View Full Version : How can a cmyk PDF be output as spot-color?

04-19-2010, 03:20 PM
A Quark file that was originally assembled using multiple spot colors, produced a PDF that is now comprised solely of process colors (cmyk).
Is there any approach, or any software that will allow me to output this file in its original spot-color separations? (I don't have access to the source files)

04-19-2010, 08:56 PM
You can attempt to map specific CYMK values to your SPOT colors in the PDF using the PitStop plug in for Adobe Acrobat. This could be a long and tedious process.

You could also attempt to do this in Illustrator, but I don't know it would work out as I have never done this procedure in Illustrator.

Prepress Pro1
04-22-2010, 09:53 PM
You can do this in Illustrator. Just open the file in illustrator, select all, go to the Edit>Edit Colors>Recolor Artwork and use the Recolor. With the Live Color dialog open you will need to select the Limit the Color Groupů button, lower right just to the right of the color sliders. This button will allow you to select a Pantone Spot Library to align the colors in the file to. Illustrator will Recolor all the selected items in the file when you click OK. The file should now have spot colors. Give it a try and let us know if you succeed.

04-23-2010, 06:15 PM
If you are rendering your file for the press in Apogee X its one of the options in the work-flow. The colour have not actually disappeared in the PDF - they are simply showing as process, but the data is all still there.

Would need a few more details before I can give you a specific answer. ie: are you the pre-press technician or are you the designer? What type of RIP/Render software/device are you using. What type of Imposition software do tyou use. There are a ton of ways to do it, depending on your workflow.

05-05-2010, 06:01 PM
I'm in prepress and using a Creo/Prinergy Evo workflow.

This all came about when we received a cmyk pdf that the client wanted printed out as a 2-color. I assume in its original source file it was at least in part 2-color, but I can't be sure since the source files are unavailable.

Anyhow, this pdf has a "2-color" raster file dropped into it as well as type and some misc. design elements. The closest I've come to getting it to cooperate is to use Crackerjack and assign spots to the type and the solids. There's a box that's a screen tint of a pms that comes out solid when converted. As for the "2-color" raster image; forget it. Crackerjack won't reach into the file and differentiate between the original colors. I tried bringing into Illustrator, but there are font and link issues.

05-05-2010, 07:22 PM
You mind posting the original PDF up here?

05-05-2010, 08:08 PM
Here's the file in its original form. I was able to get it to convert out of process somewhat, but I couldn't seem to get the logo in the upper left to map as 2 pms colors and I couldn't get the screen tint box below right to keep its original screen percentage of the pms I assigned it.

05-05-2010, 09:02 PM
What are the PMS colors and how is it supposed to be separated?

05-05-2010, 09:17 PM
At this point I lost track of exactly which 2 spot colors would comprise this job. You can visually distinguish between the 2. Any 2 would do. I was just wondering if it was at all possible to take this particular file and get 2 spots out of it (especially in the case of the "2 color" logo).

05-05-2010, 10:29 PM
I used the PDF file editor option in Prinergy to color break this using Illustrator and Photoshop. The logo image was in indexed color originally so I had to do some copy and paste into spot channels but it wasn't too hard.

Is this what you were looking for? The 2 spots are "Spot1" and "Spot2"


05-06-2010, 02:13 PM
Rob, thanks for taking the time to play with this file. That's exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't sure it could be done, but now that I see that it can, I'd love to be able to do it myself. I'm not sure if I have in place all the bells & whistles to reproduce what you did (I'm using Prinergy Evo Would it be possible for you to whip up a quick outline of your steps?


05-06-2010, 04:48 PM
played around with it also. The first thing to do is outline the fonts by checking Font Outlining in the Output from PDF, Vector output template. Then you can open in Illustrator. The type and tints can be selected and recolored to whatever spot colors you need. The logo can be opened up in Photoshop and the 2 colors pasted onto separate spot channels, adjusted, and placed back in illustrator.

05-06-2010, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the info. I tried it but didn't get too far; it failed due to font outlining license issues on my end.

05-07-2010, 02:57 AM
Hi Ken,

Sorry, I assumed you were using Prinergy Connect. I used the PDF File Editor to get it into Illustrator but that feature is not available for Evo.

If you call the Response Center, they can get you a temp license for font outlining so you can try Mike's suggestion.


06-22-2010, 04:45 AM
A little late to the game...

Rather than going through Illustrator and PhotoShop you can use Callas pdfToolbox to remap the colors to process (or spot plates) including colors in the image. Using pdfToolbox I selected the color(s) in the image and mapped them to 100% Magenta or 100k for the blue. Same process with the purple and blue vector objects.

Pretty handy...

06-22-2010, 07:02 PM
The PDF posted is a very easy conversion using Pitstop. Would literally take about 2 minutes. The only thing that would take a few minutes longer is the logo in the top left. Pitstop has a global change feature which works on all quickdraw, vector images, and text in Acrobat. I would have simply converted all the purple tone CMYK images to PMS (your PMS choice), the blue images to a second PMS of your choosing, and then remapped the logo either in photoshop to one of these two channels. An alternative way is to map one set of process to magenta, the other to cyan, the graphic into which ever channel it correlates to, and then RIP.

09-17-2010, 03:15 PM
Since each color has 100 percent of a different color, you could simple color correct it. The Maroon would be Magenta and the Blue would be Cyan. Then you could map your colors and make it visually whatever you want.

09-17-2010, 03:22 PM
Well - thats true, if Maroon has no Cyan in it and Blue has no Magenta. Unfortunately, both have these colours in their process make up (darker the Blue, generally the more Magenta etc.), so his PMS would end up being mixed (which is kinda bad). As long as Maroon can be ripped into one channel and Blue into the other and no overlap occurs, then its fine as long as he color corrects first .....

09-17-2010, 03:33 PM
Map the highest second value to the color channel that most closely fits. Then you'll have a file that is just c,m. Than you can map each one of those to a closer pantone color.