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Fixing CMYK blacks

From: 11 Things Every Newspaper Should Know About PDFs

Video: Fixing CMYK blacks

Rasterizing issues. That's not the only problem when opening a PDF in Photoshop. Another problem we have is that it will change the color structure. Take this ad for example. I'm in Acrobat 10. So I'm going to go to View > tools > Print Production. Output preview and it's got spot red. Now some of you are asking, well wait a second Russel, isn't that a good thing that it changes the color structure? Cause I don't want spot red, I want CMYK red, and opening it in Photoshop takes care of that for me. All right.

Fixing CMYK blacks

Rasterizing issues. That's not the only problem when opening a PDF in Photoshop. Another problem we have is that it will change the color structure. Take this ad for example. I'm in Acrobat 10. So I'm going to go to View > tools > Print Production. Output preview and it's got spot red. Now some of you are asking, well wait a second Russel, isn't that a good thing that it changes the color structure? Cause I don't want spot red, I want CMYK red, and opening it in Photoshop takes care of that for me. All right.

I'll give you that. Let's take a look, and see what happens. Let's close out of this. Let's go to bridge. And I'm going to drag that right on top of the Photoshop icon. Here, I can tell it's asking me to rasterize. Let's keep it high, let's go 619 megabytes, that's a big file. I could convert to CMYK here. Wow, 26 megabytes. Let's go for it, all right? This computer's strong enough. I'm going to hit okay. Converting everything to CMYK now. And here's the problem, it's not just doing the reds at CMYK.

Let's go to channels. Now, this actually did a pretty decent job with the body. Look at that, if I turn off black, look at that, it held it. But look at the black right in there. It sees that black as CMYK blacks. Is that the end of the world? Maybe not. Maybe on this one, we're going to get by with just that. How would I fix it? Well, it would be possible for me to turn off the PSI Image in a yellow. And really make sure that was a solid black using selection tools. And getting in there and trying to work on it.

Then with that same selection, I can then go to the other channels. And I would delete that color from that so that now I only have black inside that area there. That's one way you can do it, it's possible. You need to do that on the channels panel. So, it's not always that simple though. Let's take this ad for example. Let's look at it in Acrobat first. Output preview, here's another example of where you overprint, it's got that built into it, when you simulate print over it, you can see that we're losing text. I showed you in other videos how to fix that.

But let's say you go back to your old ways and you say "I'm going to open this up in Photoshop." So, we go to Photoshop to open this up. We choose CMYK. I'm not going to do 600 pixels per inch for this. Let's do 400. There we go. Twenty-nine megabytes, that's manageable. OK. And I'm going to go ahead and hit OK. Now, it's opening as PDF in Photoshop, and it's rasterizing everything. We talked about that in the last chapter. I'm concerned about what it does to the color. Here we go. Now let's turn off the black plate.

Hmm, it actually preserved that black pretty well. But let's go to the Info panel. And let's look at the black value down there. Not bad. 100. You can see it there. OK. So actually in this case we survived it with the CNYK black. What's the big issue then? In this case the big issue is just the rasterization, but you'll notice, it didn't help us with overprint here. It didn't take care of that. Let's try one more way. File > Open. What happens if I open that as RGB color? Notice when I brought it into RGB, it was able to keep the text.

That's good news. Hm, so opening it in CMYK, I lost that because it more closely resembled the print output. When I opened it in RGB the good news is I kept the text the way I wanted it to look. Oh-oh, let's look at the channels. All right. Well, that's all right I'm not going to even be RGB. Image > mode > CMYK. Now let's turn off the black and the yellow and the magenta. Uh-oh, see? That's a problem. That's a problem.

So in this case, yeah, I wanted to open it up in CMYK, but if you remember, when I did that, I lost that type because it was set to Overprint. The good news was it kept the background. But I've lost everything else. So it's a trade-off here. I would recommend that, if you can avoid it, don't even open it in Photoshop. Use the other tools that I've shown you so that now you can see that, yeah, that's a problem opening it in Photoshop. CMYK blacks and rasterization.

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11 Things Every Newspaper Should Know About PDFs

30 video lessons · 1253 viewers

Russell Viers
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