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Just because you see a color in a certain way on your own computer screen, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to appear that way on a different device. That device could be another computer monitor, it could be inkjet printer that sits next to your computer, or it could be a printing press that's somewhere else in the world. But as a designer it may be incredibly helpful for you to be able to preview those colors as they might appear on those other devices. Illustrator does give you the ability to proof your colors as they might appear on different devices. You can do that by going to the View menu and choosing the Proof Colors option. Now, by default though proofing colors themselves won't help you until you first tell Illustrator what device you want to simulate. So I'll first choose Proof Setup. Now, by default Illustrator has it set to my working space, which is CMYK : U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. But I'm going to go down here to where it says Customize. I'm going to choose a different device that I want to simulate.
For example, I have an inkjet printer made by Canon, so I want to click over here and because I have installed these drivers and these Color Profiles in my computer, they automatically show up in this list. For example, I'll choose this one here called Canon MP460 SP2 and I'll click OK. So, now you can see that the color changed on my screen. If I go to the View menu, I'll uncheck Proof Colors; this is what it would look like on my screen working with my own on screen RGB profile. But based in the color profile of my printer Illustrator, when I turn Proof Colors on, is simulating to me what this artwork is going to look like when it gets printed out of my printer.
An interesting way to work with this Proof Colors setting is actually to use two different windows, one window that displays the artwork as you are working inside of Illustrator and another window that simply gives you a preview of what artwork is going to look like using one of the Proof Colors settings. For example, I'm going to go back to the View menu here and turn off the Proof Color setting. I'll choose Window and choose this option here called New Window. So now you can see that I have floral_design_3.ai and then I have here 1 and then I have 2. It's the exact same document, but I'm able to view it in two separate windows. I'll also click on this icon here in the Application Bar called Arrange Documents. By clicking on that, I can choose the two-up version, so now I could click on this window here and position it this way and then I'll position the same document here. So I'm really looking now at the exact same file but in two separate windows.
Now, in this window, I'm going to leave the regular preview set on, but on this window here I'm actually going to choose to turn on View > Proof Colors. Now, because this was set actually to a new window it defaulted to my working space, which is the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP). I'm now going to change that by going to View and we choose Proof Setup > Customize and I'll choose again my Canon printer here. Now when I click OK, I now see the preview what it's going to look on my printout here, while I can tune the work in my document here. What's really interesting about the Proof Color settings is also that you can simulate what your artwork is going to look like when it gets converted to a grayscale profile.
For example, I go back to this document here and I'll change the Proof Setup to something else. I'm going to go to the View menu, I'll choose Proof Setup, Customize and I'll scroll down the list over here to where it says Generic Gray Profile. In doing so, I could now see a grayscale version of my artwork even while I go ahead and click and edit a color version of it. In this way I can assure that as I'm working and as I specify colors in my artwork maybe for some artwork developed here both in color and also in black and white. I can always make sure that I'm using a high enough contrast in my colors so that it will also look good when it gets converted to grayscale.
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