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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
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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