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- Examining trends in digital design
- Setting preferences for interactive documents
- Understanding intent and presets
- Working with images and swatches
- Creating and working with interactive PDFs
- Creating alternate layouts for multiple screens
- Linking text and page items
- Fitting frames to content
- Setting up a file with layers
- Creating a slideshow with transitions and hyperlinks
- Building a table of contents
- Adding a SWF slideshow to a PDF
- Placing video
- Creating PDF forms
- Adding animation
- Working with the Digital Publishing Suite
Skill Level Intermediate
Regardless of where your documents are going to be viewed, you want them to look their best, and of course you want your output to be consistent and predictable. You can get a wide range of results from the same document when you output to interactive PDF and Adobe DPS, especially if you're working with files that were originally created for print. Let's take a look. As we saw in an earlier movie, you can select an intent for a document, either Print, Web, or Digital Publishing. This intent will determine the color space used by the swatches and the Transparency blend space.
If you have a document with Print intent it will have CMYK swatches and use CMYK blend space. If you have a document with Web or Digital Publishing intent, it will have RGB swatches and use RGB blend space. And you won't see any major color shifts if you output to your intended media. But what if you have a document that mixes RGB and CMYK, like a document that was created with Print intent and contains RGB photos? What happens if you want to output that document to interactive PDF and DPS? Well, things can get interesting.
To illustrate, I have two documents open. The one on the left was created with Digital Publishing intent and the one on the right with Print intent. I place the same photo of a flower in both files; it's an RGB Photoshop file, and you can see that it's really very saturated with colors that are out of gamut for CMYK printing. But right now I'm not viewing the print document with proof colors, so it looks the same as the Digital Publishing document. But if I select the Print document and I choose View > Proof Colors, you can see the shift.
All those saturated purples and blues are compressed into the CMYK gamut. Likewise, I can get the same result if I turn off Proof Colors and I add transparency. So I'll select the photo of the flowers and I'll add a drop shadow. Whenever you add transparency, InDesign displays all the colors on the spread in the Transparency blend space, which for this document is CMYK. I can see that by going to Edit > Transparency Blend Space, and it's Document CMYK. And if I output this document to a print PDF, these are the colors that I can expect to get.
So far, this all makes sense, but what if I export this document to Interactive PDF? Well let's try it. I'll press Command+E or Ctrl+E. I'll just export it to the desktop. Format, Adobe PDF (Interactive), and click Save. I'll accept the defaults and click OK. And before I can really export, I get a warning, telling me that this document is using CMYK blend space and the colors are going to be converted to RGB. I'll just click OK and see what happens, and sure enough, I get those saturated blues and purples again, not what I saw in the proof colors.
So the point here is that my colors were not converted to CMYK, even though the proof colors indicated that they would be. InDesign was smart enough to realize that it had RGB colors to begin with, so it made no sense to convert to CMYK and then back again to RGB; it just left those RGB colors alone. This is great, except that the colors in InDesign give you a false impression of what the interactive PDF will look like. That's what that warning dialog box was trying to tell you. So the best remedy is the one mentioned in the warning dialog box, to go back to the document and change the Transparency blend space to RGB. Now these are the colors that I can expect to get in my interactive PDF.
Now, what happens if I were to export this content to a folio for DPS? Well, the results are different. Later on in this course, we'll go into detail about working with folios, but for now, I've set up a folio already to export this. So I'll go down to my Folio Builder panel. And I've created a folio with an article called PrintIntent, and let's preview it. And right now, because I'm using RGB blend space, I get those RGB colors. Let's go back to the document again, choose Transparency Blend Space > CMYK this time.
Note that I have the CMYK proof colors. I'll update the article in the Folio Builder panel and preview it again. And now I get those CMYK colors. It's really RGB colors, but it has been converted to CMYK on the way out, so it looks like the CMYK colors. On one hand, this may be what you want, since this is a repurposing of a print product and these colors might be closer to those of the print product. In other cases, this might not be desirable. The flower image had lots of bright saturated colors that don't have to be lost if we're outputting to a non-screen format.
There is no reason to compress those colors into a print gamut here. And in fact, you don't have to if you don't want to. Again, just use RGB blend space before you export. So, to summarize, when it comes to color, the Transparency blend space will determine how colors are rendered in a DPS folio, but outputting to Interactive PDF will always use RGB blend space. It's important to understand this so you can always get the colors you want and expect in your interactive documents.