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ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process - Adobe Indesign Windows

It seems that if I choose Pantone Solid colours for my swatches I cannot make them process without first converting them to CMYK. Is that the case? This was quite a surprise to me, as the swatches were orignally process, and were edited to use the Pantone models. If that is going to convert process colur swatches to spot inks, I want to be told about it, or better yet asked, or best of all have no assumption made. Why constrain the user this way? This seems like more of a Miscrosoft approach (we, and our super-smart software, know better ...

  1. #1

    Default ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    It seems that if I choose Pantone Solid colours for my swatches I cannot make them process without first converting them to CMYK. Is that the case?

    This was quite a surprise to me, as the swatches were orignally process, and were edited to use the Pantone models. If that is going to convert process colur swatches to spot inks, I want to be told about it, or better yet asked, or best of all have no assumption made.

    Why constrain the user this way? This seems like more of a Miscrosoft approach (we, and our super-smart software, know better than you).
    Scott_Falkner@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Huh? Converting to process is converting to CMYK. There is no
    difference. As far as converting process to spot, sorry, but that's not
    really something that's easy to accomplish.

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Not getting. I changed an existing CMYK process colour swatch (CMYK is a colour model, not necessarily a process colour) to a Pantone colour. Unbeknownst to me, this also changed the swatch to a spot colour. Only in final preflighting did I spot the change. I was unable to convert the swatch to process until after I changed the colour model to CMYK.

    So I have two issues:
    1. My swatch changed, adding a spot ink to the job without my knowledge.
    2. I needed to change the colour model before making my swatch a process colour.

    No other program I have used ever behaved this way.
    Scott_Falkner@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Nothing personal, but that's not the fault of the program.

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    <Scott_Falkneradobeforums.com> wrote in message
    news:3bb512d4.1webx.la2eafNXanI...
    > Not getting. I changed an existing CMYK process colour swatch (CMYK is a
    colour model, not necessarily a process colour) to a Pantone colour.
    Unbeknownst to me, this also changed the swatch to a spot colour.<snipped>

    Pantone colors are spot colors. When you specify a Pantone ink, you are
    specifying to the printer that you want to use a particular, specific mix of
    colors designated and copyrighted by Pantone.

    CMYK mixes are, by definition, process colors. You can call it a "color
    model," but that doesn't change the fact that it's a process color.

    Process colors derived by converting Pantone colors are an approximation and
    will only rarely match the Pantone swatch. For proof, ask the printer to
    output the two colors - the Pantone ink and the process conversion - side by
    side.

    Peggy


    Peggy_Coquet@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Peggy,

    Every other program I have used allows me to make a Pantone colour into a process colour. I know what Pantone inks are, and that the purpose of the swatch book is to provide solid colour swatches of the inks my printer will use. I got all that back in the 90s. But I should be able to specify that this swatch in my doent, selected using the Pantone model, be a process colour. To not have that ability is a bug in a professional graphics program. Further, to change the printing requirments of my job (5 colour from 4) without notifying me, is antoher bug.

    BTW, CYMK is also a colour model, and can (and is, thousands of times a day) be used to specify spot colours in a file. CMYK does not necessarly mean process, although process of course means CMYK.
    Scott_Falkner@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Now I see what you want to do. You have a Pantone spot and you want to
    change it to a CMYK process color. You should be able to do that easily.
    I do myself all the time.

    If you can't, was the color imported with a placed graphic?

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Oh I can and did do it. Maybe the problem isn;t clear. First, understand that several people use Pantone solid colours to spec colours for a process colour job. Happens all the time. I did it with a file based on an existing template. The cover colour was a swatch named :Cover", and set as a process colour. I chose a new cover colour by double-clicking on the swatch and selecting a Pantone colour. This changes the swatch from a process colour to a spot colour. That was a surprise to me when I discovered it during prepress. I double-clicked on the swatch, and noticed that Process was not selectable until I changed the colour model to CMYK from Pantone.

    This is the first program I have used that changed a process colour to spot colour without my explicit instructions. I suppose seomone thought it was a terriby bright idea to program ID to do this whenever the user selects a traditionally (but not necessarily) spot colour model, like Pantone, for a swatch. perhaps this should be a preference (andf the default should be off).

    This is also the first time I have been unable to spe a Pantone colour for process separation. I should not be prevented from doing this. If, late in the day, someone decides they don't like the cover colour, looks up a Pantone colour they like, and tells me to use that one instead, I will have to go through several more steps than necessary. More steps than in Illustrator, QuarkXPress, FreeHand, or PageMaker.
    Scott_Falkner@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    You chose a spot color, you got a spot color. IMO, it's the other
    programs that do it wrong but you've gotten used to it so see ID's way
    of handling it as unexpected behavior.

    That's understandable, but that doesn't mean ID is broken.

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Scott,
    I'm not sure if I understand you either, but if I do, I think what you are looking for is in the Ink Manager. If you click on the arrow in the swatches palatte, and click on Ink Manager, you will see at the bottom is a place to check "All spots to process" Now that Pantone Color will remain in your swatches palatte, but print to the CMYK plates. Is this what you were looking for?
    Note that the guys are right - you can't be guaranteed that the CMYK mix will be identical to the Pantone Color (because Pantone did make their colors to be spot colors) but you probably knew that already.
    Sue
    Susan_Sterner@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    BUT,

    I didn't "Choose" a spot colour. I selected a process colour, and CHose a Pantone model for it. Then the program went ahead and changed the swatch, without notifying me. Not good.
    Scott_Falkner@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Scott,

    Once again. You chose a spot color, you got a spot color.

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Hmm. For my part, everyone's a bit right and it rather depends from which swatch library you select your colour. If you use the 'Pantone Process Coated' library, you're fine - it appears as a CMYK process colour in your swatches palette and off you go. All well and good unless the colour you want to specify derives from one of the other Pantone books, in which case Scott's absolutely right - the swatch appears as a CMYK spot colour and you will need to convert the colour model before it can become a process colour for 4-colour printing - otherwise it will always generate an additional printing plate which will carry right through to your PDF, even with PDF/X1-a and even with 'all spots to process' checked. This is, indeed, irritating, although as most of us will always be printing 4-colour process, surely the colour will need to be converted at some point anyway, regardless of which Pantone library you're using?

    If you're using one of the Pantone Solid libraries, it won't offer you a process colour because they're, well, not process colours. If guaranteed colour accuracy for 4-colour process printing is your thing (as far as it's possible), IMO you'd be better off choosing your colour from a process library, NOT from Pantone solids.

    Mike
    Mike_Agate@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    [email]Mike_Agateadobeforums.com[/email] wrote in
    news:3bb512d4.11webx.la2eafNXanI:
    > If you're using one of the Pantone Solid libraries, it won't offer
    > you a process colour because they're, well, not process colours.
    This is what Bob's been saying over and over.
    Guy_Smiley@adobeforums.com Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall.

    One of the "problems" with ID is that is does things correctly that have
    been done wrong for so long that they've been accepted as correct.

    IOW, old habits die hard.

    Bob

    Bob_Levine Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Indeed - Bob and Guy are spot on (pardon the pun). I make the point about it being irritating because of the following, very common, scenario in my line of work:

    Someone provides me with third-party artwork containing spot colours from a solids library. They are the client and - regardless of whether they've used their colours correctly or, as is equally common, they've read, digested and subsequently ignored my mechanical data sheet - they expect colour fidelity in the published product. It is, of course, their fault, but there are only so many ways you can tell them they're wrong before you give up and make it your own problem because you don't want to them off. (Bob sounds like he has long experience of people who think they know best.) And if they've locked their illustrator PDF, there's annoyingly little I can do. So I go to press with fingers crossed.

    If I could take their ill-considered CMYK spots and easily convert them to 4-colour process, which does, after all, live in the same gamut, both I and my printer would be happier.

    Reds, in particular, end up decidedly brown once converted in the way Scott suggests, and ultimately the client, with their nice red logo now decidely brown, takes some persuasion to pay up. Ergo, accounts are unhappy and I don't look good, making me equally unhappy.

    Has anyone dallied with 'Quite a Box of tricks'? Is it any good?

    Mike
    Mike_Agate@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Oooh. This thread has me banging my head, too.

    Scott (go stand in the corner!): Pantone publishes two guides. One is for spot colors, aka solid inks that are premixed to the correct hue. Pantone also publishes a process color guide. You seem to be confusing these terms. As well, a process color is a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; or cmyk, just like the color model you think you know.

    Pantone spot colors are only used on printing presses where the defined spot color will result in an extra output separation for its own printing plate carrying just that hue of premixed ink on the press run.

    You don't specify spot colors in any digital proofing to, say, an Epson inkjet. Many make this mistake.

    It sounds like what you want are from the Pantone process guide. These colors are not the same, in most cases, as the colors found in the Pantone solid ink (spot) guide. They will be cmyk color model.

    To call it a Pantone color is not enough information. Is it a spot or a process build of color that you are wanting? You have to be more specific.

    You should not consider that a process color is different from a process color. They are the same.

    So InDesign does it correctly. The little gray square indicates a process color, aka, a cmyk color. The little gray square with the little round dot on it indicates a printing press spot ink ... one that will cause an additional color separation to occur on output. Pay less attention to the square to the right that shows the cmyk color flag. That might be misleading you.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike Witherell in Washington DC
    mikewitherell_at_jetsetcom_dot_net Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    What a lovely, clear explanation! Thanks for that - it's the reponse I wish
    _I_ had written <g>.

    Peggy


    Peggy_Coquet@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    Thanks kindly, Peggy. Now a small amendment:

    You should not consider that a process color is different from a [sic]
    process (oops, make that cmyk) color. They are the same.




    You all probably figured that one already!

    Mike Witherell in Washington DC
    mikewitherell_at_jetsetcom_dot_net Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: ID3: Convert Pantone colour to process

    At the risk of 'muddying' the waters further there CAN be a difference between CMYK and 4 colour process colours. Process colours are transparent inks and the reflectivity of the stock used will affect the final appearance of the colour.

    You can specify a spot cyan on a 2 colour job and the printer would probably use an opaque cyan ink so the effect of the stock on the final colour was minimised, but if you used a spot of solid cyan in a 4 colour process job, on the same stock, the result would be slightly different.

    4 colour pantone 'equivalents' are notoriously and variably unreliable - the usual example is orange, 90 to 100%Y + 40 to 60%M produces the best process version of orange but it is pretty 'muddy' compared to say PMS151. While some pantone colours can be closely reproduced from the process 4, if it's critical, a 5th working is the safest way to go.
    Alastair_Bruce@adobeforums.com Guest

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