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Soft-proofing

From: InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Soft-proofing

Years ago when I was working on my book Real World Photoshop, with the late great Bruce Fraser, our publisher Peachpit Press came to us and said, "We are going to print the whole thing direct to press. No film, no film proofs". At that time, it was really no good way to get a printed proof at all in this workflow. So we did the next best thing. We proofed our book on screen. And you know what? It worked great. In fact, in many cases the images look more accurate on screen to what we finally got on press than we had ever seen in a match print.

Soft-proofing

Years ago when I was working on my book Real World Photoshop, with the late great Bruce Fraser, our publisher Peachpit Press came to us and said, "We are going to print the whole thing direct to press. No film, no film proofs". At that time, it was really no good way to get a printed proof at all in this workflow. So we did the next best thing. We proofed our book on screen. And you know what? It worked great. In fact, in many cases the images look more accurate on screen to what we finally got on press than we had ever seen in a match print.

We were sold. Proofing on screen, also called soft proofing, can be an excellent proofing solution. Note that I said 'can be.' There is just no way you are going to get accurate color on screen unless you create a custom monitor profile. And you want to do that with a hardware device such as the X-Rite i1. But those aren't that expensive anymore. It's really a good investment. But once you have a custom monitor profile, and you are viewing your monitor in a reasonably dim room so there aren't major reflections all over the place, and you have a good profile that describes your output device, then you are in good shape to do soft proofing.

Here is what you do. First, go to the View menu and choose Proof Setup. Right now, it's set to Document CMYK, which is the U.S. Web Coated SWOP color space. But if we know that we are going to be printing to a very specific color profile, then we want to choose Custom instead. The first thing we need to do here is choose from the Device to Simulate menu. You can choose any device that you have a profile for. For example, if your final output is going to an Inkjet printer like an HP or an Epson, then you should just choose its color profile from this list. Of course, you will only see that if you have installed the drivers and the profiles from that device manufacturer.

So if you have a custom profile for your particular output target then choose it here. In this case, I am just going to pick the U.S. Sheetfed Uncoated because I know it's going to be printed on uncoated paper on a sheetfed press. So this is as close as I can get right now. When the Preserve CMYK Numbers checkbox is on here, I am telling InDesign that I am going to be using preserved numbers in my print or export as PDF dialog box. That is, I am not going to let InDesign convert my CMYK images to some other profile. I am just going to push the numbers through to the printer as they are. I am saying that the numbers in the CMYK swatches and images are more important than the exact appearance. And that's typically the safe choice. So I am going to leave that turned on.

Now we need to choose whether to simulate the Paper Color and the Black Ink. I almost always simulate the Black Ink because I know that the black ink on screen and black ink in print are very different. On a printing press, black ink tends to be more like charcoal gray. So it's helpful to simulate that in my proof. Simulate Paper Color on the other hand, well; in general I leave that turned off. If I am soft proofing in Photoshop, I will typically turn that on. It's easier to get a better idea of a particular image when Simulate Paper Color is on.

But in InDesign, I usually leave it off because it's too dramatic a change and I can't get any perspective on what the final thing is really going to look like. Especially, when I compare it to the user interface elements around the menus, and panels, and so on. So I am going to leave that turned off. On the other hand, I might turn it on if my final paper color is going to be very not white. Let's say, if I am printing on yellow paper color or maybe it's a really blue paper. If my color profile reflects that paper color, then I would want to turn Simulate Paper Color on. But in this case, I am just going to leave it turned off. Now I am about to click OK but before I do, I want to teach you a trick that Bruce Fraser taught me. It's a wonderful trick. I use this all the time. Close your eyes first. Before you click OK, close your eyes, and then click OK, and then open your eyes. The reason is when you click OK the whole document is going to get kind of dull and dim and not very fun to look at.

But if you don't see it change, it's not quite as emotionally painful to see. More precisely our eyes are very good at adjusting to the brightest thing in our field of view. So it's a good idea to close your eyes first, click OK, then open them. And our eyes will adjust pretty quickly to the new colors on screen. This is even better if you can hide your panels first. So I am going to click OK with my eyes closed. Everyone got your eyes closed? All right, I am going to click OK, and then I open my eyes, and yes, I can see the colors got more dim. They are not as bright and saturated. But it's accurate for what this will look like if I am printing on uncoated stock on a sheetfed press.

And you still have to take this with a bit of grain of salt because you are still looking at photons going into your eyes as opposed to seeing things bounce off a paper. So it's never going to be exactly the same but it does give you a little bit accurate preview of your final output. I should also point out that in the View menu, you can turn on and off Proof Colors. So once again it's better to do this with your eyes closed. So you don't see the change being quite so dramatic. But if you turn that off, you see the Normal InDesign mode; turn it back on again and it uses the Soft Proof mode.

If you are going to have trouble with your colors, it's much better to get that news sooner rather than later. And this Proof Colors feature can definitely help when you are trying to optimize your color output.

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This video is part of

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

90 video lessons · 24645 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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