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InDesign CS5: Print Production Guidelines goes over the common issues that arise when preparing InDesign documents for printing and shows how to tweak PDF and document settings to ensure the perfect print. The course shows how to avoid mistakes by preparing documents correctly upfront, covering document construction, layout, ink management settings, and output options. Prepress processes in Acrobat are also covered, including accurate soft proofing and packaging in the PDF/X formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
We're going to go ahead and take a look at Separation Preview in Adobe InDesign and the Output Preview panel in Adobe Acrobat. I'm going to choose the Separation Preview from my Output menu. When I do that, I can see all the inks used in my document, including any spot colors that were used. In this case, I notice I have Pantone 179. Well, if I want to know where that is, I can turn off all my CMYK inks and my spot color is the only one that remains. This quickly shows me where that spot color is being used. When I turn CMYK back on, I can turn off the spot color and I can verify where it's being used as well.
Also, I can use the Separation Preview panel to find out the number or percentages of inks used in my document. What I mean by that is when I hover over an image I can see the percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. When I hover over my Pantone up here, I will notice it says 100% Pantone. This is a great way to see what inks are used in what percentages. It also allows me to see if anything is knocking out or overprinting. That is something we covered in a different chapter. Now that we've looked at the Separation Preview in InDesign, let's go ahead and look at the same two pages in Adobe Acrobat.
I have those two pages opened as two single-page PDFs. I want to go ahead and look in my Output Preview, so I'm going to choose Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview. I am going to just move it over so we can see it a little better. Now we notice at the bottom we have Separations. If I scroll down to my next page here, I can see that same Pantone color used above. If I turn off my Pantone plates, I can see that in fact it goes away. I can also hover over it and find out that it's 100% Pantone 179.
When I hover over my images, I can see percentages of the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, just like I could in Separation Preview in InDesign. This is a great tool of looking at the total inks used in my document and what percentages they are. Now, I notice at the top there are some more options. Output Preview shows us more than just separations. It also shows us what our PDF will look like on different devices. Right now, I have Output Intent: U.S. Web Coated. I wonder if I pick a different device, how it will change.
I'm going to come down here and pick something little more drastic. And when I do that, I can see some slight color shifts. I want to go ahead and pick the profile that simulates what output device my PDF will be printed on. I'm going to go back up and pick U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. I also want to make sure Simulate Black Ink is selected. This will show me what it's going to look like when it's printed on a printing press. In addition to Output Preview, I can open up my Ink Manager right from here. The reason I might want to do that is maybe I want to produce this job as four-color and not as five-color.
I can go ahead and I can either click here next to the Pantone and convert it to Process, or I can go down here and say Convert All Spot to Process. This is a quick easy way to take a five-color job and make it into a four-color job. When I do that, I notice my Pantone no longer appears under Separations. By using Output Preview in Adobe Acrobat and Separations Preview in InDesign, we can look at the number of inks used in our document, where they are used, and what their percentages are.
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