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Separations Preview and ink Manager

Digitip 018 – Adobe InDesign CS

revision 1.2

InDesign’s new separation preview window is intelligent, with direct access to the Ink Manager settings (palette’s fly-out menu) it immediately refers to colour separation settings used during output when displaying ink coverage readings. A pretty useful preflight and quick colour-fix tool.

Option 1: Process job with double spot colour.

Ok, someone has created a job, and by accident used both Matte and Coated versions of a Pantone colour in a Process colour job. Let’s check that using the Separations Preview palette:

separations preview all colours listed

The Ink Manager correctly indicates all six colours in its ink list, which means that with current settings, two additional colour plates are generated for the two Pantone 316 spots in addition to the four process colour plates when the job is output.

ink manager all colours listed

Option 2: Converting All Spots to Process

You decide that all spot colours are to be converted to process and change the settings in the ink manager, then click OK.

ink manager spot to process conversion

The Separations Preview now correctly indicates ink coverage (including conversion to CMYK for process colours) for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

separations preview, spot to process

Pretty cool? I reckon it is!

Option 3: Remapping the duplicate spot to single spot

If a fifth colour is an absolute requirement (colour consistency), then opt to remap one of the two spot colours using the ink alias option.

ink manager spot remapping

Once again, the Separations Preview will correctly indicate the changes made in the ink manager.


The key to the Separation Preview window and Ink Manager

This is a soft-proofing feature that is pretty powerful:

  • Overall use this feature to check the selected ink manager settings
  • Check if overall colour separation works correctly
  • Check if ink-remapping works correctly.
  • Check if Spot to Process colour conversion works correctly.
  • Check total ink limit settings (not listed in this example).

For more info on the Separation Preview window, also refer to Nick Hodge’s InDesign cs prepress overview.

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  1. Cari Jansen Cari Jansen
    December 1, 2009    

    hi Margaret,

    The preflight will indeed say 4-color process, but as long as you ensure that the two colours are indeed in their own (spot)colour plate the job is ok to send to the printer like that.

    Cheers, Cari

  2. Margaret Wilson Margaret Wilson
    November 20, 2009    

    I have a 2 color job, but it says 4 color process in preflight. Separations preview shows it as 2 color. How do I get it to be 2 color in preflight?

    Any help is appreciated!!!

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