ZePrA | Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide

Get ZePrA quickly into production

Introduction

Thank you for choosing 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 optimization or color conversion of CMYK printing data, installation in media-neutral workflows with RGB data and Multicolor processing capabilities.

The high quality of optimization or color conversion of CMYK, RGB, Grayscale and Multicolor printing data is achieved through DeviceLink profiles, as well as intelligent PDF processing. For a range of standard-compliant printing processes, ColorLogic has also developed standard DeviceLink profiles that can be purchased in a bundle. ZePrA includes SmartLink technology for on-the-fly calculation of DeviceLink profiles for high quality color conversion to a variety printing processes.

Automated color management often requires extensive and complex configurations, especially with today’s PDF files. ZePrA Smart Color Server’s primary focus is to create, duplicate and modify configurations and queues for typical tasks in day-to-day production work easily.

We hope you enjoy working with ZePrA and wish you successful optimization and color conversion!

ZePrA’s Interface

ZePrA’s sidebar allows quick access to all main workflow functions. Simply move the mouse over the Home button on the left and click on the required module.

Click to download a PDF version of the Quick Start Guide.

Start

Auto Setup

Create workflows with ZePrA’s Auto Setup Wizard

Main Setup and Overview

Overview 

Access ZePrA’s overview screen to view queues, pending jobs and processed jobs

Configurations 

View and customize processing settings

Queues 

Manage print jobs

Tools

Spot Color Report 

Check the accuracy of spot color conversions prior to printing

SaveInk Report 

Generate an overall ink saving report

Extract ICC Profile 

Extract ICC profiles from images and PDF files

Global Settings

Spot Color Libraries 

Manage libraries and edit spot colors

Gradations

Manage and create tone value correction curves

Profile Assignments 

Use existing or dynamically created DeviceLinks for file conversions

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 the Automatic Setup Wizard

ZePrA has six auto setup methods to set up workflows for the most common color management tasks. It takes just a few steps to create Configurations and Queues.
To process files, either use a previously created DeviceLink profile, or use the SmartLink function to create a DeviceLink profile on-the-fly (SmartLink license required).
The Automatic Setup Wizard also allows workflows that save ink, optimize the total area coverage (TAC), and apply gradation corrections.

Step 1: Select a Setup Mode

Select Auto Setup in the sidebar. There are six different setup options for creating Configurations and Queues:

Choosing a Setup Mode

ZePrA’s Automatic Setup Wizard

  1. Normalize and Convert Colors to New Output Condition
    The content of the PDF file is first normalized to the document color space or output intent and then converted to the desired target color space using DeviceLink profiles.
  2. Normalize Color to Document Color Space or Output Intent
    The data is normalized to the document color space or output intent. After conversion, the final, normalized file consists only of a color space and spot colors, if present.
    If PDF objects are present in the RGB color space, they are converted with the embedded profile to the document color space using the rendering intent defined in the PDF file.
  3. Save inks
    The data is first normalized to the document color space and then optimized using either an existing SaveInk profile or a SmartLink SaveInk method. Three color saving methods are available.
  4. Optimize Total Area Coverage (TAC)
    The data is normalized to the document color space and the total amount of color is reduced. This can either be done using specific profiles to reduce the total area coverage (TAC), or by defining the SmartLink value under Desired TAC.
  5. Direct Color Conversion to New Output ConditionThe data is directly converted to the target color space with embedded profiles, without normalizing to the document color space beforehand. This setup mode enables the best color space utilization of the target color space and is particularly suitable for media-neutral data, e.g. RGB image data with ICC profiles.
  6. Apply Gradation Curves OnlyIf the printing process differs due to changed printing conditions (e.g. due to substrate or other printing parameters), adjustments can be done directly in ZePrA, without CtP compensation curves in the RIP, by applying gradation corrections “on-the-fly”.

Step 2: Use DeviceLink profile or SmartLink

Use an existing DeviceLink profile or use SmartLink to create and use a high-quality DeviceLink profile on-the-fly.
1. Using an Existing DeviceLink Profile
Choose a DeviceLink profile for the configuration (e.g. from our DLS DeviceLink sets, available from any ColorLogic dealer), and select it from the drop-down menu. The source and target profiles are set by the DeviceLink profile.
2. Use SmartLink
The SmartLink function creates DeviceLinks on-the-fly from source and target profiles to avoid problems normally associated with a regular ICC conversion and increases conversion quality.
Note: Requires a SmartLink license. If the SmartLink function is not available, normal ICC conversions are performed for objects with embedded ICC profiles.

Document Color Space

The document color space serves as a reference to create a uniform printing color space for the colors of the PDF file. Selecting the Prefer Output Intent checkbox will use the output intent of the PDF/X file instead of manually setting the document color space.

Rendering Intent

ZePrA contains five rendering intents in addition to the four standard ICC rendering intents. They are only available when SmartLink is licensed.

ZePrA's Standard Compression Settings

ZePrA’s Rendering Intent Options

Standard Compression: For conversions including color spaces of different sizes. Calculates a perceptive conversion for input and target profiles that is suitable for all types of gamuts.

Black Point Compensation: Use Black Point Compensation to achieve the same results with a perceptive conversion as with “Relative Colorimetric with Black Point Compensation”. When converting from a large to a small color space, the image definition is preserved in the highlights and shadows, unlike a pure Relative Colorimetric conversion. Neutral tones are converted using the relative colorimetric intent. Out-of-gamut colors are clipped.

Absolute Compression: If the color gamut is similar, but the paper shade differs significantly. In contrast to Standard Compression and Black Point Compensation, the gray balance compensates for paper coloration. The color of the original file is preserved in the best possible way on a target medium with a different paper color. Shadow areas are increased for small color gamuts. Standard Compression, the gray axis of the conversion is build relative to the paper white of the target profile.

Dynamic Compression: Compares the source color space and target color space and generates compression that minimizes out-of-gamut areas. Preserves the brightness of the original color space while reducing the saturation, therefore preserving the image definition.

Minimum Compression: Allows almost absolute colorimetric reproduction, compensating only for areas near the black and the white point.

SmartLink Methods

The SmartLink methods apply different requirements of various printing conditions so the desired color is correctly reproduced and optimally separated for a specific printing process.

Traditional Printing – Classic: Offset, gravure, or newspaper printing. Black, grey, primary, secondary and tertiary color tones of the source profile are retained. The total area coverage from the target profile is applied.

Traditional Printing – Automatic: When the color and paper of the target color space differ significantly from the output intent or document color space. The separation is retained.

Large Format Printing – Inkjet: The separation is characterized by a strong GCR and a late black start. The black point and the total area coverage are calculated automatically. Otherwise like Traditional Printing – Automatic.

Digital Printing – Toner: For toner-based digital printers and office printers. A high percentage of black is used to achieve a stable print and neutral gray balance. The total area coverage from the target profile is applied. Otherwise like Traditional Printing – Automatic.

Apply Gradation Curves Only

These gradation adjustments apply external files on-the-fly to existing curves, adjusting process colors and/or spot colors without changing the document color space.

There are two ways to correct gradations:

1: Select Curves
Select linearization DeviceLink profiles created with CoPrA or previously imported files including curves (gradations).

2: Use Curves from File
External files including the gradation corrections for the curves (gradations) to be changed can be loaded. ZePrA then imports the files into its own folder structure.

Considerations for Normalizing PDF files

When working with PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4 or PDF/X-5n files that may still contain RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles, normalize the files.

If the PDF file does not contain an output intent, define an ICC profile as the Document Color Space. Select the Prefer Output Intent checkbox to ensure that any existing output intent takes precedence over the specified document color space and is retained.

Step 3: Create Configurations and Queues

In the last step of the wizard, assign a Queue name. The corresponding configuration automatically receives the same name.
Define the Base Folder. The Queue and its subfolders are created. To only create a new configuration, deactivate the Create Queue checkbox.
The last step completes the workflow setup and it is immediately available.

Main Setup and Overview

Overview

Processing Jobs via Queues
In ZePrA, files are processed via queues. Each queue is assigned a configuration. A configuration contains all the necessary settings for converting and processing the file. Queues and their configurations are managed separately and configurations can be modified and re-assigned to different queues anytime.
The Jobs and Queues Overview window (Sidebar: Overview) provides an overview of the queues and associated configurations.
Queues created with the Automatic Setup Wizard usually have the same name as the corresponding configuration.
The order of the jobs to be processed is determined by their priority. Change the Priority by right-clicking on the queue and change its default setting Normal to High or Low.
Queues can be controlled with Start and Stop buttons located in the lower right corner.

Manually Create a Queue
To create a new queue, create a Base Folder, assign a configuration and a name. Use the New button in the Queues tool to manually create a queue. To configure the queue afterwards, first select the queue and then select the configuration from the Process with Configuration drop-down menu in the Options tab.

Set up a Queue Manually

Configurations

All settings related to color handling and PDF processing are defined under Configurations. This includes color conversion via ICC output profiles or DeviceLink profiles, handling of mixed PDFs (documents with data in CMYK, RGB, Grayscale and spot colors) and individual settings of gradation curves and spot colors. Various presets and optimization options are available for all settings.
In the upper part of the window, select a configuration, create, rename and save new configurations.
To duplicate an existing configuration, select New, enter the new name and Save. To use a duplicated configuration, assign it to a queue.

Queues

Queues are displayed in the Overview in chronological order. The lists can be sorted by clicking on the respective column.

Processing files – Starting queues
To start a job, select Open Folder from the context menu to open the corresponding Input Folder (hot folder) of the queue. Copy or move the file (TIFF/JPEG/PSD/PSB image, PDF) into the Input Folder, or simply drag and drop the file onto the appropriate configuration in the queue overview. Alternatively, right-click on a file and copy it into the queue’s hot folder.
When a file is placed in the Input Folder, ZePrA automatically converts it according to the settings specified in the configuration and places the converted file in the Output Folder. The job ID and configuration name are added to the file name. The original file is moved to the Originals Folder. Problem files are stored in the Error Folder.

Convenient queue management

Processed Jobs
Files with a yellow warning in the overview window have been processed but may have issues. They are usually placed in the Output Folder. Alternatively, when configuring the queue, define an Output Folder with Warnings, where such files will be moved after processing. Incorrectly processed or unsupported file types are highlighted in red and moved to the Error Folder.
A right click on a job opens a context menu with the following entries:

Context menu with many useful functions

Screen Preview
Creates and displays the soft proof of the selected job.

Show Job Properties
Opens the job report.

Save Job Properties
Saves the job report as PDF, HTML, TXT or XML.

Repeat Job
Allows the reconversion of an already processed job using the same configuration without having to search for the file in the hot folder.

Restore Configuration
From ZePrA 7 onwards, the associated configuration settings of jobs are also saved. This allows the configuration to be restored and jobs can be processed using the original settings, even if the original configuration was changed or deleted.

Delete
Deletes selected jobs.

Procedure

1. On the sidebar, click on Queues.
2. Click New to manually create a new queue. Give the queue a Name and select the Base Folder. The corresponding subfolders will be created automatically. Select the Configuration from the drop-down list. It contains all settings for the handling of the colors and the processing of the file.
3. Copy or move the files to be converted into the Input Folder of the queue.
4. If the files are to be copied to a server or network drive, it is recommended to create a Temporary Folder on the local system where ZePrA is running.
5. The converted files can be found in the Output Folder. If a file could not be processed, it is moved to the Error Folder. Files that could be processed but may contain a problem are placed in the Output Folder with a warning. The original files are moved to the Originals Folder.

Notes:

Target File Name: Append text: Appends a suffix to the original filename.
Append Job ID: Creates a unique serial number and appends it to the original filename.
Copy File Types: Transfers a control file (JDF, XML, TXT, or similar file types) with your original file.
Post Process: Defines the subsequent processing of a file after color conversion. Select an available script or batch file or enter a command line command manually.
Job Report: Creates a report in PDF, HTML, XML or Text file format. The Folder defines where the job report is stored.

Tools

Spot Color Report

Checks the accuracy of spot color conversion before printing spot or Pantone® colors of specific PDF and image files. The spot color report shows the results of a spot color conversion in terms of deltaE00, deltaE76 and separation into the process and/or multicolor.

spot color report win1

Procedure

  1. Configurations: Select one or more configurations from the list. A configuration contains all settings for the conversion. Only configurations with spot color conversion enabled are displayed in the list.
  2. Select a file or library under Source Data.
    PDF or Image File: Select the spot color PDF file to be processed with the settings of the selected configuration.
    Library: Select the spot color library to convert with the settings of the selected configuration.
  3. Sort order: Sorts the list according to various presets. When sorting by DeltaE, spot colors with the lowest dE are listed at the top of the table, those with the highest at the bottom.
  4. Preview and Save: Preview displays the results prior to creating a report (optional). Save will create and save the report in various data formats.

Note: When creating the report, all spot color settings set in the configurations are used, including manual settings and warnings. Colors with warnings are displayed with red deltaE values.

SaveInk Report

The SaveInk report provides a detailed overview of the color savings of all SaveInk queues and processed jobs.

SaveInkReport_converted

Procedure

  1. Select SaveInk Report in the sidebar.
  2. Enter a file name and select the format. The report can be created as PDF, TXT, HTML or XML. PDF is the default setting. Then specify the storage location.
  3. Click Save to create the report.
    Summary: Shows the ink saving for all queues.
    Ink Saving per Queue and Job: Shows details of individual queues and jobs.
    Note: The percentage calculations in the SaveInk report only refer to the CMYK components. Transparency effects, overprinting elements and spot colors are not taken into account.

Extract ICC Profile

The Extract ICC Profile tool extracts embedded profiles from images or output intents of PDF/X files. This way, embedded profiles that are not available as ICC profiles can be used to create DeviceLinks or SaveInk profiles.

extract icc profile dialog

Procedure

1. Click on the Extract ICC Profile icon in the sidebar.
2. Use Select to choose the file (PDF, JPEG, TIFF PSB or PSD) with the embedded profile. Click Open. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the file into the selection window.
3. The embedded ICC Profile, the PDF/X Version, and the Output Condition are displayed. The embedded profile can be saved with Extract.

Spot Color Iteration

Color deviations in printing, e.g. due to differences in printers, inks or substrates, can be minimised using the spot color iteration tool. This ensures optimum conversion of spot colors to process colors, in digital or proofing production.
Start the iteration process by printing spot color(s) converted by ZePrA on the printer to be used for the job. Test charts are measured and color deviations are optimized until the measured dE2000 values are within the desired tolerances.

Procedure

Activate the checkbox Convert Spot Colors in the Spot Colors tab under Configurations. Set the Calculation Method to Precise Match or Visual Matching for the best results. Then open the Iterate Spot Colors dialog by clicking Iterate.
1. Select the Configuration.
2. Select the source spot color (PDF file or spot color library).
3. Create a test chart from a PDF file or spot color library. ZePrA uses all the spot colors it contains (solids) and converts them according to the selected configuration. Select an Instrument Setting and click Save.
4. Print the test chart without applying color management.
5. Measure the printed test chart. The reference file is automatically preselected.
6. Optional, but highly recommended: Create a spot color iteration report with Calculate Report. It contains information about the achieved and measured deltaE values.
7. Click Apply. The optimized spot colors are calculated and applied in the configuration.
Note: We recommend activating the checkbox Iterate all Spot Colors.

Global Settings

Spot color Libraries

Spot color libraries and spot colors can be managed conveniently in ZePrA’s spot color module. Access the Spot Color Libraries in the sidebar. Libraries can be created, added, viewed and modified. Spot colors can be edited, imported or measured.
For example, spot colors from color books can be measured with a spectrophotometer or lab values can be manually entered. Color tables with spot colors can also be imported. Supported formats include: Named Color ICC profiles, Photoshop ACO color tables, Adobe ASE color tables (from InDesign or Illustrator), text files in CGATS format or CxF or CxF/X-4 files. Both Lab and spectral color values are supported. Spectral measurement data is preferable as it provides the best results.

Note: Spot color libraries are not included with ZePrA.

PantoneLIVE®

PantoneLIVE® from X-Rite is a cloud solution for the digital storage of spectral spot colors. This includes Pantone color books, paper-dependent “Dependent Standards”, or custom color libraries.

ZePrA includes direct access to PantoneLIVE®. A ZePrA spot color module license and an active PantoneLIVE® Production license from X-Rite are required. PantoneLIVE® libraries will be available and use them in ZePrA to process spot colors. For more information, see our online help. General information about PantoneLIVE® is available in the PantoneLIVE® documentation.

Gradation

Using gradation curves allows optimal preparation of print data for output. For example, applying tone value corrections just before printing and ensuring output quality within a printing standard.

Optimal preparation of print data

Procedure

In the Curve Management window, you can create New curves and Duplicate or Delete existing ones. New curves can be adjusted in the Curve Design panel by clicking and dragging the curve or by entering values. To enter percentage values in the Input and Output fields, first create an anchor point on the curve by clicking onto it. The entered values will then affect this anchor point. X deletes anchor points.

Profile Assignments

ZePrA’s SmartLink function can be customized by profile assignments. Standard Device Links, house standards or custom profiles can be assigned to configurations automatically.

To add new SmartLink profile assignments, click New at the bottom of the window under Profile Assignments and select the DeviceLink profile directly from the DeviceLink Profile drop-down menu.

To edit existing profile assignments, open the Edit Profile Assignment window by double-clicking the corresponding assignment.

CLI Module

ZePrA can be integrated into other workflows via a configurator in Enfocus Switch and generally via Command Line Interface. This enables even complex workflows including data input to sorting, preflighting, color conversion and data transfer.

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

View Queues, Pending Jobs and Processed Jobs

Jobs and Queues Overview

The Overview window is divided into three sections: Queues, Pending Jobs and Processed Jobs.

Queues

ZePrA Configurations are associated with queues, however, the queue and its configuration are managed separately. Configurations can be assigned to Queues or changed anytime. The configuration assigned to a queue is displayed in the Configuration column.

To quickly access a queue’s hot folder, right-click a queue and select Open Folder in the context menu.

Stop or Start a queue via right clicking.

The priority order for queues can be controlled 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.

Queues that are inactive or invalid are highlighted in orange. Incorrect queues may occur due to incomplete entries or missing profiles.

The job lists in the lower panes 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 types, they are highlighted in red in the list Processed Jobs. 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.

The Queues list can be sorted by ID, file Name, Configuration, Jobs  and Status. Clicking on the ID column places the most recently processed job at the top, while clicking on the Status column a sorts the files according to their Priority.

The Notes entered in the Configurations and Queues dialogs are displayed in ZePrA’s main window in the Queues list. The Notes column allows you to quickly find queues based on cleverly selected keywords, such as customers, printers, media types, or other special properties.

Right-clicking on jobs under Queues opens a context menu where the following options can be chosen:

Start
Starts the selected queue.

Stop
Stops the selected queue.

Priority
Changes the Priority of the jobs to be processed. Change the setting to Normal, High or Low.

Edit Configuration
Allows to edit configuration settings.

Edit Queue
Allows to edit the queue settings.

Open Folder
Opens the queue’s folder (hot folder).

Add File to Queue
Select the file to be processed, it will be imported directly into the Input hot folder of the queue and processed immediately.

Delete
Opens the Delete Queues dialog.

Delete Configurations: Deletes the Configuration associated with the queue.

Delete Folders: Deletes all subfolders associated with the queue. The Base Folder of the queue is not deleted.

Delete empty Parent Folders: Deletes all subfolders and the Base Folder of the queue.

The table shows the files and folders which have been selected for deletion.

Type: Indicates whether it is a queue, a configuration or a folder. For folders, the number of files contained is also displayed.

Name: Shows the names of queues, configurations and folders. For folders, the whole path is displayed.

If all checkboxes are unchecked only the queue will be deleted. In that case, the configuration and all folders will remain on the hard drive.

Pending Jobs

The list Pending jobs shows the Job-ID, the file name, the queue and the status of the queue. It can be sorted by ID, 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.

The Status column provides information about the progress of file processing. Displays the processing step (such as SmartLink calculation or ink saving calculation) and the progress in percent.

Right-clicking on a job under Pending Jobs opens a context menu containing the following options:

Priority
Change the priority of the job to Normal, High or Low.

Screen Preview
View the soft proof of the selected job.

Delete
Deletes the selected job.

Processed Jobs

The list Processed Jobs at the bottom of the window shows which jobs have been processed.

If errors occur when processing files, or if ZePrA detects non-supported file types, they are highlighted in red. 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.

The lists shows the Job-ID, the file name, the queue, the status and the date. It can be sorted by ID, Name, Queue, Status and Date. 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.

Right-clicking on jobs under Processed Jobs opens a context menu containing the following options:

Screen Preview
View the soft proof of the selected job.

Show Job Properties
Opens the Job-Report which contains properties of the selected job. More information on job properties can be found in the section Show and Save Job Properties below.

Save Job Properties
Saves the Job Report as PDF, HTML, TXT oder XML file.

Repeat Job
Allows to convert a processed job once again using the same configuration without the need to open the hot folder.

Restore Configuration
ZePrA allows to restore the configuration of a previous job in order to re-run the conversion. As of ZePrA 7, the configuration of all jobs is saved and kept ready for future job re-runs.
Application case: A customer requests a reprint of a previous job and requires a similar or even identical color appearance. If that configuration has not been saved, or has been changed since, it is lost and it might be difficult or even impossible to remember the ZePrA settings used for that job.

Restore Configuration allows to restore a previously used configuration.

Delete
Deletes the selected job.

ZePrA’s Search Feature

If the lists of Queues or Processed Jobs gradually get longer, it can be difficult to find a specific queue, configuration or a specific profile within a job, without manually searching. The Search and Notes features in ZePrA allow to find these and other information quickly and efficiently.

The search function can browse through the sections Queues and Processed Jobs to search for the following criteria:

  • File names
  • Queue names
  • Configuration names
  • Parameters in configurations: Names of ICC profiles, names of spot color libraries
  • Notes entered for configurations and queues

To use the search function, enter the search term in the text field with the magnifying glass icon.

  • The search is not case sensitive.
  • Entered text will be applied automatically after a few seconds. To start the search immediately click Apply.
  • To find information, entering part of the search term will suffice, for example to find the queue ‘Normalize_GRACoL2006_Coated1v2’ entering the initials ‘gra’ is sufficient.
  • The results of the search are displayed in the windows Queues or Processed Jobs, respectively.
  • Deleting the input text or clicking on the X in the search field will immediately display all queues again.

In the Processed Jobs section, limit the search to a specific date range. This is useful to check how many and what kind of jobs have been completed in the searched time period (for example for a specific customer).

Choose to search jobs by a defined range or in a period of the last few days, weeks, months or years. To do so, select one of the three options from the drop-down menu:

  • All Jobs: Uses all jobs for the search. This is the default setting in ZePrA.
  • Recent Jobs: By choosing this option a number input field and a drop-down menu becomes available. In the drop-down menu you can choose whether you would like to search for jobs of the last few days, weeks, months or years. By entering a number in the number input field you can specify the time period.
  • Jobs by Date Range: By choosing this option two date input fields (Mac) or two date input fields with drop-down calendar (Windows) become available. In the first input field (or calendar) enter the ‘from’ date, in the second the ‘to’ date. If a date is selected only in the first field (or Calendar), records from this date on will be searched for.

The Notes you have entered in the dialogs Configurations and Queues are shown in the main window of ZePrA in the list Queues. The Notes column allows you to quickly locate queues based on relevant keywords, for example; customers, printers, media types or other special properties.

Show and Save Job Properties

Job Report

Detailed information about the processing of a file can be found in the Job Report. It can be accessed via the context menu (by right clicking on a job in the section Processed Jobs and selecting the entry Show Job Properties). The Job Report provides all relevant information for the selected file including any PDF/X and ZePrA processing information.

Document Information
This section contains information about the PDF version and the spot colors used. It also displays the page number for multi-page PDF files.

PDF/X Information
Shows the PDF/X-Version and the Output Intent.

Processing Information
Provides information about the Date/time of the conversion, Embedded Profiles of the original file, which Configuration was used, the New Output Intent, whether DeviceLink profiles were calculated using SmartLink, the Ink Saving percentage when this feature was enabled prior to conversion, and whether Transparency Reduction was used including the selected settings.

The total Processing Time of a job is listed as well. The time is always displayed in seconds, even if the processing takes several minutes.

Spot Color Processing
If the Spot Color module is licensed and spot colors are converted to the target color space, all spot colors and their DeltaE color value upon conversion are listed in the section Spot Color Processing. This list provides information regarding the spot color library used for the conversion and the printing sequence.

When an error occurs during conversion in ZePrA, the information will be listed under Warnings.

PSD layers lists the layers that have been converted.

Save Job Properties
Job properties can be saved as a report file in various formats (including PDF, XML, TXT, and HTML) by right-clicking and selecting Save Job Properties.

Global Settings | Editing Spot Color

Edit Spot Color

Create and edit spot colors

 

Editing and Measuring Spot Colors

  • Individual new spot colors may be entered as solid tones or gradations via the New button under Spot Colors from selected Libraries and the Edit Spot Color dialog will open.
  • Name: Enter the name of the spot color. The name should be written as in the PDF document since it is used as an identifier and therefore crucial for a successful automatic conversion.

Note: If separate libraries are created for different substrates or printing processes, identical spot color names can occur in several libraries but will be associated with different measurements. Make sure to select the correct library for the color conversion in the configuration to avoid problems.

 Editing a Spot Color

  • Use the checkbox Non Printing Color to define whether the indicated name of the spot color corresponds to a non-printing color (die-cutting marks, braille, coatings, etc.). Activating Non Printing Color will make the necessary settings automatically. Close by clicking on OK.
    Note: In modern PDF files non printing areas can also be defined bywith processing steps. Read the explanation about PDF Layers for more information.
  • Printed on White Background (Substrate) and Printed on Black Background (Process Black): If the spot color is available as print on white or black backgrounds, enter it by manually measuring or by importing measured values for further processing.
  • Use Template: To process a ‘true’ spot color, indicate the Solid Tone for the 100% value of the spot color. For complete tints, select a template with either three steps (3 patches: 0%, 50% and 100%) or with eleven steps (11 patches in 10% increments). Alternatively, Import a spot color that has already been measured and is available as measurement file.
  • Custom: If a printed wedge with tints of the spot color does not correspond to either of the predefined templates, click Add to open the Additional Tone Values which allows to enter gradations of the wedge as percentage values. Seperate the percentage values by spaces and confirm with OK.
  • The personal wedge is marked as Custom and can be saved for later use with Save as Template.
  • There are three ways to define color values: Enter the Lab values for each gradation manually, select Measure to use the Measure Tool supplied with ZePrA, or select Import to load existing measurement files.

Note: 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 as an overprint with the black process color (black must be printed first) using the correct printing conditions and to measure them spectrally in ZePrA. This will allow ZePrA to perform high quality conversions for the solid tones, the gradations and the opacity, taking dot gain into account. Compared to Lab values, spectral measurement data can improve the simulation of overprinting spot colors.

  • Click on Measure to open the Measure Tool. For further information read Measuring Spot Colors with the Measure Tool below.
  • Once the measuring is complete, the measurement can be transmitted to ZePrA by clicking the Transmit button. This will close the Measure Tool and the Edit Spot Color dialog reappears. Click OK to add the measured spot color to the color library.
  • Opacity indicates how translucent or opaque a color is. A spot color is fully transparent when the value is set to 0% and completely opaque with a value of 100%.

Note: ZePrA will automatically calculate the opacity of measured values on black backgrounds, and use the opacity values for 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, measurements on a black background are not required. Calculate and display the opacity of measured values on black using the Calculate button. The calculated value can be changed manually. Without any opacity information ZePrA will assume the spot color to be fully transparent at 0%.

Note: The Information table under Spot Colors from selected Libraries indicates whether a spot color in the library consists of a solid tone or of tints and whether the color values are based on spectral or Lab data. The opacity of the spot colors is shown as well, if available. Color values can be edited by double clicking on a spot color in the table. Delete, Cut, Copy and Paste are accessible using the right click context menu. Colors can be moved to another library by Cut and Paste. To do so, select the color(s) to be moved, right click and either Cut or Copy. Then select another Library, so that its colors appear in the table under Spot Colors from selected Libraries, right click and Paste.

Measuring Spot Colors with the Measure Tool

Some measuring instruments allow to select the measuring mode (M0, M1 or M2). Select the mode that fits the measuring requirements, then select the measuring mode for the wedge layout and press the Measure button on the instrument.

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

Once the measurement is complete, the measured color appears in the Measure Tool. The measurement data can now be transmitted to ZePrA by clicking Transmit. Saving the measured values in the Measure Tool is not required.

The Measure Tool is part of ColorAnt and included in ZePrA. If it has not been installed on the computer, the Measure button is not available in ZePrA.

The following measuring instruments are supported by the Measure Tool:

  • Barbieri Spectro LFP
  • Barbieri Spectro LFP qb
  • Barbieri SpectroPad
  • Konica Minolta FD-7
  • Konica Minolta FD-9
  • Techkon SpectroDens (Windows only)
  • Techkon SpectroPad (Windows only)
  • X-Rite eXact
  • X-Rite i1iO
  • X-Rite i1Pro 1 (without XRGA)
  • X-Rite i1Pro 2 (XRGA)

Procedure

Connect the measuring instrument to the USB port of the computer and select the appropriate wedge from the drop-down menu Use Template. Then click the Measure button in the Edit Spot Colors window in ZePrA. The Measure Tool will start and the rest of the process is completed within the Measure Tool software.

If a solid tone is selected, a single color patch is preselected for the measurement. If a step wedge is selected, the layout of the wedge selected in ZePrA is displayed. Under Selection, select the measuring instrument connected to the USB port from the drop-down menu. Click Connect and follow the instructions. More information about measuring can be found in the ColorAnt online help.

In single patch measurement, only one color is measured and transmitted at a time. Either click Transmit or re-measure if the measurement was faulty or unsuccessful.

 The Measure Tool Window

 

 

 

 

Global Settings | Spot Color Libraries

Spot Color Libraries

Add and Edit Spot Libraries

Managing Spot Color Libraries

ZePrA’s spot color module allows to manage spot color libraries and spot colors conveniently. Select the tool Spot Color Libraries from the sidebar to access the window Manage Spot Colors.

Here you can create, add, view and customize libraries. Spot colors can be edited, imported or measured. For example, spot colors from color fans can be measured with a spectrophotometer or Lab values can be entered manually. However, color tables with spot colors can also be imported. Supported formats are Named Color ICC profiles, Photoshop ACO color tables, Adobe ASE color tables (from InDesign or Illustrator), text files in CGATS format or CxF files, such as CxF/X-4.

X-Rite Pantone Color Manager color tables support Named Color ICC profiles, CxF files (there are current Lab values, but no spectral values for Pantone solids), and CGATS-compliant text files.

Note: PantoneLIVE libraries are protected and cannot be edited, extended or removed.

Both lab and spectral color values are supported. Spectral measurement data is preferable as it provides the best results internally.

More information about spot colors can be found under:

Spot Color

Edit Spot Color

PantoneLIVE

A spot color library can contain a multitude of different information in just one library, such as the full tone, tints printed on substrate or black, spectral or Lab measurements and opacity values.

The upper part of the dialog Libraries 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.

Procedure

  1. Select the tool Spot Color Libraries from the sidebar.
  2. Import existing color tables containing many spot colors by selecting Import under Manage Spot Colors. The formats supported by ZePrA include ACO (Photoshop color tables), Adobe ASE, TXT (text files in CGATS 1.7 format), CxF (Color Exchange Format 3), CxF/X-4 and Named Color ICC-Profiles.
  3. To create a library from scratch using printed samples, click New, give the library a name and then click New on the lower right of the dialog to open the Edit Spot Color dialog. Each added color will appear in the selected library. Read more about the Edit Spot Color dialog here to learn how to measure spot colors.

Note: The use of PantoneLIVE libraries requires the corresponding access data.

Note: ZePrA does not provide spot color libraries with a fresh install. To obtain spot colors from some applications: Export Adobe Photoshop color tables with Lab color values as ACO files or Adobe InDesign/Illustrator files as ASE. Color tables of the X-Rite Pantone Color Manager can be saved as Named Color ICC profiles or as CxF file (provides current Lab values but no spectral values for Pantone full primaries) and CGATS compliant text files. Another source for spot colors is the PantoneLive eco system.

Exporting Spot Color Libraries from ZePrA

A selected spot color library can be exported. When clicking Export the supported file formats are available (CCF, ACO, ICC, TXT, CxF) to store the library. Note that only the ZePrA internal CCF format allows to save all information that may be in a library. Use the CCF format in case you wish to exchange a library with another ZePrA installation on a different computer. The other more common file formats are mainly included for exchange with other applications. A warning appears for other file formats.

Exporting Spot Colors from ZePrA

There are three ways to Export spot colors:

  • In the upper Libraries panel an entire library with all colors can be exported.
  • In the panel below (Spot Color from selected Library) a single color from a library can be selected and exported.
  • In the Edit Spot Color dialog a single spot color can be exported, too.

  • PantoneLIVE libraries and single colors can not be exported.

When clicking Export the supported file formats are available (CCF, ACO, ICC, TXT, CxF) to store the library or a single spot color:

  • Only ZePrA’s internal CCF format allows to save all information contained in a library. Use the CCF format to exchange a library with another ZePrA installation on a different computer.
  • Use the CxF format to save CxF/X-4 compatible files. An information message shows which CxF/X-4 compatibility level has been exported depending on the data (X-4a, X-4b, full compatibility).
  • The other file formats are included to exchange data with other applications. However, the exchange is limited as not all data of a library can be exported using these formats. An information message indicates which data can be lost when using the selected format. 

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.