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Managing color at print time

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Managing color at print time

It's time for the Print dialog box where the wheels meet the road and all our color management expertise will be for naught if we don't print properly. So I am going to go to File menu and choose Print. Now since we are talking about color management in print, we better choose the Color Management pane of the Print dialog box. We have two basic choices here: to print the document itself or to print a proof of that document. For example, if I want to see what this document is going to look like when it comes off a printing press, but I am currently only printing to my local desktop printer, well I want to use Proof.

Managing color at print time

It's time for the Print dialog box where the wheels meet the road and all our color management expertise will be for naught if we don't print properly. So I am going to go to File menu and choose Print. Now since we are talking about color management in print, we better choose the Color Management pane of the Print dialog box. We have two basic choices here: to print the document itself or to print a proof of that document. For example, if I want to see what this document is going to look like when it comes off a printing press, but I am currently only printing to my local desktop printer, well I want to use Proof.

When you choose Proof, InDesign loads in the last specified profile from the Proof Setup dialog box, which we saw in the last movie. In that case, we were proofing what this document will look like on a US Sheetfed Uncoated press. So that's what's loaded in here. I better go choose a printer out of here. I might as well print to this HP Color LaserJet. That's what I guess I have available on this machine. I am going to be printing a proof on that printer, but I am going to simulate US Sheetfed Uncoated press. Now we need to decide whether InDesign should determine the colors in this Color Management or let the PostScript Printer determine the colors in this Color Management and I have one answer to that.

Go ahead and let InDesign determine that. You will probably going to get a better quality if InDesign does the work. Now since I am printing to a laser printer and the same thing would go if I am printing to an Inkjet printer, I probably want to send RGB data instead of CMYK. As I said in an earlier movie those printers look like they are CMYK devices. They use CMYK inks and toners and so on, but in general they print best when you send RGB data to them. So I am going to go back to the Output tab here and choose Composite RGB to send to this printer instead.

Now I will return to the Color Management pan and I am going to choose an RGB printer profile from this pop up menu. Generally, when you install one of the higher-end laser printers or Inkjet printers, it automatically installs ICC color profile for that printer as well. In this case I am just going to find something that's close to it, this LaserJet RGB. But if you have a custom profile for your particular output device, then you should definitely choose that here. That way you will get the best quality color. Another option is if you don't have a profile for your device, then just go ahead and use SRGB. A lot of printers are just expecting SRGB data to be sent to them. So if you choose SRGB here, you are probably going to get a reasonably good result. Finally you need to choose whether to Simulate the Paper Color or not. If you are making a proof to send to a client, I would suggest leaving that off.

If you are trying to find something that really is pretty accurate and you want to see what the paper color is going to look like, go ahead and turn it on, but you will notice that the printer color of a Sheetfed Uncoated press is probably going to look a lot more dull and it's going to be dim. So I often will turn it off when I am making a proof for a client. It's more accurate. It might not be totally accurate, but it's accurate enough to send to client in my opinion. Now that's what I would do if I am making a proof to my printer. Now let's talk about if I am going to actually print directly to that printer. If that printer is my final output device. I choose Document in the print area here. I am going to back to the output pane and change this back to either Composite CMYK or Separations or if I want it to be grayscale, I could choose Composite Gray here and everything here would be converted to gray.

But in this case I am going to just choose Composite CMYK, because I want to send CMYK data to my printer pretending that I am actually printing to a final device. I will go back to Color Management. That's set to Document. Good, color handing is still set to Let InDesign Determine the Colors. That's good and now I need to choose a printer profile. Now if you're Document CMYK or your Working CMYK is your final output profile, then you are set. You just leave that the way it is. US Web Coated is at sort of general middle of the road color in North America and that might be OK. But if you have a profile that you are really trying to target, you are trying to get better than middle of the road color, you are trying to get really excellent color and you have a profile, then go ahead and choose it here.

For example, I am going to choose the US Sheedfed Uncoated, because that's what's this brochure is going to be printed to. Now it would be even better if I had a really custom profile for my output device. If my print provider could send me a profile for their device on this paper stock with these inks at their house, then that would be even better to dial in exactly that output condition with a custom profile, but in this case I don't have a custom profile. So I am just using sort of general profile that will get me closer to excellent color on my output.

Now if you want to go through the trouble of making a custom profile or you are working with your printer or maybe you are a printer and you are trying create a custom profile for your press, then there are lots of companies out there that will help you do that. You can just go to Google or some search engine and search for custom ICC profiles and you will find a number of companies out here, such as CHROMiX. CHROMiX is a great company that will make custom profiles for you. Then that will really let you dial in excellent color right out of InDesign. Now because I chose printer profile, in other words an output target to shoot for. That's different than my document profile. InDesign wants to know what do you want to do about the CMYK numbers that are in this document, i.e. all of the untagged files such as my color swatches, the CMYK images and so on. What do you want to do with those? And I recommend leaving Preserve CMYK Numbers turned on. That's a safe choice.

We talked about that in earlier movies as well. That means that if you have a 50% cyan in your document, it will just be passed down to the printer as 50% cyan without changing. Sometimes people will have 100% black text and when they print it, it turns into like four- color text with cyan, magenta and yellow mixed in. Well, that's because they were not using Preserve CMYK Numbers. When this is turned on, then 100% black text simply gets passed down as a 100% black text. So that's usually the safe thing to do. Now before I hit Print, I am going to make sure that all my other panes are set up the way I want them to be. For example, I like having Download PPD Fonts on and let's say in Advance, oh my goodness, Transparency Flattener was set to medium and that is terrible.

I always like using high resolution when I am printing a final document. So, I will change that there, and one more thing before I click Print. I may want to check my printer driver settings and I can do that by clicking the Printer button down here. If I click Printer, then InDesign warns me watch out, because some printer drivers will say one thing and the Print dialog box says a different thing. There might be conflicts. That's okay. I will just go ahead and click OK. In this case I want to make sure that I turn off any kind of special color management that the printer driver might be adding to my print stream. So if you have an option for turning off color management in the driver, then go ahead and do that right here.

I am going to click Cancel, because I don't want to mess with that right now, but in general it's a good thing to remember. If you are doing color management to a printer, you want to make sure whether you are doing a proof or final output that the printer driver color management isn't messing up all of InDesign's color management. I think that's it. It's time to click Print. But what if you are not printing directly from InDesign? What if you want to send your file to an output provider as a PDF file instead? All right, let's look at that workflow in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

90 video lessons · 24555 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
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  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 48m 2s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 22s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 3s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 49s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 53s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 24s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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