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In Photoshop CS5: Prepress and Printing, author Taz Tally shows how to prepare Photoshop files for a wide variety of printing devices, including offset printing presses, digital presses, wide format, large gamut inkjet printers, and toner-based printers. This course covers image adjustments, color mode conversions, and selecting the right format for print, as well as assigning and building colors to achieve desired print colors and using automation to streamline the prepress workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this section I like to talk a little bit about saving CMYK files. Later on in the course, we'll actually get into some detail about how to create a CMYK file from an RGB image. But in this case, I just want to talk about saving CMYK files. And once again, we're going to make a copy of this image. I'm going Image > Duplicate. And we're just going to call this one CMYK. For what we're doing now, we're going to turnoff the spot color components here of this particular file. We're just going to come up underneath Image and Mode and notice that there's CMYK.
Typically, I don't use this. We're just doing it here just to do it quickly. Later on in the course, you'll see we're actually going to use the Convert to Profile method. But just for here, we're just going to make a quick CMYK file. And notice it says changing modes can affect the appearance of smart objects. Some filters applied to smart objects may not be available, as you'll see some adjustment layers are not. But let's click Don't rasterize. We'll see changing modes will discard some adjustment layers. Change mode anyway? We'll click OK, but not Flatten. And then it tells you which version of the CMYK profiles it's going to use.
And it's just automatically using the one that we've set up earlier in the class in the Color Settings setup. Again, much more detail on how to actually apply all that later on. Now we're just talking about file formats. And what I want to show you is that notice that now we have the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. And notice that the spot color and the alpha channel has been maintained. But we've got the spot color turned off for now. Notice that we lost the adjustment layers, because these adjustment layers just don't work in CMYK, so they can't be retained. So understand that typically when you go to CMYK, you're going to use lose a fair amount of editability.
My recommendation when you're going to CMYK is really everything ought to be done. And typically I will just come down here and I would choose flatten my image. But before I do that, I'm going to go ahead and do a save. And talk about some of the things that we can save inside this file when we save out various formats. I'm going to choose TIFF first. That's one of the file formats we've talked about. And notice that you can actually save a spot color inside of TIFF. Even if we turn the spot color off here, it see that the spot color there and will try to save it.
But you don't want to save an image with the spot color as a TIFF. You just don't want to do it, because the RIPs aren't made to read TIFFs with spot colors. So if you have a spot color, TIFF is not the right way to go. But if you don't have the spot color, in fact, let's just go into our channels, and let's just get rid of that spot color for now. And we'll just get rid of that type layer that we rasterized. And let's go ahead and do a Save. And let's choose TIFF. Notice that the Spot Colors is now turned off. And you can decide, well, do I want to save the alpha channels and layers or not? If you remember earlier, we talked about TIFF, and if you haven't seen that part of the course, you might go back and review it.
I typically use TIFF for flattened files. I don't save alpha channels and layers and masks in there. I just don't do it. So what I might do here is let's just do a Save As instead of just a Save, so we'll create a whole new file. Notice with the PDF, I can save everything with the PDF, just like a .PSD file. But if I wanted to make a real simplified CMYK file, I'm going to go TIFF. I'm going to turn off Layers and Alpha Channels and let's put this in the right folder here, and then click Save. Just like before, no compression.
Pixel Order, the default one, for Interleaved, and then Byte Order, IBM PC to give you cross-platform compatibility. The Mac can read either just fine. So then we have a CMYK file. And notice we did a Save As, so the original file stays up here. And there's our TIFF that we've just created. Now I'll open that up. And you'll notice we have a very simplified file that will print very nicely on a CMYK press. So that's working with just straight CMYK files. When you're convinced that the file is right, you can flatten it, save it out as a TIFF. You can also save those CMYK files out as we saw as .PSD files and as PDF files.
But I don't recommend saving out all the layers in the contents if you're going with the TIFF. It is much easier to just keep the TIFFs in the PDFs and the PSD files separate.
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