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As you experiment with swatches and when you import vector art containing spot colors, you may find that your swatches panel starts to grow and there are colors in there that you don't remember adding; you are not sure you're using. It's a good idea to sort of weed out the extras. So let's take a look in the Swatches panel and see what we have. I have plenty of swatches, a bunch of process colors, a few spot colors here and there. I like to start by getting rid of the unused colors. So I just go to the Swatches panel menu, choose Select All Unused, and it's like a lot of them. When I click the trash can that cleans house a little bit.
But look at this little band across the top, this sort of pinky brown. That doesn't show up in my Swatches panel. So now I want InDesign to go find objects that are using colors that aren't in the Swatches panel and add them, so that I can police them later. So back to the Swatches panel menu and this time I choose Add Unnamed Colors. And it adds that little color across the top and it by default names it by its values if you want to change the name you can. I'll just double-click, uncheck Name with Color Value, and just call it medium brown, for lack of a better name.
But then I start looking at the remaining spot colors and go, well, I've got this 7686 and then 7687. That must be a mistake. So let's find out what's used where. If I go to Window > Output > Separations Preview, this is a great way to find out a number of things. Notice how ratty my artwork looks. That's because I'm working in proxy view; that typical view that InDesign uses by default. When I turn on Separations Preview in the Separations Preview panel notice that everything sharpens up.
That's because it does two things when you turn on Separations Preview. It activates high-resolution display and it also activates overprint preview. So you are going to get a true view of how this is going to print when you choose Separations Preview. So now let's do a little forensic work. I am going to turn off the eyeball by CMYK and that's got to hide everything that's created out of process colors. So you can see a number of these little stripes across the bottom disappeared, because they're using CMYK and that brown bar across the top is gone. It's pretty clear where the orange is used, but just to double check if I turn off the eyeball by 1495 that goes away.
That leaves me with the blues. If I turn off 7461, the light blue, that's the little flower shape that's in the middle of the logo, but now let's see which is using the wrong blue. I am going to tell you that in this job the 7686 is the correct blue, and that's used in the logo, but then I have one thing left. So this 7687, now I am going to have to turn on something else so I can turn that off. I turn my process back on. When I turn off the 7687 you can tell that it's being used by those little blocks at the bottom.
I'll turn everything back on. Those little blocks across the bottom were created in Illustrator. So if I were really going to fix them, I go back into Illustrator, correct the file, and then update it in InDesign. And if I am going to use that block artwork over and over again in multiple jobs, yes, I should do that. I should go back to Illustrator and fix the art. But it's only being used this once and I don't feel like cranking up Illustrator. So I am going to see if InDesign can help me out. And the truth is it can using something called Ink Manager. So in the Swatches panel I click the Panel menu, go down to Ink Manager, and Ink Manager's purpose in life is to fix this problem.
Really, it's so common to map one spot color to another or to convert a spot color to process or to map a spot color to a process channel. Now it can't do the opposite. It can't map a process channel to a spot channel, but that's something you really have to do anyway. So let's see how it can help us out. Pantone 7687 is the wrong color. I want it to go out on the 7686 plate and Ink Manager calls that aliasing. So here I am going to tell InDesign all the content that uses 7687.
I want you to alias it to the correct spot plate, which is 7686. It's not really going to change my artwork. It's just going to change the outgoing stream. So if I hit File > Print or File > Export, the resulting product is going to combine these colors into one printing plate. Take a look at the bottom of my Separations Preview panel, you can see that 7687 is still there, but when I click OK, Ink Manager has combined the 7687 content into the 7686 plate.
And when I turn off the eyeball by that ink, you can see that everything now travels together. So I didn't have to go to Illustrator and fix this, I can fix it right here in InDesign. But it's a nondestructive change. If I were to go back to Ink Manager, I can undo that. I can say no don't alias it, have it come out on a separate plate. Hey! I've seen crazier things happen in jobs and the nice thing about that is that it's nondestructive. The slightly misleading thing about it is that you don't see any evidence in the Swatches panel that it's been changed. 7687 is still there and at first glance you think, gosh, that didn't do anything, but again if you export everything is going to get combined into that one plate and everything will be all right.
So just remember this that you're not getting any kind of indicator in the Swatches panel, but if you want to double check always go back to Ink Manager, or the easy way, again the forensic way, is to launch Separations Preview and use that as a way to check. In fact, I recommend that you consider Separations Preview part of your forensic tools when you're trying to make sure at the end of the job that everything is as it should be.
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