ZePrA | Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide

Get ZePrA quickly into production

What Is ZePrA?

ZePrA is a hot folder-based color server for optimizing TIFF/JPEG/PSD/PSB image files and PDF data with DeviceLink and ICC device profiles.

ZePrA’s primary application is the automatic color conversion of CMYK printing data, installation in media-neutral workflows with RGB data, and Multicolor processing.

ZePrA’s Interface

The navigation panel of ZePrA 5 allows quick access to all main workflow functions. It is controlled by the Home button located on the left hand side of the application window.

Click to download a pdf version of the Quick Start Guide

Start

Auto Setup

ZePrA has six standard auto setup configurations based on the most common color management tasks in print production.

Main Setup and Overview

Overview 

Access ZePrA’s Overview Screen. View queues, pending and processed jobs

Configurations 

View and customize ZePrA’s Configurations

Queues 

Select input and output folders, error and original folder and append the name of the output file

Tools

Spot Color Report 

Create reports from files or spot color libraries to check the accuracy of spot color conversions

SaveInk Report 

Generate SaveInk Reports for all configurations

Extract ICC Profile 

Extract ICC Profiles from files

Global Settings

Spot Color Libraries 

ZePrA’s advanced Spot Color Library Module

Gradations

Manage and create TVI (Tone Value Increase) curves

Profile Assignments 

Choose and apply the range of dynamic DeviceLink profiles used for data conversion

System Requirements

macOS®

  • macOS® or macOS® Server Version 10.9 and higher

Windows®

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® 8, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7, Home, Pro, Ultimate or Business
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP SP3, Home or Pro
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2016
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard or Enterprise

Recommended Hardware

  • Minimum Dual Core Processor (Quad Core or more recommended)
  • Minimum 2 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended)
  • Minimum 1024 × 768 resolution (1280 × 1024 or higher recommended)

Specifics

  • macOS: CoPrA, ColorAnt and ZePrA are running in 64 Bit mode, with Measure Tool running in 32 Bit mode
  • Windows: ZePrA is running in 64 Bit mode, CoPrA, ColorAnt and Measure Tool are running in 32 Bit mode
  • CoPrA needs very little RAM for profile calculations
Installation

Installers for the respective platform install the application by default either in the folder Applications  (macOS) or Programs (Windows). Begin installation by double clicking on the installation package.

After accepting the Software License Agreement, select the destination volume and choose between a Standard Installation or a Custom Installation. Standard Installation installs all components (e.g. the Measure Tool in CoPrA or the DLS-Manager as described below).

ColorAnt: The integration of ColorAnt (or ColorAnt’s Measure Tool with CoPrA Basic) allows to measure test charts for profile creation from within CoPrA.

DLS-Manager: Allows installation of DeviceLink Sets. DeviceLink sets are standard DeviceLinks that will perform a variety of standard color management tasks. A complete list of sets and profiles can be found in the online help.


Product Package

What’s included:

  • CoPrA software
  • Additional software: Profile Manager (integrated into CoPrA) and ColorAnt or ColorAnt’s Measure Tool
  • ColorAnt M is included in CoPrA M to XL.
  • CoPrA XXL includes ColorAnt L
  • CoPrA Basic includes ColorAnt’s Measure Tool.
  • USB stick (dongle) or computer based license
  • Editable test charts to use with the DeviceLink tool Editing (in the folder EditTargets after installation)
  • Test charts and reference files including Multicolor charts for creating printer profiles 
(in the folder Testcharts after installation)
  • Printed Quick Start Guide
  • Access to Online Help

Note:

The folder EditTargets can be found under:
Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\CoPrA5\EditTargets
macOS: Applications\CoPrA5\EditTargets

The folders Testcharts can be found under:
Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\CoPrA5\Testcharts
macOS: Applications\CoPrA5\Testcharts

These folders can also be accessed by using the entries Open EditTargets folder and Open Testchart folder in the menu Tools.

The context sensitive Online Help opens up in a web browser after clicking the question mark icon of the respective program window, the F1 key or using the Help menu entry Online Help. An active internet connection is required.

Activation

Installing a Permanent License

A permanent license will be provided by your dealer after purchasing the application. Permanent licenses are available as computer-based or dongle licenses.

Computer-based licenses are always tied to the computer on which the software (CoPrA, ZePrA or ColorAnt) is installed. This is useful for temporary test purposes. Computer-based licenses are also required if the computer lacks an USB port or space for an USB dongle, i.e. a rack server.

USB dongle licenses are serialized to the dongle. The USB dongle communicates with the appropriate software license and enables the software to be used on different computers. To assign the license to the USB dongle, it must be connected to the computer before starting the software.

After purchasing the software, a permanent license file (*.lic) will be sent via email.


Activating a License

Load the license file in the tab License details under Registration to activate the application.

After installing the permanent license file, the licensed modules are displayed under License details.


Using One License File on Multi-User Systems

macOS

Copy the license files of ColorLogic applications into the following folder:

/Users/Shared/ColorLogic/LicenseInstall.

  • Create the folder if it does not exist.
  • Check the folder permissions.
  • When the application is launched, it will check the specified folder by default.

Windows

Copy the license files of ColorLogic applications into the following folder: C:\Users\Public\Documents\ColorLogic\LicenseInstall.

  • Create the folder if it does not exist.
  • Check the folder permission.
  • When the application is launched, it will check the specified folder by default.

License Details

License status: The expiry date for time limited versions of the software (for example, NFR or demo licenses) is shown at the bottom right of the software window. No expiry date is displayed for full versions.

Available Features: Shows the activated modules and add-ons.

Complete instructions on how to download and install ColorLogic applications and how to request and activate a demo license can be found here.

Auto Setup

Workflow creation using Auto Setup

ZePrA has six standard auto setup configurations based on the most common color management tasks in print production. To create a queue and the associated configuration for processing data in just a few steps, simply follow these brief instructions.

Sharing Settings With CoPrA and ZePrA

With ZePrA 6 and CoPrA 4 (CoPrA SP is included with ZePrA 6 L packages and above) is the ability to share DeviceLink settings by simply clicking on the box Share with ZePrA within CoPrA

qsg_share-w-z

Sharing CoPrA settings with ZePrA

Note: This function is only available if BOTH ZePrA 6 and CoPrA 4 are installed on the same system.

Additional details about sharing between CoPrA and ZePrA are available in the Online Help documentation by clicking on the blue “?” buttons.

Step 1: Selecting a Setup Mode

Start ZePrA and click on the Home button on the left in the main window. Click on the Auto Setup option in the Navigation Panel.

Use the Auto Setup wizard to create a new configuration and/or a queue for a specific task. Files that can be processed include: TIFF, JPEG, PSD or PSB image files, as well as PDF files.

Choosing a Setup Mode

Choosing a Setup Mode

Normalize and convert colors to new output condition

Data is first converted to the document color space or output intent (normalized), so that files have a common color space. The colors of the normalized data are subsequently converted to the required target color space using a DeviceLink profile or select Use SmartLink option to calculate ICC profiles selected as the Document Color Space and Target Color Space (requires SmartLink license).

Normalize color to Document color space or output intent

Data is converted to the document color space or output intent (normalized), so that files have a common color space. After conversion, the normalized file consists of one color space and any spot colors.

For example, when PDF objects are in the RGB color space, the embedded profile converts them to the document color space via the rendering intent defined in the PDF.

Save Inks

Within a Save inks workflow, data is first normalized to the document color space and then optimized using ink application of the data with the selected SaveInk profile, either by using an existing DeviceLink profile or by choosing one of three ink saving options via the SmartLink function.

Optimize Total Area Coverage

Using an Optimize Total Area Coverage workflow, data is uniformly converted to the document color space (normalized) and subsequently optimized using a specified TAC reduction profile or the total amount of color selected under Desired TAC if Use SmartLink is selected.

Direct Color Conversion to New Output Condition

PDF files are directly color converted to the required output condition (target profile), without prior normalization to the document color space. This setup mode is particularly useful for data prepared in media-neutral fashion, e.g. RGB image data with ICC profiles. This mode permits the best exploitation of the gamut of the target color space.

Apply Gradation Curves Only

Adjust data without CtP compensation curves in the RIP, by using ZePrA to correct the gradation of data on-the-fly.

Step 2: Choosing the conversion

Depending on the setup mode selected, there are several choices for conversion.

Document Color Space

To ensure consistent conversion of data to the document color space or output intent, select the required document color space here and also the output intent if necessary.

Use Existing DeviceLink Profile

When a suitable DeviceLink profile for a workflow is present, this DeviceLink profile configures the source profile of the file, if files without embedded profiles are processed. The target profile is set by the DeviceLink profile.

Using SmartLink

By purchasing a ZePrA SmartLink module license generating high quality DeviceLinks on-the-fly is available. This avoids issues with normal ICC conversion and optimizes the quality of color conversions.

Without a SmartLink license, CMYK objects with embedded profiles are treated like objects without profiles (i.e. like DeviceCMYK) and converted using the selected DeviceLink profile.

Note: When neither the SmartLink function via Auto Setup or via the Configurations panel is available, normal ICC conversion is performed for objects with an embedded ICC profile.

Setting up SmartLink

Normalize and convert colors to new output condition the file is first converted to the document color space that has been preset and/or, if available, to the output intent. This is followed by an additional conversion from the Document Color Space and/or the output intent to the Target Color Space via DeviceLink generation with SmartLink.

Direct color conversion to new output condition – performs direct color conversion via SmartLink from the Document Color Space and/or the output intent and of the objects under Images and Vectors, to the Target Color Space with DeviceLinks. Images and vectors with embedded profiles are converted directly to the target profile and not normalized to the document color space prior to conversion.

Save inks and Optimize Total Area Coverage – preserve the appearance and gamut and apply individual ink saving or limit the total area coverage. The data is normalized to the document color space prior to applying SmartLink.

SmartLink Methods

The SmartLink methods in ZePrA 5 take into account the various requirements of different printing conditions. Printed colors are correctly matched and optimally separated for the required printing process.

Traditional Print – Classic: Offset, gravure or newspaper printing.

Traditional Print – Automatic: Conventional printing, but the color and paper of the target color space deviate significantly from the output intent or the document color space.

Large Format Print – Inkjet:

Inkjet printing including large format

Digital Print – Toner: Digital production copiers, laser printers.

Rendering Intents

Choose a Rendering Intent to be used for calculation (Fig 3.3). In addition to the four standard ICC Rendering Intents, ZePrA offers its own conversion methods:

Standard Compression: to convert between gamuts of different size.

Blackpoint Compensation: for gamuts of similar size. Similar to Relative Colorimetric conversion with black point compensation, but with better definition in highly saturated colors and hue accurate color rendering. Not suitable for small gamuts.

Absolute Compression: if the gamuts are of similar size, but the paper color differs significantly.

Dynamic Compression: if the input and target profiles have a very large dynamic and contrast range, e.g. for RGB-to-CMYK conversions.

Minimal Compression: allows an absolute colorimetric reproduction and compensates only close to the black and white point.

ZePrA's Standard Compression Settings

ZePrA’s Standard Compression Settings

Creating a Gradation workflow

By using gradation curves, printing characteristics can be directly incorporated converted file. Simplify compliance with printing standards and compensate for unknown variants in the printing process resulting from varying parameters, e.g. substrate and ink. After adjusting the data, the only requirement is linear conversion in the RIP software of the output device.

The best practice is to apply a pure gradation correction to ready-to-print PDF/X-1a files, which consist solely of CMYK and may include spot colors.

Options for Creating Gradation Workflow

Use curves from external file

Load an external file with the gradation curves for process colors and/or spot colors.

Start with linear external file

Create an initial configuration with linear curves. Add production data later.

Select curves

Choose curves from default options in ZePrA or curves that were created using Curve Management.

Normalize Output Data

The Auto Setup for Gradation workflow allows the user to choose whether or not to normalize the PDF file.

If PDF/X-3 or X-4 files contain RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles, use ZePrA to normalize the file.

Choose an ICC profile to be taken as the Document Color Space if the output intent in a PDF file is missing.

ColorLogic recommends activating the Prefer Output Intent check box, so that an existing output intent always has priority over the set Document Color Space and is preserved.

Step 3: Choosing and saving queue names

Define a Queue Name that corresponds to the name of the configuration.

Below the Queue Name, define the Base Folder in which the queues are to be created.

To create queues (hot folders) in the Base Folder, select the Create Queue option.

The configuration of the workflow is now completeand ready for production

Main Setup and Queues

Overview

The Overview button is an overview of the queues and the associated configurations in ZePrA. The queues (hot folders) created using the Auto Setup wizard typically have the same name as the associated configurations (these can also be user defined).

ZePrA configurations are associated with queues, however, the queue and its configuration are managed separately. Configurations can be assigned to Queues. Refer to ZePrA’s online help for details.

To quickly access a queues folders and convert data, right-click a queue in the list and open the associated context menu.

The contextual menu controls the Start or Stop of each queue individually and open the hot folder associated with the queue.

The priority order for queues can be controlled (Fig 4.1) for file processing. Change the Priority of any queue by right-clicking on the queue to change the default setting Normal to High or Low.

Queue search: Enter a search term in the window at the bottom left of the Queue window to display specific queues.

Processed Jobs search: Jobs that have been processed may be searched by (Fig 4.3) name and/or shown by specific range (day, week, month or custom range)

The Start and Stop buttons at the bottom right of the window start or stop directly.

Queues that are inactive or invalid are highlighted in orange. Invalid queues may occur as a result of incomplete entries, or missing profiles.

The job list at the bottom of the window show which jobs are still pending and which have been processed.

If errors occur when processing files, or if ZePrA detects non-supported file type, they are highlighted in red in the Processed Jobs list. If warnings occur during processing, file processing continues and the job is highlighted in yellow and labeled with a warning. Warnings show what action to take.

Both the Pending jobs and Processed Jobs lists can be sorted by ID, File Name, Queue and Status. Clicking on the ID column places the most recently processed job at the top, while clicking on the Status column places the files with errors and/or warnings at the top.

Processed Jobs

Right-clicking on jobs under Processed Jobs opens a contextual menu where the following options can be chosen:

Screen Preview

View soft proof

Show Job Properties

View properties the selected job

Save Job Properties

Save job properties as a pdf, html, txt or xml

Delete

Deletes selected job

Configurations

The Configurations button creates and manages all the settings related to the handling of color and PDF specific parameters. The settings in Define Configuration include color conversion using ICC device profiles or ICC DeviceLink profiles, definition of workflows for mixed PDF files (CMYK, RGB, Gray, spot colors in a single document) and individual application of gradations and spot colors. All of these are available with different presets and optimization options, resulting in a wide variety of possible combinations.

The upper area of the window allows selection existing configurations, create new configurations, or renaming, deleting and saving configurations.

To duplicate and rename an existing configuration click on New. Enter the name, make any necessary changes to the settings and click on Save.

Queues

Queues are displayed in the Overview dialog according to the chronological order in which they were created, with the oldest at the top and the most recent at the bottom. However, changing the order of the queues can be accomplished by simply dragging the queue to a new position within the window or resorting (by ID, Name, etc.) the window by clicking at the top of the column.

All basic functions of queue folder management are available for modification; Input, Output, Originals, Warning, Error, Temporary Folder (Fig. 4.4) and the Define Queues dialog.

The Queue customization options include: appending the file name with a custom job id, assigning a new configuration for the Queue, post processing and generating reports to a specific folder.

The order in which queues are prioritized (higher or lower priority) for file processing can be controlled. In the Queues dialog, use the Priority option to change the default setting Normal to High or Low. Change the priority for a queue by right-clicking on it in the Overview dialog. Any setting other than Normal is shown in the Overview.

The Start and Stop buttons at the bottom right in the window enable all queues to be started or stopped directly. Queues may also be started and stopped via the contextual menu.

Step 4: Converting jobs via queues

The Jobs and Queues Overview window (Navigation Panel: Overview) gives an overview of the queues and the associated configurations in ZePrA.

To quickly access queue folders and convert data, right-click on a queue from the list and open the contextual menu. Select Open folder in the contextual menu (Fig. 4.1) to open the associated input folder in the file system, or simply Drag & Drop the file (TIFF/JPEG/PSD/PSB image file, PDF file) onto the required configuration in the Queues overview.

When dropping a PDF file to the Input folder of the created queue, ZePrA automatically converts it in accordance with the color management specifications and saves the converted file in the Output folder. The original file is moved to the Done folder. Jobs/files that have issues are saved in the Error folder.

When defined jobs with warnings are placed in the Warnings folder. Processed Jobs appear in the Processed Jobs list.

Incorrectly processed files and file types that are not supported are highlighted in red in the Processed Jobs list. The Pending jobs and Processed Jobs lists can each be sorted by ID, Name, Queue and Status (click on the ID or Status column).

Right-clicking on a processed job opens the context-sensitive menu. Generate a soft proof (Screen Preview), open a Job Report (Show Job Properties) save (Save Job Properties), or Delete a job.

The converted file is saved in the Output folder of the queue. The file name is extended by adding the Job ID and the name of the configuration.

To define queues individually, switch to the Queues button via the Navigation Panel.

Click on the New button to manually define a new queue, including the queue name and the sub-folders (Fig 4.5).

To configure the new queue, first enter a Name for the queue, define the Base Folder where the sub-folders are created, and then use the drop down list to select the Configuration to be used for converting the data.

The files to be converted are later put into the Input folder of the new queue. After conversion, the original files can be found in the Done folder. The converted files are saved in the Output folder. Unprocessed and also incorrectly converted files, are put into the Error folder.

Files marked with a yellow warning message in the Overview dialog are processed but may have an issue. By default those files are stored in the Output folder. For easier identification define a separate Warnings folder for files that generated an issue. Create a Temporary Folder if the output folder is located on another system (server) using a local temporary folder will speed up processing of files.

Target File Name: Append Text, adds a suffix to the original file name. The Append Job ID option generates a unique, consecutive number and appends it to the original file name.

The Copy File Types function helps to ensure that control files (JDF, XML, TXT or similar file types) that belong to a file are kept with your original files when processed.

The Post Process function can be applied to a queue to select post processing of each file following color conversion in ZePrA. The dialog allows to select an available script or a batch file or a command line process can be entered manually.

Tools

Spot Color Report

The Spot Color Report feature checks spot color conversion accuracy before printing. Check specific PDF files with spot colors or how multiple Pantone® or other spot colors could be processed through ZePrA.

spot color report win1

To create a report, click on the icon on the Navigation Panel. The dialog requires a few selections to proceed

Procedure:

Using Check Spot Colors, select File or Library. File loads a PDF file with spot colors included to be processed with the selected configurations. Library allows the selection of one of the spot color libraries within ZePrA. Only the Configurations with enabled spot color conversion are shown in the Configurations list.

Both options report how spot color conversion result will be in terms of deltaE00, deltaE76 and the process color breakdowns. Sort Order sorts the list by a variety of methods. When sorting by Delta E, spot colors with the lowest dE will be at the top and the largest dE on the bottom.

Note: Report generation will use all of the spot color settings that have been selected in the configuration(s),  including manual settings and warnings. Colors with warnings will be shown with red deltaE values.

After the settings have been defined, a report file can be generated with the help of the Save button and/or it can generate a Preview first.

SaveInk Report

Generate a SaveInk report by either choosing the corresponding entry in the Tools menu or by clicking on the icon via the Navigation Panel. The report generates a detailed overview of all the SaveInk queues set up and processed jobs.

SaveInkReport_converted

Procedure

Select the tool and specify a file name and a file format. The report may be created as a PDF, TXT, HTML or XML file. PDF is selected by default.

The Summary section lists the overall ink savings across all queues. Ink Saving per Queue and Job shows details on the savings per queue and the savings per job.

Note: Calculation percentages in the SaveInk report only reference the CMYK components, transparency effects and overprinting elements and spot colors are not taken into account.

Extract ICC Profile

The Extract ICC Profile tool extracts the embedded profile from images and the output intent from PDF/X files. The extracted ICC profile can then be stored in a predefined location.

Example: The embedded profile is not available as a ICC profile and creation of a DeviceLink profile or a SaveInk profile is necessary for CoPrA.

extract icc profile dialog

Procedure:

Under Tools, open Extract ICC Profile from the menu or simply click on the icon in the Navigation Panel.

Use Select to choose the appropriate file (PDF, JPEG, TIFF PSB or PSD files) or drag and drop the file that contains the embedded profile onto the dialog.

The embedded ICC profile or the output intent in a PDF/X file is displayed and can be saved via the Extract button

Spot Color Iteration

Deviations from the theoretically achievable minimal color differences are caused by printing, material and color variations during production. Deviations can be minimized in ZePrA 6 using Spot Color Iteration. This feature is primarily for particularly high demands of accuracy and reproduction of spot colors, for example for digital printing or proofing, which require the conversion of spot colors to process colors.

The Spot Color Iteration tool provides a step-by-step guide starting from the selection of the spot colors being iterated, preparation and printing of measurement of test charts and finally, optimization of the conversion, including the creation of reports.

Global Settings

Spot color Libraries

The Spot Color module can be purchased as an add-on to ZePrA or is included in the XXL package. The added functionality is high-quality spot color conversion to target color space. This allows optimized conversion of spot colors in PDF files to CMYK or Multicolor. If the ZePrA XXL package has been licensed, converting to Multicolor spaces, including spot colors to Multicolor is possible.

Adding Measurement Data to Spot Colors

Click on Spot Color Libraries button. Select a spot color library and use a spectrophotometer to measure from color swatch books, sample prints, corporate identity colors, or manually. It is also possible to import existing color tables with spot colors in the following formats: Named Color ICC profiles, Photoshop ACO color tables, text files in CGATS format or CXF files. Color values can be in either Lab or spectral form. Spectral measurement data are preferable and produce the best internal calculation and results.

PantoneLIVE®

ZePrA supports integration with PantoneLIVE®. Pantone Guides, paper-dependent, or ‘Dependent Standards’, as well as for specific color libraries of brand owners can be accessed in ZePrA.

Login and access the libraries to be utilized in the Spot Color Module. A PantoneLIVE® Production License is required. For more information on PantoneLIVE® integration please consult the online help. For details on PantoneLIVE®, consult the PantoneLIVE® documentation.

Gradation

The application of gradation curves completes the process of preparing data for printing. Shortly before going to press, almost every printing process calls for a tone value correction (TVI) that is stored in the RIP of the platesetter. This tone value correction primarily serves to ensure compliance with printing standards and to compensate for variables in the printing process, including several printing parameters, which can include substrates and inks. These TVI corrections can now also be directly included in the data to be converted. When subsequently setting the data, all that is necessary is linear implementation in the RIP software of the imaging device.

t1_gradation-curve

Create Gradation Curves – Main Window

Quick Start Procedure

Under Curve Management, create new curves using the New button and duplicate or delete existing ones.

A new curve can be edited under Curve Design, either by clicking on (Fig. 6.1) the curve shown and moving it with the cursor or by entering values.

To enter percentage values in the Input and Output fields, first set an anchor point in the curve by clicking in the curve.

The values entered influence the selected anchor point. With the X button, delete a selected anchor point.

Profile Assignments

Profile Assignments is an option in conjunction with SmartLink that enables the use of existing, already tested or special DeviceLink profiles that are based on the ICC standard for converting your data. The user needs to determine whether ZePrA should use existing DeviceLink profiles or new DeviceLinks calculated on-the-fly. It is also possible and to what extent dynamic DeviceLink profiles are used for data conversion. Please consult the ZePrA Online Help for detailed information of these options.

CLI Module

ZePrA settings can be made utilized via a CLI (Command Line Interface). This feature available in ZePrA Basic and above allows ZePrA integration to outside workflow software such as Enfocus Switch.

Global Settings | Profile Assignments

Features of Profile Assignments

ZePrA’s SmartLink feature can be customized by using specific Proflie Assignments. Standard DeviceLinks, house standards or specialized profiles can be applied automatically to any Configuration.

Adding Profile Assignments

Specifying Profile Assignments:

Manually create SmartLink setting for using DeviceLink generation “on-the-fly”:

  1. Select the SmartLink option in Images, Vectors and/or Document Color Space tabs under Define Configurations
  2. Activate the Apply Profile Assignments option in the Define Profile Assignments window for calculation of a DeviceLink profile based on the selected source and target profiles

Note: When Apply Profile assignment is checked, ZePrA only applies the profiles in the SmartLink table if the corresponding settings have been saved. Creating a Configuration by using Auto Setup will apply SmartLink if licensed. SmartLink always uses the profiles defined in the Profile Assignments window. If no matching profiles are found in this table, the appropriate DeviceLink profiles are calculated on-the-fly from the source/target/document profiles contained in the original file.

Editing Profile Assignments

To create SmartLink tables, previously created DeviceLink profiles or standard profiles may be used.

1.To add previously created DeviceLink profiles to the SmartLink table click New at the bottom of the Profile Assignments window.

  1. Select the DeviceLink profile directly from the DeviceLink Profile drop down menu.

If the DeviceLink profile contains the PSID Tag, the source and target profiles are automatically searched for and displayed in the Source Profile and Target Profile drop down menus. When selecting a combination of source and target profile and a rendering intent, select the desired DeviceLink profiles that match this combination of color spaces from the color spaces from the dropdown menu. To be sure that the selected DeviceLink profile is used, it is important that not only does the source and target profile of the DeviceLink match the settings in Configurations, but also the rendering intent. in order for the DeviceLink profile to be applied, set the Rendering to All under Profile Assignments.

In the Define Profile Assignments dialog when selecting DeviceLink profiles for color space conversions, under Apply to, choose vectors, images or both. For the same color conversion e.g. Adobe RGB to ISO Coated V2 for Vectors, a DeviceLink profile can be chosen that converts the primary and secondary colors to 100% corresponding CMYK values.

Within Define Profile Assignments, use the Delete button to remove individual entries or directly remove entries using Delete All.

Jobs and Queues Overview shows the status of DeviceLink profiles being calculated in the background via SmartLink. Under Job Properties, the information for each file can be viewed including which color spaces DeviceLink profiles have been used with or created with SmartLink.

ZePrA User Interface | Overview

Overview/ Main Window

Access all of ZePrA’s functions from a central location

Troubleshooting Assistant

Troubleshooting Assistant

ZePrA includes a comprehensive Troubleshooting Assistant to fix common workflow errors. Issues such as missing profiles, incorrect rendering intent settings will be automatically flagged by the Troubleshooting Assistant with simple instructions on addressing the issue.

Softproofing files

Softproofing in ZePrA offers a true color presentation of jobs on the monitor, with overprinting elements and transparency effects also displayed correctly. For a detailed tutorial on Softproofing click here.

Softproofing in ZePrA

Navigation Panel

The main control elements for using ZePrA are located in the Navigation Panel in the main window. Click the Home button on the left edge of the window to access the respective module from the Navigation Panel.

The main setting options and special modules (listed below):

Start – Auto Setup

Main Setup and Overview – Overview, Configurations, Queues

Tools – Spot Color Report, SaveInk Report, Extract ICC Profile

Global Settings – Spot Color Libraries, Gradations, Profile Assignments

Preferences and Registration shortcuts

To launch a specific module, click on the corresponding button of the Navigation Panel. The colored bar of the upper left corner under Smart Color Server indicates the active module.

Start

Auto Setup

ZePrA has six standard auto setup configurations based on the most common color management tasks in print production.

Main Setup and Overview

Overview 

Access ZePrA’s Overview Screen. View queues, pending and processed jobs

Configurations 

View and customize ZePrA’s Configurations

Queues 

Select input and output folders, error and original folder and append the name of the output file

Tools

Spot Color Report 

Create reports from files or spot color libraries to check the accuracy of spot color conversions

SaveInk Report 

Generate SaveInk Reports for all configurations

Extract ICC Profile 

Extract ICC Profiles from files

Global Settings

Spot Color Libraries 

ZePrA’s advanced Spot Color Library Module

Gradations

Manage and create TVI (Tone Value Increase) curves

Profile Assignments 

Choose and apply the range of dynamic DeviceLink profiles used for data conversion

Menu Bar

Tools

Auto Setup
The Auto Setup Wizard is the easiest way to set up a new configuration and queue for the task at hand. Auto Setup can also be accessed directly via Navigation Panel. Learn more in the Auto Setup documentation
Importing and Exporting Configuruations
The primary focus of this function is to save complete configurations with options for hot folders, and ICC profiles as a backup. All presets can be quickly imported to a new location should there be technical difficulties with the current computer. Additionally, configurations can be easily exchanged and adapted between various locations.

When exporting and importing configurations, the associations of a configuration with a queue is taken into account. Should a configuration be imported that is associated with a queue that already exists in ZePrA, the new configuration will be associated with the existing queue after being imported.

Exporting Configurations

Import and Export options are located under Tools in the ZePrA main menu bar. To export the configurations, go to Tools/Export Configurations in the menu which will open the Export Environment dialog.

Exporting Configurations from ZePrA

Exporting Configurations from ZePrA

Available export options:

Export All Configurations: Exports all ICC device profiles of all queues. Activate the corresponding checkboxes to Export Profile Assignments and to Export All Color Libraries.

Exporting profile assignments: Exports all settings including the profile table created in the dialog Define Profile Assignments, however this does not export the DeviceLink profiles created in SmartLink.

Export Individual Configurations: Exports only selected configurations from the displayed list including the settings. With ZePrA 3 or higher, configurations with or without hot folders can be imported/exported.

Export ICC Profiles: Exports all ICC device profiles and DeviceLink profiles used in the selected configurations.

Export Spot Color Libraries: If individual configurations are selected when using the option Export Spot Color Libraries, only those libraries which are used in the selected configurations will be exported. However, if Export all Configurations is selected in conjunction with the option Export Spot Color Libraries, all libraries will be exported.

Once you have selected the export options, click OK and a Save dialog opens. After entering a filename, the *.CCF file including the configurations and ICC profiles will be stored. Subsequently, the window Information appears providing information about license terms regarding the import and export of ICC and DeviceLink profiles.

Importing Configurations

  1. Select Import Configurations from the Tools menu
  2. Select the previously exported file or .CCF file provided for importing. An Import dialog will appear with a list of configuration options.
  3. Select the Desired Base Folder which is where the hot folder should be created when importing configurations.
  4. Select OK to access the configurations immediately.

Imported configurations are inactive until activated in the Jobs and Queues dialog.

Alternatively, the checkbox Use Paths From Imported File if Possible may be selected allowing ZePrA to retain the hot folder paths from each imported configuration individually.

Configurations that already exist in the import system are marked with an asterisk. Disable the checkbox to prevent these configurations from being imported and overwriting existing configurations.

Extract ICC Profile
The tool Extract ICC Profile filters out the embedded profile from images and the output intent from PDF/X files. The extracted ICC profile can be stored in a predefined location. More information can be found here
Install DeviceLink Profiles
When ZePrA is installed, a DLS Manager application is created which can be accessed via the Tools menu entry Install DeviceLink Profiles. The license key for the set required can be obtained by the dealer the application was purchased from. It is simple to perform profile updates via the DLS Manager. Read more about DLS Manager under ColorLogic DeviceLink Profile Sets / Installing DeviceLink Sets. Read more about DLS Manager.
SaveInk Reports
The SaveInk Report can be accessed from the Tools menu or via the Navigation Panel. This report generates a detailed overview of all SaveInk queues and the corresponding processed jobs. Read more about SaveInk Reports.
Spot Color Report
The Spot Color Report feature allows to check the spot color conversion before printing. A specific PDF file with spot colors that needs to be converted can be checked as well as the processing of multiple Pantone or other spot colors. Read more about Spot Color Report.
Spot Color Iteration

Deviations from the theoretically achievable minimal color differences are caused by printing, material and color variations  during production.

Deviations can be minimized in ZePrA using Spot Color Iteration. This feature is primarily for particularly high demands of accuracy and reproduction of spot colors, for example for digital printing or proofing, which require the  conversion of spot colors to process colors.

The Spot Color Iteration tool provides a step-by-step guide starting from the selection of the spot colors being iterated, preparation and printing of measurement of test charts and finally, optimization of  the conversion, including the creation of reports.

Help

Help
What’s New

View what’s new, including features and bug fixes in ZePrA

Online Help

ZePrA’s Online Help Guide

Quick Start Guide

Access ZePrA’s online Quick Start Guide

Readme

Version notes for the current release

Save Support Data
If support issues arise, use the Save Support Data menu entry under Help to save support data and send it to a ColorLogic representative for assistance. This feature will gather the required information such as the operating system used, ZePrA log, the Preset Files and the functions enabled when the issue occurred.
CLI Manual

CLI (Command Line Interface) Manual. Click the link within ZePrA to view the PDF documentation

Event Log
Some of the events take place in the background (for performance reasons and to improve the user experience) and are invisible to the user. The Event Log dialog, displays information with the exact time of the event.

Some examples are:
  • Configurations or spot color libraries replaced using the function Automatic Import will automatically be updated or added
  • Added or updated SmartLink presets are loaded in the background.
  • Automatic stop and starting of queues, if hot folders are temporarily not available due to network problems or other issues.
  • Messages and information regarding PantoneLIVE, e.g. login errors and updates
Automatic Update Check
The automatic update check in ZePrA checks for updates via an internet connection. Enable Automatic Update Checks may be disabled at any time which is recommended if an internet connection is not available. When disabled, it is still possible to manually access an update and download it directly from the dialog.
Register
Access the Registration information window

Global Settings | Editing Spot Color

 

Editing and Measuring Spot Colors

  • Individual new spot colors may be entered as solid tones or gradations via the New button under Define Spot Colors and the Edit Spot Color dialog will open.
  • To enter a new spot color: Enter the name of the spot color in the Edit Spot Color dialog. The Name should be written as it is referred to in the PDF documents since it is used as an identifier and will allow the automatic conversion to be performed successfully.

    Tip: If separate libraries are created for different substrates or printing process, the same spot color name will occur in different libraries but with different measurements. To avoid this causing issues, select the required library for the color conversion in the configuration.
spot-color-edit

Editing a Spot Color

  • Use the Non Printing Color checkbox to define whether the indicated name of the spot color corresponds to a non-printing color (die-cutting marks, braille, coatings, etc.) and should be converted. Checking Non Printing Color will make the necessary settings automatically. Close by clicking on OK.
  • If the spot color is available printing on white and black backgrounds, enter both prints by manually measuring or importing measured values and use it for further processing. Choose between Printed on White Background (Substrate) and Printed on Black Background (Process Black) to specify if colors created or measure are saved on white or black backgrounds.
  • To process a ‘real’ spot color, indicate only the 100% solid tone or gradations of the spot color by selecting the Solid Tone option for the 100% value (opaque) of the spot color under Use Template. For complete wedges, select one of the two templates with three gradations (3 patches: 0%, 50% and 100%) or eleven gradations (11 patches in 10% increments). Alternatively, use the Import button to load a spot color that has already been measured and is available in the form of a measurement file.
  • When a printed wedge with gradations of the spot color does not correspond to either of the predefined templates, use the Add button and the Additional Tone Values dialog to create the gradations of the wedge in the form of percentage values. Enter a blank space between the percentage values and confirm with OK.
  • The personal wedge is marked as Custom and you may click on Save as Template for later use.
  • There are three options for entering measurements which include manually entering the LAB values for each gradation, select Measure to use the Measure Tool supplied with ZePrA, or by using Import to use existing measurement files. 

    Tip: It is recommended to print a wedge of the spot color directly onto the respective substrate as well as a second wedge of the spot color was an overprint with the black process color using the correct printing conditions and then measure them spectrally in ZePrA. This will allow ZePrA to perform high quality conversions for the solid tones and the gradations and the opacity, taking the dot gain into account in the process. Compared to LAB measurements, spectral measurement data is more capable of simulating overprinting spot colors.
  • Clicking on Measure opens the Measure Tool. For further information on Measure Tool please read Measuring Spot Colors with Measure Tool
  • Once measuring is complete, a dialog appears in Measure Tool indicating the measurement is complete and can be transmitted into ZePrA by clicking the Transmit button. This will close Measure Tool and the Edit Spot Color dialog will reappear. To add the measured spot color to the color library, select OK.
  • Opacity indicates how translucent or opaque a color is.

    Tip: From the measured values with black background, ZePrA will automatically calculate the opacity and take the value into account during the color conversion of spot colors. Information from the ink manufacturer regarding the opacity of the spot color can be entered directly as a percentage and no measurements on a black background needs to be performed. Calculate and display the opacity from the measured values on black using the Calculate button. The value calculated can also be changed manually. Without any information regarding opacity, ZePrA will assume the spot color is fully transparent at 0%.

 

Tip: The Define Spot Colors table indicates whether a spot color in the library consists of just a solid tone or of several gradations, as well as whether the color values are of the spectral type or LAB type. The opacity of the spot colors is also shown when available. Color values can be edited, deleted and added to or moved to another library at any time. When moving a color to another library, select one or more colors and right click to choose which library the color(s) should be moved to.

Measuring Spot Colors Measure Tool

On certain measuring instruments the measuring mode can be changed to M1, M0 or M2. Select the mode that fits the measuring requirements. Select the measuring mode for the wedge layout and select the Measure button on the instrument.

Note: Barbieri measuring instruments are optimized for test chart measurement therefore single patch measurement is not available.

Once measurement is complete, the measured color appears in Measure Tool. A dialog indicates that the measurement is complete and can be transmitted back to the main program by clicking the Transmit button which will close Measure Tool and make the measured values available in ZePrA. Saving the measured values in the Measure Tool is not required.

Measure Tool comes standard with installation of ZePrA. If the software is no installed on the computer, the measure button in ZePrA is not available. With the Measure Tool the following measuring instruments are available:

 

Barbieri Spectro LFP

Barbieri SpectroPad

Konica Minolta FD 7/5

Konica Minolta FD-9

X-Rite eXact

X-Rite i1iO

X-Rite i1Pro 1 (without XRGA)

X-Rite i1Pro 2 (XRGA)

To use a measuring instrument, connect the instrument to the computer via the USB port and click the Measure button in the Edit Spot Colors window in ZePrA. Measure Tool will start and the rest of the process is completed within the software.

In most cases, select the Others button under Test Charts on the Measure tab and select the reference file for the test chart that has been printed and needs to be measured from the dropdown menu. These options will be unavailable in the event of solid tone or wedge measurement from within ZePrA. If the solid tone is selected, a single color patch is preselected for the measurement. If the wedge is selected, the layout of the wedge selected in ZePrA is displayed. Under Measurement Instrument, select the measuring instrument connected to the USB port from the dropdown. Click Connect and follow the instructions.

In single patch measurement, only one color is measured and transmitted at a time in Measure Tool. Use the Repeat button to restart the measurement in the event of an incorrect measurement.

The Measure Tool Window

 

 

 

 

Global Settings | Spot Color Libraries

Spot Color Libraries

Add and Edit Spot Libraries

Managing Spot Color Libraries

Select the tool Spot Color Libraries from the sidebar to access the window Manage Spot Colors. To measure spot colors from color fans, print samples or Corporate Identity Colors use a spectral photometer or enter them manually. It is also possible to import existing color tables with spot colors. Supported formats are Named Color ICC profiles, Photoshop ACO color tables, text files in CGATS format or CXF files. The color values can be present as Lab or spectral data. Spectral measurement data is preferable as it permits the best internal calculation.

More information about spot colors can be found under:

Spot Color

Customizing Spot Colors

PantoneLIVE

The upper part of the dialog Library shows all available libraries and the number of spot colors of a library. Additionally, the revision number and expiry date of PantoneLIVE libraries is displayed (with the PantoneLIVE icon). Login if necessary to update the libraries.

After double-clicking on the selected library the spot colors will be shown in the lower part of the window. In order to improve the performance – especially with extensive and many libraries – spot colors will only be available when they are actually used in the processing of jobs or by double-clicking on a library.

Notes: PantoneLIVE libraries are protected and in ZePrA they can not be edited, extended or removed. The PantoneLIVE dialog for importing Pantone spot colors into ZePrA is available directly in the dialog Spot Color Libraries.


Tip: Adobe Photoshop users can export color tables with LAB color values form Photoshop in the form of ACO files. X-Rite Pantone Color Manager program users can export tables as Named Color ICC profiles or CXF files which will have the actual LAB values but not the spectral values.  

ZePrA | SaveInk Report

Generate a SaveInk Report by either selecting SaveInk Report in the Tools menu or by clicking the icon via the Navigation Panel. The report generates a detailed overview of all the SaveInk queues set up and processed jobs.

Sample SaveInk Report

Procedure:

Select the tool and specify a file name and a file format. The report may be created as a PDF, TXT, HTML or XML file. PDF is selected by default.

The Summary section lists the overall ink savings across all queues. Ink Saving per Queue and Job shows details on the savings per queue and the savings per job.
Note: Calculation of the percentages in the SaveInk report only reference the CMYK components, transparency effects and overprinting elements and spot colors are not taken into account.