Proofing with PDFs

Proofing with PDFs

COLOR PROFILES AND COLOR GAMUT
Soft proofing and color-simulation print proofing depend on the use of color profiles to simulate the appearance of an image or document as it will appear on a final output device. Both types of proofing are commonly, though not exclusively, used to predict how images and documents will ultimately print on commercial printing presses. Color profiles contain color gamut information (range of reproducible color) about both the proofing device and the final output device. The goal of the proofing process is to match the proofing colors to the gamut and appearance of the final output device. At Greenerprinter we use the Gracol color profile.

SET UP ACROBAT COLOR MANAGEMENT
Activate the Preferences in Acrobat (Command-K [PC: Ctrl-K]), and click on Color Management in the Categories list on the left side of the dialog. In the Working Spaces section, select the CMYK color profiles you want to use for viewing and printing your images. You can create an initial color settings file in Photoshop and then apply that settings file to all the other Creative Suite applications through Bridge (Edit>Creative Suite Color Settings). Always use the Gracol color profile when creating art to print at Greenerprinter.

SET UP YOUR DOCUMENT VIEWING ENVIRONMENT
Create a duplicate copy of your PDF document. Then, open both documents and place them side by side on your screen, placing the proof copy to the right of the original. This will allow you to easily see the difference between the normal onscreen view and the soft proof of your final print. Scale both documents so they're at the same dimensions. Note: For the most accurate viewing of your soft proof, you'll want to calibrate your monitor with an external calibration device, such as the X-Rite i1Display LT, and provide a neutral gray surrounding background.

ACTIVATE SOFT PROOFING
Select your right-side proofing PDF document. From the Advanced menu, choose Print Production>Output Preview. For soft-proofing print devices, select a profile from the Simulation Profile drop-down menu that matches the press and the substrate (here paper) on which you intend to print your final PDF. Next, check on the Simulate Paper Color checkbox. Note the Simulate Black Ink checkbox should also be automatically activated.

COMPARE PROOF AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS
Once you check on the Simulate Paper Color checkbox, you should see a noticeable reduction in the overall contrast of your document and a significant decrease in the color saturation. Acrobat, using information from the U.S. Web Uncoated profile, is attempting to simulate how this document and its images will appear when printed on a standard web press with uncoated stock. Feel free to compare and contrast other output profiles such as U.S. Sheetfed Coated and the new GRACoL profiles (updated sheetfed profiles) that have just been added in version 4 of the Adobe Creative Suite. Using the Gracol color profile will get you the most accurate soft proof when printing with Greenerprinter.

SHOW OVERPRINTING AND RICH BLACKS
To view which portions of your image are set to overprint or print as rich blacks, perform the following: (1) Check on the Simulate Overprinting checkbox; (2) in the Preview section, select Color Warnings; and (3) in the Warnings section, check on the Show Overprinting and Rich Black checkboxes. By default overprinting objects will be colored yellow and rich black objects will be colored blue-green. You can adjust the color of the warnings by clicking on the swatches located to the right of each checkbox. **For Acrobat Reader please go to Preferences > Page Display, Use Over Print Preview should be set to Always.

ZOOM IN TO VIEW OBJECTS
Feel free to zoom in on any of your overprinting or rich black objects to see their details. Tip: If you're viewing multipage documents, you can simply use your Right and Left Arrows to navigate forward and backward between document pages.

PROOF PROCESS PERCENTAGES
IIn addition to viewing individual colors, you can also proof the process (CMYK) percentages that will be used to print any process portion of your document. To view your process percentages, check on the Process Plates checkbox located at the top of the Separations list. To view the CMYK percentages in any portion of an image, simply roll your mouse over that area and the percentages will be displayed in the column located to the far right.

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