using Vendor Matching for Colour Matching (rather than ColourSync with the correct HP paper profiles selected), its perfect!

             

            Is there some fundamental difference between exporting to PDF versus printing from within InDesign? I always assumed ID's printing was functionally equivalent to exporting a PDF as long as you set it up correctly. I've even tried disabling colour management in ID (shock horror) but no difference - exporting to PDF is the only way to get accurate colour for this job. My faith in Colour Management is rapidly vanishing; probably due to my own incompetence, but frustrating nonetheless.

             

            best regards,

            Peter

             

            EDIT: more experimentation shows that if I disable CM via the Colour Settings menu, and then print with the Vendor Matching option turned on in the Printer dialog, I get the same results as the exported PDF print. So you can get the same results. But I'm still no closer to understanding how to make colour management work for me, rather than against me. Le sigh.

            • 3. Re: Colour Changes when exported to PDF
              G.Hoffmann Level 3

              Hello Peter, thanks for the feedback.

               

              It's now 9 years ago that I had tested printing by OKI C9600, a PostScript Toner printer,

              at the beginning by PageMaker and later by InDesign CS2:

              http://docs-hoffmann.de/oki-ps-28082005.pdf

              P.17 says, "printing by Printer PostScript Color Management fails terribly – chaotic colors".

               

              Today I had repeated the test by InDesign CS6 – it's still the same desaster.

               

              This doesn't say, that InDesign is wrong per se, it's perhaps just a problem with this printer,

              which works (on the other hand) fine for PDFs.

               

              Meanwhile I had tried to explain color management by signal flow diagrams:

              http://docs-hoffmann.de/cmsflow03072013.pdf

              I don't have special insider knowledge regarding Adobe programs. Therefore this doc

              is not an explanation how Adobe programs definitely work.

               

              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann