20 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2008 4:10 PM by (chrismurphy)

    color management, printing with InDesign CS3

      RGB output devices (this includes essentially all inkjet printers from every manufacturer, when driven by the manufacturer print driver). Inkjet printers driven by a PostScript RIP are considered CMYK output devices, and thus this post does not apply to them.

      When printing to RGB output devices from InDesign using the same ICC profiles and settings as in Photoshop, you still get crummy results, in terms of color, that differ from both IDCS2 and other Adobe applications including Photoshop CS3.

      InDesign CS2 previously did all rasterizing and color space conversion in InDesign prior to submitting the print job to the OS. In CS3 this was changed to submit PostScript + colorspace information, which is then supposed to be normalized by the OS. Except that it doesn't work. Mac OS X drops the color space information.

      The work around is to check "Print as Bitmap" in the advanced section of the IDCS3 print dialog. This causes IDCS3 to do the conversion and generate a bitmap prior to submitting to the OS, rather than depending on the OS to do color conversion or rasterizing, which is the default behavior with IDCS2. Thus you can use the same ICC profiles and print driver settings as with all other Adobe applications, if you choose this option.

      Chris Murphy
      co-author Real World Color Management 2e
        • 1. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
          Level 1
          Thanks Chris. I'll try this, as I have never been able to get a decent print from ID to an RGB considereed device.
          • 2. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
            InDesign 2.0 and InDesign CS2 cannot print correctly
            to a PostScript printer if Printer PostScript Color
            Management is chosen. The printed colors are looking
            In fact this works very well by Acrobat and by PageMaker.
            The harddisk in the printer contains one or more valid
            custom ICC output profiles (one is actually enabled).

            I can print by ID 2.0 or CS2 if I choose 'Let ID do the
            Color Management' and assign the actual ICC profile.
            The result is not exactly the same as by Printer PostScript
            Color Management.

            My solution so far: print anything of importance not
            by ID but by Acrobat. Exception: plain black text ...

            Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
            • 3. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
              Level 1
              I consider PostScript color management to be more trouble than it's worth, in all of its various incarnations. I'd rather wrestle with a ground hog infested with bubonic plague. So I always use the "Let [application] Manage Colors" setting.
              • 4. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                Printer PostScript Color Management in the context of
                Acrobat and PageMaker is as correct as possible in my
                Wanted by InDesign, it's as wrong as possible - inverted
                This says simply, that ID's workflow is terribly wrong,
                ID 2.0 or ID CS2.
                PostScript Color Management uses ICC profiles indirectly
                by converting them into color rendering dictionaries.
                The calculations are executed inside the printer.
                Why should this be inferior to Host Based Color Management ?

                It's probably not a matter of preferences or habits.
                If host based color management spoils the black generation,
                then one can try printer based PostScript CMS.
                Maybe it works better, as for my printer (OKI C9600).

                Altogether, one has to live with widely 'somewhat limited'
                Good for manufacturers of ink and toner and proofing paper,
                but normally not an issue for authors of best-selling books.

                Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                • 5. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                  Level 1
                  PostScript color management depends on the RIP to work correctly and this is completely random. Some RIPs honor CSA's, some ignore them. Some honor RGB CSA's but not CMYK ones. Some will honor CRD's, some only use the internal CRD's. Without ample testing your particular RIP you have no way of knowing if it will work. So I consider it treacherous and a big pain in the rear.

                  And on top of that, no black point compensation for the conversions.
                  • 6. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                    For other readers: PostScript Color Management
                    was invented by Adobe.

                    Mainly the difficulties of black generation were
                    brought into the discussion by a member of the
                    Adobe staff years ago, when ICC profile experts
                    were not even aware of this ugly problem.
                    I think I could add some information about this
                    historical discussion, if somebody should be
                    interested in.

                    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                    • 7. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                      Al Ferrari Level 1
                      Hi Gernot,

                      Thanks for your posts. I, for one, would be interested in that historical information.

                      • 8. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                        Chris, sorry for some off-topic comments,

                        Al, I'm referring to
                        James King
                        Engineering color at Adobe,
                        chapter 15 in
                        Ph.Green, L.Macdonald (Editors)
                        Colour Engineering
                        John Wiley & Sons, 2002

                        1989/1990 Adobe designed the PostScript Level 2
                        color concept with CIE-based device independent-colors.
                        Apple's ColorSync system development was started 1991
                        and announced 1993.
                        The International Color Consortium ICC was started in
                        spring 1993.
                        From these facts it is obvious that Adobe's concept
                        came very early. There was no need to change it, but some
                        features were added later.
                        Dr King emphasizes the importance of handling black in
                        CMYK workflows. The ICC had overlooked this - profile
                        to profile conversions in CMYK destroy the original black
                        generation. There are other design concepts for ICC profiles
                        which are IMO rather doubtful: mainly the very complex
                        number and data format system and the definition of the
                        location of modules by byte offsets. Compared to these
                        structures, PostScript is simple and readable (ASCII).

                        All this lead me to the conclusion that PostScript color
                        management is probably not bad.
                        'Adobe' is not the same as 'PostScript':
                        I found, that host based Acrobat CMM for the OKI printer
                        C9600 lead to severe bugs for the black generation.
                        This is described here in chapter 1:

                        Then I changed he strategy systematically: everything
                        printer based by PostScript. ICC profiles are downloaded
                        to the harddisk. Color Rendering Dictionaries (output)
                        and CSAs (input) are calculated in the printer.
                        If the printer is equipped with genuine Adobe PostScript 3
                        ('level' no more used) then one can expect that it works
                        correctly. It is OK for Acrobat and PageMaker but not
                        for InDesign (tested for CS2 and Acrobat7).

                        Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                        • 9. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                          "print as bitmap" button is unavailable for me in CS3 through multiple iterations of settings.
                          Can someone please clue me in on how to get that button un-grayed.

                          Thank you
                          • 10. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                            Level 1
                            If it's grayed out, you're printing to a PostScript device, which as I mentioned in the initial post is not applicable to this conversation.
                            • 12. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                              Level 1
                              The bitmap option is only applicable to non-PostScript printers. I'm a little baffled by the workflow implementations of a RIP that disallowed prematched data from arriving at the RIP as if the RIP can actually do everything we'd ever want to do in terms of color management. Is this a PostScript 3 RIP or other?
                              • 13. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                Level 1
                                Sorry Chris, I deleted part of my post while you were posting.

                                I was in error.
                                I can do application managed output with InDesign by sending composite RGB.

                                By prematched data, I take your meaning to be source space?

                                Yes, the z3100ps is a postscript 3 rip, however, HP takes great pains to hide the fact that the internal postscript RIP version of their printer will only accept, create and convert to RGB.

                                Once again, I'm sorry for my confusion.
                                • 14. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                  Level 1
                                  Sorry when I say "prematched" I mean: application producing print job has normalized all color spaces to the device output space (the device output space being the color space/profile for the device you're printing to).

                                  So for the HP printer with RIP I'd expect that to be a CMYK profile. That they only give you an option to normalize to RGB is in my view a problem, unless that is the device output space.

                                  Anyway, I should better qualify that the bug this topic is originally about, is with respect to non-PostScript devices, rather than RGB output devices as I stated. That would have made things more clear.
                                  • 15. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                    Level 1
                                    And as a qualifier to the statement that I think it's a problem for the HP internal RIP to only accept RGB:

                                    1. If that RGB space is defined with an RGB output device profile for the printer, then it's probably fine.

                                    2. If that RGB space is supposed to be some intermediate space, then this is a problem. For most workflows it's a small problem. But a problem nevertheless. What intermediate space should you use? There's either an issue with the gamut of that intermediate space: sRGB too small for example, and ProPhoto RGB maybe too big if the output bit depth is only 8bpc.

                                    So, kind of an odd arrangement.
                                    • 16. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                      Level 1
                                      Yes, RGB space is defined with an RGB output device profile.

                                      I believe there is also the intermediate space in the device driver called sRGB_A.icc under library/Printers/Profiles.
                                      Not being sure of the signal path heirachy, I don't know if this is a default space, or an intermediate space through which the driver bases its ink limit settings. I believe this space is only accessible on a non postscript Epson driver for instance, by hacking it out with hexedit. Now I may be completely wrong on the above. If so please disregard.

                                      I'm sorry if this turned into a hijack of your original post.
                                      Your CS3 non-postscript workaround is very important, and deserves to be distinct from my concerns.
                                      I'll post another thread about the internal RIP hierarchy of the HP.

                                      • 17. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                        I am trying to print from InDesign CS3 to an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 (on Mac OS X 10.5.4). I have used this printer before with XP and CS2... beautiful prints, with minimal printer setup... never had to install new drivers. Now my colors are very dull, reds tend to be brown, blues are washed out. I went through a scheme of customer service tips with Epson's support by phone. I cleaned the printer heads, etc.

                                        I think it is a problem with InDesign and the color management. I am have minimal comprehension of ICC Profiles and InDesign's color settings. I know I fiddled around with the Edit>Color Settings a while back based on internet support information. I have printed multiple versions using "ColorSync" and "Epson Color Controls" while disabling color management. The last and final step I took was using the "Print as Bitmap" option.... this yielded the same results. I then tried to print a high quality PDF... nothing different.

                                        One thing that Epson support had me do: print a photo from previewer. The quality was much better than what I see now, but still not what I remember when I used my PC.

                                        PLEASE HELP!!!
                                        • 18. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                          Was DYP Level 3
                                          With "Print as Bitmap" selected you should be able to get the exact same results as printing from PS if you paper profile and printer driver setting are exactly the same. "Print as Bitmap" with IDCS3 should force it to printing exactly the same as IDCS2 did.

                                          The problem with IDCS3 (and also IDCS4) is that the monitor profile is being introduced into the RGB printflow. Canon drivers with "Fast Graphic Process" selected bypass the Apple printing processes and the monitor profile is not being introduced.

                                          So is it a Apple or Adobe problem, I don't know.
                                          • 19. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                            THANK YOU, DYP!

                                            Choosing "Print As Bitmap" in InDesign CS3 totally made my RGB printouts from InDesign Cs3 EXACTLY the same as from Photoshop CS3!

                                            I made my ICC profiles for scanner and printer using Monaco EZ-Color, possibly the lowest level profile-generator out there. I'm now considering buying the X-Rite i1XTreme system for making super-accurate ICC profiles for my monitors, scanner, and printers (including PS-driven CMYK proofers). But for now, this solution at least gets me consistent internally with CS3. :-)

                                            • 20. Re: color management, printing with InDesign CS3
                                              Level 1
                                              I'd evaluate colormunki design or photo as well, just because that software is building such great profiles from very minimal numbers of patches. it's actually kinda surprising how good of a job its doing. for certain printers/media combinations, i've found the eye one match software produces profiles that do odd things (clobbered shadow detail being one of them). *shrug*