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Postby axys » October 16th, 2013, 5:28 am

It's a solution that has worked for me for many years and 100's of documents. I didn't say the OP was imagining issues. I've used various print shops and not one of them has ever queried the need for CMYK files from me, so I would take it from that they are well used to receiving pdf's that require some pre-press work. I suggest the OP sends a sample pdf to his printers and asks if they can print it.
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Postby MJBS » October 16th, 2013, 6:29 pm

I'm with axys on this and think Magicdesign is expecting too much from a low-cost DTP package. I've suggested on this forum a few simple improvements I would like to see in SP, plus some obvious bug fixes, and I think the team could spend more time getting these done. However, I use SP to draft a regular, monthly 60-page full colour village magazine exploiting bleed images, produced by a commercial printer with satisfactory results. I don't try to use CMYK images for the reasons cited by Jean-Jacques Boutaud. This is not to dismiss the original query in any way. However, there is a limit to what a customer might reasonably expect at this price.
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Postby Magicdesign » October 17th, 2013, 2:00 am

They claim that swift publisher produces press ready documents. I would argue that it doesn't. That's my point. We can get our printers to finish the job. Sure. But don't then claim to be press ready.
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Postby Jean-Jacques Boutaud » October 17th, 2013, 8:26 am

Hi all
I know that this topic is supposed to be closed (;^)) but I should like to add a few last remarks about print-ready (or press-ready?) documents.
I think that SP3 can produce print-ready documents with some technical knowledges/skills: if you look at the first post of this topic, you'll see that jcolome doesn't know what is a CMYK image, how to choose a CMYK color from the Apple Color pane and so, how to produce a full CMYK pdf ready to be printed (@jcolome: of course this is absolutely not a critic, we all have something to learn!)
Without a basic set of knowledge and skills, you can easily produce "messy" documents even if using XPress or inDesign (how to print correctly black made of C=M=Y=B=100%?).

That being said, let try to answer to these questions (all solutions use basic applications/tools that are provided by Apple with all versions of OS X (at least from 10.6.x)):

#1. How to set color of text using CMYK color mode: use the CMYK sliders of the Color pane and don't forget to select one of the CMYK profiles. Nothing complicated here!

#2. How to set fill and stroke/line colors of shapes (vector objects) using CMYK colors: use the CMYK sliders […] One more time, nothing really impossible here!

#3. How to add images and be able to produce CMYK PDF documents?
Several ways are possible here:

A: Use images that are already CMYK ones.
How can I verify that? Open them in Preview, display the inspector, select the first tab from the left and look at the bottom of the pane:
This is a CMYK image (a tif image with a resolution of 300 dpi and embedding a Generic CMYK color profile).

This is not a CMYK image but a RGB one (tif, 300dpi, Generic RGB profile).

If your images are already CMYK ones, no conversion is needed and you can add them to your documents (I'm not talking here about resolution/size, this is a completely different "problem").

But, what if these images are not CMYK ones? Look at the "B" solution(s)!

B My images are not CMYK ones!
One more time, two (I mean three) different solutions:

- Don't care about this, leaving your printer makes the work for you (see axys' and MJBS' posts).
Of course, you have to find a printer that accepts to do this if possible freely or at a modest price.
Also, this is certainly more complicated with on-line printer using only email and phone to communicate.

- add them in your documents w/o conversion (so as RVB images) then convert the whole document when exporting from SP3 or by creating a second version of the PDF file with a little help from Quartz filter and Automator (keep cool, nothing really difficult! ;^)).
This way you have an original PDF version and another one, "fully CMYK", ready to be printed.

- a last solution would be to convert them to CMYK before adding them in your document:
Preview can't convert RGB images to CMYK ones (at least using 10.6.x/10.7.x, I don't use 10.8 and so, I have no idea of what Preview is capable).
So you need to use a little Automator workflow/application that convert RGB images to CMYK ones for you.
This seems appealing but, in fact, there're numerous steps that make it difficult to use and even more difficult to explain.
This works perfectly and I have to say that, most of the time, this is the solution I use.
So, keep concentrate on the first or second solutions:
- the first one is the easiest… once you found the right printer!
- the second one is slightly technically more complicated but you keep the control of what you send to print because you can adjust what is produced by the Quartz filter and Automator application (you can use different CMYK profiles, add more conversions (set images resolution…)
An example:
A SP3 document with three elements:
Two of them use CMYK colors: text and rectangular shape (black background), the third one is an RGB image.

The next step is to export this document to PDF (don't forget to set bleed and cut marks (hirondelles in French) if needed).
Here what I get (screenshot from the preflight tool of Acrobat Pro):
As you can see, all color informations are kept (RGB image and CMYK colors for text and shape).

After processing this pdf file through the mysterious and magical Quartz filter/Automator application, I get this:
Note that the image is now a CMYK one with a Generic CMYK profile.

As an external solution (not included in SP3) this makes it an ideal solution for existing (or future) PDF files coming from any application (from BeLight or not).

I'll start another topic about creating Quartz filters and using Automator.

A last word, I should really thank Siouxsie for her patience! ;^)

Hope this helps.
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Postby Svetoslav » December 16th, 2013, 6:09 am

Bonjour Jean-Jacques Boutaud,
Hi everyone!

I red the discussion from the start and I have few notes about it:

1. It is utterly appealing the ignorance of jcolome, but it is reversible! :) Every professional typographer will explain what is CMYK about over a pint of good beer. Just don't look for him in "Print studio" but rather in "Printing house".

2. Jean-Jacques Boutaud, although Your very good and detailed explanation about how to convert to CMYK, I believe there is another, better and shorter, but somewhat clumsy way to so this.

First of all, I agree that it is sort of unrealistic to expect from software for 14-15€ features, available in 600 or 700€ as InDesign.
But the professionalism is rarely in the tools, rather in the skills of the professional. Which means that the desired result is achievable with SP as well, just it take few more minutes and dozen more clicks.

SP is having this wonderful option Export to TIFF or JPEG. Even better - SP can export them in CMYK. Now if you know how to correct skilffully and properly the colours of an image, in Pixelamtor for exmpl, the rest is easy:

1. Make proper colour adjustments for an image in Pixelmator or another image processing software and save it as TIFF or JPEG.

2. Insert the image in SP. (Sometimes the image is coming smaller then the original size so if it is needed, correct it.)

3. Change the page size according the size of the image.

4. Export to TIFF or JPEG and don't forget to choose Convert to CMYK from the Options menu and keep dpi about 600 just in case.

5. Insert the exported image, but now in CMYK.


Last edited by Svetoslav on December 16th, 2013, 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mikec964 » March 28th, 2014, 4:21 pm

It would be hugely helpful if you posted the last two posts in this thread as a help file or single reference PDF. Thanks!

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