16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2011 10:43 AM by rob day

    Overprint Preview... what in the world?

    angiesimo17

      Okay - for some reason today I happened to be reading a forum that mentioned overprint preview for InDesign and I realized I've never even used "overprint preview". So I decided to turn it on for the project I'm currently working on... and wow did I open up a can of worms.

       

      I'm working on a booth design (several different panels) and I turned overprint preview on all 3 files. On one file in particular it caused a completely different color look.

       

      Just an FYI: I'm using CS5.... and although I've designed lots of different things for prints (billboards, postcards, etc.), I'm a novice, so any advice is welcome! I am using PMS colors.

       

      Things I've tried: I have gone to ink manager and tried checking and unchecking "use standard lab values for spots" to see if it made any difference, and it hasn't. I also went to the appearance of black (even though I'm not using black) and unchecked overprint black.

       

       

      With overprint preview turned off.

      image1.JPG

       

      With overprint preview turned on.

      image2.JPG

       

      Help? It looks fine when I print it on my printer here... but I want to make sure there aren't any issues when I send it to the booth company.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          There is no way in the world this will be printed with Pantone colors so why are you using them?

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
            angiesimo17 Level 1

            I always send to them in our two PMS colors - they are the our two colors we use exclusively.

            • 3. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              And what colors would those be? Does your output look like your beforeor after screen cap?

              • 4. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                Daniel Flavin Level 4

                If these designs are typical of your designs in general, I don't think there's ever a need to see Hidden Characters, Frame Edges, Text Threads, and I would say never work in anythiny BUT Overprint Preview.

                • 5. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                  angiesimo17 Level 1

                  Peter – PMS 718 & 425. I always design with those colors even if not printing with PMS so our various printers will match up to those colors. My output looks like the regular view (it does not look like the weird Overprint Preview coloring– but I want to make sure I didn’t do something wrong because I don’t understand why it looks like that).

                   

                  Daniel – I didn’t know anything about Overprint Preview until yesterday. The issue I’m having is that the overprint preview is making one of my files (the one shown) look very funky color-wise. So I can use overprint preview in the future but I don’t know what’s wrong with the current file.

                   

                  More info: The orange background images are files from AI. I have them in another indesign file and they look fine in overprint preview.

                   

                  Any help on figuring out why it looks weird in overprint preview would be greatly appreciated!

                  • 6. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Well, I can't see your screen or output from here, but if it looks like what I see above, the "regular" preview is a lot closer to Pantone 715 than 718, and the overprint preview is pretty accurate. Similar situation with the 425.

                     

                    Have you EVER printed this with spot color inks? 718 does not translate particularly well to process, so you may never have seen the "real thing." As Bob said above, unless this is going on a digital printer of some sort that has a pantone matching module (and you get lucky), there is no way you should expect to be able to match your screen to the output by specifying spot colors.

                    • 7. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                      angiesimo17 Level 1

                      Peter -

                       

                      What's strange is this is one of the 3 files I'm using (with the same orange pattern background & same colors) and this is the only one changing the look so drastically in InDesign, the other 2 files the gray just gets a little darker.

                       

                      For all of the printed files I've done (some using PMS colors, some using just matching) I have used the PMS colors to design the files. I've seen the colors printed on various things from tradeshow booths to brochures. I don't want to match my screen, I just want to match the two PMS colors, but the darker image (shown in overprint preview) is not the correct way our things print....

                      • 8. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Well, the overprint preview of the 718 is correct, so there's something different about the other two files. Perhaps you've got the swatches defined as CMYK or checked the convert spots to process box in the ink manager. Do you see the spot plates listed in the separations preview panel?

                         

                        What are you trying to match your output to, exactly? The pantone swatchbook? Do you have one? The ONLY place guaranteed to match a spot color is a printing press using spot color inks, though I've been told by a printer I tust that some digital equipment with Pantone modules can come very close, at least with some colors. If you have some output from an inkjet plotter for booth banners, some from a laser printer, and some from a press, the odds are slim-to-none that all three will match from the same file unless you use Lab values for the spots, and that's still not a certainty.

                         

                        Further, unless your monitor is properly calibrated and profiled, you can't trust what you see on screen at all, especially with spot colors.

                        • 9. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                          Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

                          Peter, this is not an issue of monitor profiling and calibration. This is an issue of how Indesign handles and previews a Pantone spot color when Overprint Preview is turned on.

                           

                          Do this test, Create 3 spot colors and apply to 3 frames

                          A. PMS 718 with Color Mode = PANTONE solid coated

                          B. PMS 718 with Color Mode = CMYK, and Color Type remains a Spot

                          C. Toyo CF10160 (a close match to PMS 718)

                           

                          With Overprint Preview turned off, frames look the same.

                          With Overprint Preview turned on, frame A looks different.

                           

                          Why the difference with A?

                          • 10. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                            I have gone to ink manager and tried checking and unchecking "use standard lab values for spots" to see if it made any difference, and it hasn't.

                             

                            The Use lab... check box does have an effect on overprint preview and spots. With it checked you should see the Pantone swatch color mode icon change to Lab and in that case the spot colors will preview the same. If you printed using solid Pantone inks on an offset press this preview is more accurate than a CMYK preview:

                             

                            labOP.png

                             

                            If you uncheck lab in Ink Manger, the swatch mode icons change to CMYK and you will see a preview of Pantone's CMYK build when overprint is off and the Lab version when it is on:

                             

                            cmykOP.png

                             

                            With CMYK definitions the CMYK preview (OP off) also responds to your document's CMYK profile (compare an uncoated profile to a coated profile)

                            • 11. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                              Why the difference with A?

                               

                              The Toyo color doesn't change because its definition is always Lab whether you check Use lab... or not

                               

                              Changing the color mode from Pantone to CMYK disconnects the swatch from the dual definiton, so it's now always CMYK whether use lab is checked or not.

                               

                              If the job isn't really spot then you could use the Pantone Solid to Process library—those swatches are always CMYK and will preview the same with OP on.

                              • 12. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                                Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

                                I understand that each situation I listed have different definitions in the technical sense. But my question is more of why are they treated differently at all? What is the difference between a Toyo Ink and Pantone Ink and customized mixture of an ink? To an offset printing press, there is no difference. Then why did Adobe decide that Toyo's definition will always be lab, but this does not apply to Pantone, why?

                                • 13. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                  To answer the other half of Jeffrey's post, I wasn't trying to imply that calibating and profileing the monitor was somehow a magic way of making ID change its didpaly behavior, but rather the only way to be able to trust waht you see on screen. If you are using the screen to judge (and if the change on overprint preview is causing discomfort I assume you must be) color, then it needs to be profiled. If all you care about is matching output from avrious devices, it probably doesn't matter what the preview looks like.

                                  • 14. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                                    Daniel Flavin Level 4

                                    I just need a point put out here...if you never look at your work in Overprint Preview, one day you are going to get burned. Issues of transparency multiply/lighten/normal and overprint used are at some point going to be far from expected. The only safety net is to review in acrobat, at which point the OP is not going to know why acrobats view does not match ID's view in OP off.

                                    • 15. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                      Then why did Adobe decide that Toyo's definition will always be lab, but this does not apply to Pantone, why?

                                       

                                      The Pantone dual definition in ID and AI is a hangover from Illustrator 88 where there was no color management or Lab space. Photoshop has it right where all the solid libraries, including Pantone's, are Lab.

                                       

                                      No CMYK inks are used to print a solid color, so defining it as CMYK almost guarantees the preview will be inaccurate. Why  should the preview of a solid ink change when the document's CMYK  profile is changed?

                                      • 16. Re: Overprint Preview... what in the world?
                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                        if you never look at your work in Overprint Preview, one day you are going to get burned

                                         

                                         

                                        In this case where the OP is picking spot colors, but printing process color, overprint could easily be a less accurate preview because it always shows how the color will print as a solid spot color (Lab) and not as a CMYK process conversion or build.