View Full Version : $color

04-29-2009, 12:22 PM
I know I saw this somewhere recently but can't find it now so maybe someone can help or point me in the right direction? When doing a PDF to PDF job and inrip seps, in my flat identifier marks, the $color variable comes out as "composite" on all seps. I saw somewhere there's a way to fix this so you get the color names correctly again.


04-29-2009, 01:37 PM
Hi preper,

What version of Preps are you using?

Do you mean that the variable produces the text "composite" on all seps?

I have been investigating this recently [Edit: a related problem with text marks that use that variable] with Preps 5.3.3 and have found that when I set it to come out only in Black, the output for the entire text mark line containing that variable comes out with zero density on the output. That is, it seems the text mark is absent from the Preps pdf output. But if I open the output pdf in Acrobat 8 Pro and turn on the overprint color warning, it reveals that the mark is really there as a stack of lines, one for each color in the job and with the correct color name for each.

That the lines in that stack have zero density can be confirmed by selecting the object with the Touch Up Object Tool and selecting Edit Object from the contextual menu. This opens that object in Illustrator where the lines in the stack can be selected one by one and the color palette shows a 0, 0, 0, 0 build each of the CMYK components, or a 0 for the color of spot color for the line in the stack.

I have reported this as a bug, and two days ago received confirmation from Monica Chow that it is a bug and will be fixed in the next release. But Monica also stated that it was working properly in 5.1.5.

As one work around, you could then change the build value to 100 for the color in Illustrator during the Edit Object process, save from Ai, which updates the open pdf in Acrobat, then save the pdf and send to your rip.

Another work around would be to make your own stack of text marks, one for each color, in the template using the correct literal name of the color in the text instead of the variable $COLOR. Then to each mark line in your stack, assign the the correct color in the mark color dialog.

Let us know if either of those works for you.


PS, If you find it again, I would be interested where you "saw this somewhere recently".

04-29-2009, 09:47 PM
Hi Al,

Yes, it images the word "composite" on all the seps. I'm using 5.3.2 on a Mac. I'll post here if I can find this again because I'd really like to fix this.


04-30-2009, 01:24 AM

I understand from the shingling discussion over on Print Planet, that you are doing pdf to pdf. But are you using Preps in, or with a workflow software? It makes sense that if the separations are going to be done downstream by another software and Preps knows that, that Preps would send the data out composite and expect the separation system to provide the $color value for each plate. So am guessing that your downstream system is either not integrated with Preps, or not doing it's job right.

In my case I get the CTP output off site, so I output from Preps to pdf using the ssicolor.ppd configured for a custom page size corresponding to my plate size for the particular job. That output pdf is then submitted to a Rampage shop for my large plates and to a TrueFlow shop for my small plates. So in my case Preps puts in the actual name of the colors, in the appropriate color. So it outputs a copy of the text mark containing the $COLOR variable with the text "Magenta", in Magenta, etc. one copy of the Text Mark line for each color in a stack of text marks, all set to overprint. Only one appears on each plate.