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.

Auto setup | Overview

Auto Setup

Create workflows with ZePrA’s Auto Setup Wizard

Workflow Creation

ZePrA provides six auto setup methods to set up workflows for the most common color management tasks. The Automatic Setup Wizard also allows workflows that save ink, optimize the total area coverage (TAC), and apply gradation corrections. 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 provides six different setup modes for creating queues

Setting Up Workflows with the Auto Setup Wizard

Select Auto Setup in the sidebar. There are six different setup options for creating Configurations and Queues. The first two modes involve normalizing the data. General Information about Normalizing Data can be found further down this page.

Select a Setup Mode

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.

There are two options to choose from:

  1. Use existing DeviceLink Profile
    Choose a DeviceLink profile for the configuration (e.g. from our 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.
  1. Use SmartLink
    The SmartLink function creates DeviceLinks on-the-fly from source and target profiles.
    Note: Requires a SmartLink license. If the SmartLink function is not available, normal ICC conversions are performed for objects with embedded ICC profiles.
    For more information, see DeviceLink or SmartLink further down on this page.

Select the rendering intent for the calculation. More information can be found further down this page under Rendering Intent.

Prefer Output Intent: The output intent of the PDF/X file is used instead of the manually set document color space.

SmartLink Method: Defines the conversion settings. There are predefined methods available for traditional printing, large format printing, and digital printing, but custom methods can also be used.

Data processing:
RGB objects with embedded profiles are first converted to the document color space (normalized). If the SmartLink function is activated and an individual PDF object contains an embedded device profile, the device profile is used to create a DeviceLink profile on-the-fly. Embedded rendering intents are also considered. When normalizing, all images without embedded profiles are converted to the document color space based on the predefined profile.

CMYK objects with embedded profiles are first converted to the document color space (normalized). If the SmartLink function is activated and an individual PDF object contains an embedded device profile, the device profile is used to create a DeviceLink profile on-the-fly. The conversion is then performed using this DeviceLink profile.

If a Relative Colorimetric rendering intent is embedded in a PDF object, Auto Setup automatically activates the Blackpoint Compensation to ensure clean reproduction of details in the shadow areas.
Exception: PDF 2.0 files – see Black Point Compensation with PDF 2.0 files under Configurations/Options/Rendering Intents.

If the DeviceLink profile was created using the option to preserve pure primaries and secondaries, pure colors are kept pure in CMYK objects with embedded profiles.

To ensure precise color conversions, ZePrA completely recalculates the conversion of source and target profiles on-the-fly. The algorithms used are identical to those used in ColorLogic’s CoPrA profiling software.

There are five additional rendering intents available for SmartLink to avoid inharmonic color conversions that can result from differently calculated tables for source and target profiles (see Rendering Intents).

If SmartLink has not been licensed, a direct ICC-based conversion to the target profile or document color space is performed. This can contaminate pure CMYK colors, which can cause problems with overprinting elements.

The automatic setup wizard’s option to normalize first and convert afterwards provides the most consistent results for color conversions, as recommended by the PDF/X specification.

The default name of this queue starts with Convert.

Normalize Color to Document Color Space or Output Intent

The data is standardized, i.e. it is converted to the document color space or output intent (normalized).
For PDF files, all ICC-based PDF objects are converted from the embedded ICC profile via the embedded rendering intent to the document color space (output intent). After this step, all objects of the PDF file are color-matched to a consistent standard (document color space/output intent).

PDF files usually do not contain any information about the document color space. If there is no PDF/X file available for Normalization but only a PDF file, decide on a Document Color Space into which any existing ICC-based PDF objects will be converted.

After conversion, the final, normalized file consists only of a document color space and spot colors, if present.

If a Relative Colorimetric rendering intent is embedded in a PDF object, Auto Setup automatically activates the Blackpoint Compensation to ensure clean reproduction of details in the shadow areas.

Exception: PDF 2.0 files – see Black Point Compensation with PDF 2.0 files under Configurations/Options/Rendering Intents.

The following color conversions are performed during normalization:

  • Conversion of device RGB and ICC-based RGB objects to document color space
  • Spot colors remain unchanged (can be converted to the target color space if required)
  • Conversion of ICC-based CMYK to document color space, retaining pure colors and separation properties (when using SmartLink)
  • Assignment of ICC-based gray to the black channel of the document color space (prevents four-color gray)

The default name of these queues start with Normalize.

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 Ink Saving methods are available.

Selecting an Ink Saving method

 

The Save inks setup mode is available when the source and target profiles are identical. The optimized file remains in the same color space. The focus is on accurate color reproduction while reducing CMY inks and increasing black ink (K).

Use existing DeviceLink Profile: Select an existing SaveInk DeviceLink profile from the drop-down menu. ZePrA only shows profiles whose source and target profiles are identical.

Use SmartLink: Select the profile which matches the Document Color Space and choose from three standard Ink Saving methods (SaveNeutral, SaveStrong, SaveMaximum). It is also possible to define custom SaveInk settings in CoPrA and share them with ZePrA. These custom SaveInk settings are displayed below the dashed line (My Extreme InkSaving Profile in the screenshot above).

SaveNeutral: Moderately increases the amount of black in the neutral color ranges.

SaveStrong: Increases the proportion of black strongly.

SaveMaximum: Maximum ink savings with colorimetrically still very high accuracy while retaining the visual color impression.

Calculate Ink Savings: The Automatic Setup Wizard can calculate the ink savings for processed files. However, this calculation can significantly slow down processing. If faster data processing is desired, deactivate this option.

Note: The ink saving calculation can be enabled or disabled under Configurations/Options.

The default queue name starts with SaveInk.

Optimize Total Area Coverage (TAC)

The data is normalized to the document color space and the total amount of ink is reduced. This can either be done by using special profiles to reduce the total area coverage (TAC), or – if SmartLink is used – by specifying the Desired TAC value.

Adjusting the maximum ink coverage

The source and target profiles must be identical. The optimized file remains in the Document Color Space. The focus is on accurate color reproduction while reducing ink coverage.

Choose from two options:

  1. Use existing DeviceLink Profile: Select an existing TAC reduction DeviceLink profile from the drop-down menu. ZePrA only displays profiles with identical source and target profiles.
  2. Use SmartLink: Assigns a TAC to the selected Document Color Space on-the-fly (requires a SmartLink license).

Prefer Output Intent: The output intent of the PDF/X file is used instead of the manually set Document Color Space.

The default name of these queues starts with TAC.

Direct Color Conversion to new Output Condition

The data is directly converted to the target color space using 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.

Select either Use existing DeviceLink Profile or Use SmartLink.

Use existing DeviceLink Profile: Select a DeviceLink profile that converts from the document color space to the required output condition. Only profiles whose source and target profiles are identical are displayed. All other settings for RGB, CMYK, Gray and Lab color spaces are set automatically.

Use SmartLink: Select the respective ICC profiles under Document Color Space and Target Color Space to create the DeviceLink on-the-fly. Define the intended Rendering Intent and the SmartLink Method that best fits your workflow process.

RGB objects with embedded profiles: Converts directly to the target color space and utilizes the maximum color space, however, the embedded profiles and the selected Rendering Intent are considered. This guarantees a consistent conversion and optimization of the data.

RGB data without embedded profiles: The sRGB color space is used, which can be changed in the configuration, if necessary.

In general, Blackpoint Compensation is enabled when the embedded intent is Relative Colorimetric.

CMYK objects with embedded profiles: The SmartLink function optimizes direct color conversion via the DeviceLink profiles. Embedded profiles/intents are considered.

In ZePrA, color management for Vectors/Texts can be deactivated in the Images/Vectors tab (under Configurations). This allows consideration of embedded profiles for images only and leaves vector graphics unchanged.

The default queue name starts with Output.

Apply Gradation Curves only

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

Gradation curves are a simple solution for applying gradation corrections to print-ready PDF/X-1a files consisting of CMYK and spot colors only.

There are two ways to correct gradations:

1: Select Curves

Select Linearization DeviceLinks created by CoPrA or previously imported files including curves (gradations). Previously imported files will be shown beneath the linearization DeviceLink profiles.

Gradation curves created with CoPrA’s Linearization tool are saved in the Profiles folder (/User/User name/Library/ColorSync/Profiles oder C:/WINDOWS/system32/spool/drivers/color/) and are automatically listed in ZePrA’s Select Curves drop-down menu. Only curves with a matching color space are shown. These curves are read only and cannot be edited with ZePrA’s Gradations tool. When changing the gradation curves (e.g. by overwriting the .icc file in CoPrA with differing linearization data), these changes will automatically be applied to all configurations using these curves. The location of the selected .icc file is not relevant (e.g. Profile or Auto Import folder).

2: Use Curves from File

Loads an external file that includes the gradation corrections for the process color(s) to be changed.

Gradation curves created with ZePrA’s Gradations tool are saved in the Profiles folder and are automatically listed in the Gradations tab drop-down menu under New/Edit. The curves can also be accessed by Load Curves/Use Curves from File . When changing the gradation curves with ZePrA’s Gradation tool, these changes will automatically be applied to all configurations using these curves.

Normalize and Document Color Space

Normalize: PDF/X-3 or PDF/X-4 files that contain RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles are normalized and the curves are applied to the normalized file.

Document Color Space: Define an ICC profile as the document color space for files with no output intent defined in the PDF file. Activate the Prefer Output Intent checkbox to ensure that any existing output intent always takes precedence over the specified document color space and is thus retained.

The default name for these queues starts with Gradations.

DeviceLink or SmartLink

DeviceLink or SmartLink

Either use an existing DeviceLink profile in your configuration or use SmartLink to create and use a high-quality DeviceLink profile within the workflow.

Use existing DeviceLink profile or SmartLink

 

Use existing DeviceLink Profile

If files are processed without embedded profiles, and there is a matching DeviceLink profile, you can use it within your workflow. This DeviceLink profile then defines the source profile and the target profile.

Select the DeviceLink Profile to be used for conversion from the document color space to the target color space. All relevant PDF/X information is automatically transferred. (For more information, see ConfigurationsPDF/X)

In the Save inks and Optimize Total Area Coverage (TAC) modes, the drop-down menu DeviceLink Profile only lists profiles with identical source and target profiles.

Use SmartLink

The DeviceLink for the conversion is created “on-the-fly” based on source and target profiles. The Rendering Intent for the calculation can be selected manually. Instead of the manually set Document Color Space, read out and use the output intent of the PDF/X file by activating the Prefer Output Intent checkbox.

The SmartLink option creates high quality DeviceLink profiles to avoid the problems of typical ICC conversions and ensures optimal color conversions.

Using CoPrA’s DeviceLink Settings in ZePrA
Due to the integration of CoPrA (ColorLogic’s profiling solution) and ZePrA color server, it is possible to use profile settings from CoPrA for the calculation of DeviceLink profiles in ZePrA.
By activating the Share with ZePrA checkbox in CoPrA, the settings of your DeviceLink and SaveInk profiles are transferred directly to ZePrA and can be used there as a SmartLink Method.

The DeviceLink module in CoPrA: SmartLink can use the profile settings from CoPrA to create custom SmartLink setting or DeviceLinks that can be used in ZePrA configurations.

 

To do so, define all required settings in CoPrA by entering all relevant information in the DeviceLink tool under Rendering, Exceptions and Color Generation. Detailed information on all functions and DeviceLink settings can be found in the CoPrA Help under DeviceLink. Then activate the Share with ZePrA checkbox and click Save as. Enter a name for the setting and confirm with OK.

Methods created that way and shared with ZePrA are available for selection as SmartLink Method in the drop-down menus of both the Auto Setup and the Configurations settings.

Custom methods created in CoPrA are displayed below the standard methods

 

SmartLink can be used in two ways:

  1. On-the-fly conversion from document to target color space by selecting the source and target profiles and the Rendering Intent (conversion method).
  2. On-the-fly conversion of profiles in embedded images and vectors to the document or target color space.
Document Color Space

The document color space serves as a reference to define a uniform color space for the colors of the PDF file.

  • CMYK color spaces are usually used for print production, as CMYK colors are generally used for printing.
  • RGB document color spaces are suitable for modern publications for mobile media.
  • Multicolor color spaces are often used in packaging printing or in modern digital printing.

ZePrA supports the full spectrum of color spaces (Multicolor color spaces require a Multicolor license). Individual RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles in PDF files are converted to the document color space. For professional print production, data exchange should always be based on the PDF/X standard.

Prefer Output Intent

By activating this checkbox, the output intent of the PDF/X file is used instead of the manually set Document Color Space.

In addition to the ICC device profiles of individual PDF objects, an output intent can be defined for the entire PDF document (an ICC device profile that describes the document color space).

The document color space in PDF/X documents is clearly defined as the output intent.

If Prefer Output Intent is activated, PDF/X files with various output intents can be correctly converted in a queue because the respective output intent is considered instead of the document color space.

Note: This function is only applicable for PDF/X files.

Rendering Intent

General information on the design of ICC device profiles:

Rendering intents, such as Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric, contain large tables which, for example for CMYK profiles, convert either CMYK color values to Lab or Lab color values to CMYK.

Due to the two color conversion directions, there are two tables for each rendering intent. The tables are calculated from the measurement data when a color profile is generated.

If ICC device profiles are calculated from the same measurement data – but with different profiling programs – then the tables generated can differ considerably in some color ranges.

This is especially true for the two tables of the Perceptual intent, for the gray balance and also for the areas with very high color saturation in the two tables of the Relative Colorimetric intent (also called “Out of Gamut” colors).

For optimal and harmonious color conversion, it is recommended – especially with CMYK-to-CMYK color conversions – to ensure that the source and target profiles were calculated with the same profiling software.

However, profiles from different providers (such as Adobe, ECI or ColorLogic) are often used in practice, which can lead to problems in color conversions based on the perceptive rendering intent.

These problems can be avoided by using SmartLink.

The SmartLink module uses the source profiles embedded in PDF or image data and automatically calculates the DeviceLink profile required for conversion between source and target for each object and applies it at object level. The main conversion from the document color space to the target color space is also carried out via SmartLink. SmartLink is ideal for processing external data from a wide variety of sources to ensure optimum color accuracy (via DeviceLinks).

There are five additional Rendering Intents for SmartLinks

Additional SmartLink Rendering Intents

The SmartLink module provides five additional rendering intents to avoid inharmonic color conversions, which can result from differently calculated tables for source and target profiles.

To ensure precise color conversions, ZePrA completely recalculates the conversion of source and target profiles on-the-fly. The algorithms are the same as ColorLogic’s CoPrA profiling software.

Note: These additional rendering intents are only available with SmartLink enabled. If the checkbox Use SmartLink is not activated or SmartLink has not been licensed, only the four standard rendering intents can will be available.

Standard Compression: For conversions involving different gamut sizes. Calculates a perceptual conversion for input and target profiles that is suitable for all types of gamuts. The appearance of the gray axis always depends on the paper white of the target profile. With CMYK data on a very yellowish paper, the gray axis of the converted file also looks yellowish. The same grey axis will look bluish on a bluish paper.
 The Standard Compression considers different gamut sizes. For very small color gamuts (newspaper printing), the dark tones are slightly raised to achieve more definition in these areas.

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 with a pure Relative Colorimetric conversion. Neutral tones are converted using the colorimetric intend. Out-of-gamut colors are cut off.

Absolute Compression: For conversions where the color gamuts are similar but the paper tones are clearly different. In contrast to the Standard Compression and Black Point Compensation, the gray balance compensates for the paper color. This ensures that the color impression of the original file is preserved in the best possible way on a target medium with a different paper color. This method also raises shadow (darker) areas when using small color gamuts.

The gray axis of a source color space will look largely identical to the original after conversion (for example, on a yellowish or bluish paper).

Dynamic Compression: Compares the source color space with the target color space and generates a compression that minimizes out-of-gamut areas. This setting preserves the brightness of the original color space while reducing the saturation, and therefore also preserves the image definition. As for the Standard Compression, the gray axis of the conversion is build relative to the paper white of the target profile.

Minimum Compression: This method is mostly similar to the absolute colorimetric intent and only compensates close to the black and the white point. Maximum shadow contrast will be achieved and image definition will be preserved and the paper white will not be simulated. Use this rendering intent if you would like to achieve a very close reproduction, for example when using print standards like ISO Coated V2 or GRACoL2006 Coated1v2 on a digital printer.

Important: To ensure that an on-the-fly DeviceLink profile created with SmartLink uses the rendering intent set under Configurations > Images/Vectors, activate the checkbox Ignore PDF Rendering Intents in the Options tab.

SmartLink Method

The SmartLink Method considers the different requirements of different printing conditions so that the printed color is correctly reproduced and optimally separated for the printing process.

Traditional Printing – Classic: Conversions for offset, gravure, or newspaper printing. The DeviceLinks created ensure that black and gray, as well as the primary, secondary and triplex hues of the source profile, are preserved. The total area coverage is taken from the target profile.

Choosing a SmartLink Method

 

Traditional Printing – Automatic: Select this setting when the colors and paper of the target color space are significantly different from the output intent or document color space. Separation is preserved, but Exceptions for special colors such as black and gray, primary, secondary, and triplex colors are automatically calculated based on both profiles.

Large Format Printing – Inkjet: The separation is characterized by a strong GCR and a late black start. The black point and total area coverage are automatically calculated to ensure the best color reproduction. The Exceptions for special colors, such as black and gray, primary, secondary and triplex hues, are automatically calculated based on both profiles. To avoid problems that can occur when colors vary between different inkjet printers or between the inkjet printer and the source color space (as with ISOcoated V2 or GRACol), the Large Format Printing – Inkjet method automatically calculates the required exceptions in those cases.

Digital Printing – Toner: For toner-based digital printers and office printers. This method uses the same DeviceLink presets for Exceptions as Large Format Printing – Inkjet. The separation method ensures that a high percentage of black is used. This will achieve a stable print and neutral gray balance. The total area coverage is taken from the target profile. The Exceptions for special colors, such as black and gray, primary, secondary, and triplex hues, are automatically calculated based on both profiles.

Creating Queues and Configurations

Creating Queues and Configurations
  1. Enter a Queue Name that matches the name of the configuration.
  2. Specify the Base Folder in which the queue is to be created. To create a Queue (Hotfolder) in the Base Folder, activate the Create Queue checkbox and the corresponding subfolder will be created.
  3. To only create a new configuration, uncheck the Create Queue checkbox. Then assign the new configuration to an existing queue.

    In the final step of the Auto Setup the queue is created along with all required folders

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.

Using Queues

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.

The queue is automatically started by placing a file in the hotfolder

PDF files placed in the Input Folder are automatically converted according to the color management settings specified in the configuration and moved to the Output Folder. Original files are moved to the Done Folder. Files that have caused an error are saved in the Error Folder.

General Information

General Information about Normalizing Data

When a normalizing mode is selected, the Document Color Space is converted to the Target Color Space. The data is first standardized, e.g. converted to the document color space or output intent (normalized).

With PDF/X files, all ICC-based PDF objects are converted from the embedded ICC profile via the embedded rendering intent to the document color space (output intent). After this step, all objects of the PDF file have been converted to a consistent “standard” (Document Color Space/Output Intent).

PDF files generally do not contain any information about the document color space (Output Intent). If there is no PDF/X file available for normalization but only a PDF file, decide on a document color space into which any existing ICC-based PDF objects are converted.

After conversion, the final, normalized file consists only of a color space and spot colors, if present.

The following color conversions are performed during normalization:

  • Conversion of device RGB and ICC-based RGB to document color space
  • Spot colors remain unchanged (can be converted to the target color space if required)
  • Conversion of ICC-based CMYK to document color space, retaining pure colors and separation properties (when using SmartLink)
  • Assignment of ICC-based gray to the black channel of the document color space (prevents four-color gray)
File conversion by ZePrA

Converting PDF files with Auto Setup

The easiest way to set up a color management workflow between standard color spaces is to use the Auto Setup in combination with ColorLogic’s DeviceLink Sets (DLS). All sets are optimized so that the colors of both image and vector data of a PDF file can be reliably converted. The profiles are optimized and checked for smoothness and visually correct conversion, and have been proven in production.

All color information required for PDF/X is automatically set by Auto Setup, including the use of the target profile as output intent, normalization, and color conversion.

Gradients in vector graphics that consist of just one or two CMYK colors still contain only the original colors after application of the profile. The color values are merely adjusted for the output.

Example: If PDF objects are in the RGB color space and the Relative Colorimetric rendering intent is embedded, the Auto Setup queue automatically activates Black Point Compensation to ensure accurate detail reproduction in shadow areas.

Grayscale: Grayscale objects can be handled like CMYK, preserving gray and avoiding conversion to four colors. To do this, choose Use CMYK Conversion

from the drop-down menu Grey in the Images/Vectors tab under Configurations. If SmartLink is licensed, color conversions of objects with embedded profiles are always performed via SmartLink to ensure the best possible quality.

Spot Color: If the PDF files contain spot colors, they remain unchanged. To convert spot colors to process colors, the spot color settings must be adjusted under Configurations > Spot Colors.

Embedding profiles: By default, no ICC device profiles are embedded in the individual elements of the output file.

SmartLink: If the SmartLink function has been licensed, color conversions of objects with embedded profiles are always performed via SmartLink and use DeviceLink profiles in order to guarantee the best possible quality.

PDF Transparencies: If a PDF file contains transparencies, the individual PDF objects are processed in exactly the same way as the PDF files without transparencies. The colors of the transparencies are converted by default and the transparency information is preserved unchanged. The Transparency Flattening can be set in the configuration in the PDF tab under Transparency/Overprinting.

Converting Image Data with Auto Setup

TIFF, JPEG, PSD, or PSB image data are processed in auto setup queues the same way as image data of a PDF file. The conversion is based on the settings under Images/Vectors, there are no separate settings for pure image files.

For pure image data conversion of TIFF, JPEG, PSD and PSB images from a source color space to a target color space, it is advised to use the Auto Setup option Normalize and Convert Colors to New Output Condition and select one of two options:

Option 1: Use a previously created DeviceLink profile. The DeviceLink indicated in the Auto Setup Wizard is set to configure the source profile of the image if images without embedded profiles are processed. The target profile is also set by Auto Setup, however the conversion is performed via the document color space to the target profile to provide more consistent results.

Option 2: Use ICC Profiles for document color space and target color space to calculate a DeviceLink “on-the-fly” via SmartLink, which requires a license for SmartLink. Choose the rendering intent for the calculation or select the output intent of the PDF/X file under Prefer Output Intent.

When using the SmartLink option, either a DeviceLink profile is created “on-the-fly” or a stored DeviceLink profile is used depending on the setting under Profile Assignments. Store the specific profile in the table in the Profile Assignments window to ensure that a specific DeviceLink profile is applied in the configuration.

The color depth of the input data is preserved with the conversion unless TIFF, PSD or PSB files are changed into JPEG files under Options/ Image Quality. This will result in a color depth of 8 bit since only 8 bit is possible in JPEG files. Read more about this under Configuration > Options > Image Quality.

General Information

For high-quality color conversions, the source color space of the object to be converted should be known or be readable. If no suitable document color space (ICC Output Intent) is assigned to the objects of the PDF file, the conversion is performed based on the document color space selected as source profile. Be sure to select a suitable document color space, as an unsuitable document color space will affect the quality of the conversion.

In most cases, Auto Setup converts PDF files to an output color space without assigning an embedded profile to each element. The output depends on the target profile (CMYK, RGB, Gray or Multicolor).

Data containing additional spot color information is not changed in a standard queue. All color information required for PDF/X is automatically set in Auto Setup, including the definition of the target profile as an output condition.

Auto Setup is great for creating queues for common color conversions. However, if the workflow requires special adjustments, changes can be made as needed under Configurations.

In the Queues chapter, you can learn more about how to handle the hot folders created by the Auto Setup Wizard or the Queues tool.

ZePrA | Preferences

Preferences

Set Preferences for multiple functions of ZePrA

Protected Mode:

Enabling the Protected Mode prevents changes in configurations, queues, licensing and other critical settings without a password. Once Protected Mode is enabled by ticking the checkbox, it is no longer possible to create new configurations with the Auto Setup Wizard or to edit existing Configurations and Queues. Importing configurations is also prevented and registration cannot be amended. Only file processing and the stopping and starting of queues is allowed. (image)

Procedure

To activate Protected Mode, select Set Password. Create a unique password and enter it twice as indicated. Once the password is established, it must be entered each time Protected Mode is accessed. To remove or reset the password protection, select Reset Password.

Protected Mode Options

Controlling the Number of Threads

Multithreading

ZePrA 6 is a 64-bit application which allows the use of more RAM for simultaneous file processing. ZePrA also utilizes modern multithreading technology to take advantage of multi-core CPUs. By default, ZePrA uses the same number of threads as CPUs that are available. The number of CPUs can be found in the number field and may be changed. Using more threads than CPUs will not accelerate the processing speeds. In order to process other tasks while ZePrA is processing, it is recommended to use fewer threads which will allow the system to use CPU power for other tasks.

Example:On a 4 core CPU MacBook Pro the processing of 135 files with 2.8 GB of file size with the previous version of ZePrA 4 took 30 minutes, whereas ZePrA 6 only needs 7 minutes. However, using 8 threads slows down processing time.

ZePrA’s Automatic Import

Enable Automatic Import from Folder allows a company to synchronize settings via the Cloud, (DropBox, Google Drive, internal cloud or network), and share Configurations and Spot Color Libraries easily. The folder will support ZePrA’s spot color libraries (*.ccf files) as well as spot colors stored in CxF files and ZePrA configurations (*.ccf files).

Choosing a folder

Example: A Flexo printer continuously adds more spot colors which are used in ZePrA’s spot color conversion. By saving the spot color library in the shared folder, every location connected to this folder with a ZePrA installation will automatically be updated.

Customize Spot Color Reports

Spot Color Report Options

Certain elements of the Spot Color Report can be customized.

Sub Title: Adds a custom title to the report

Logo: Adds a custom logo to the Spot Color Report

Job Management

Under Job Management you can specify whether and when older jobs will be deleted from the list of processed jobs. Please be aware that the information about these jobs will be removed entirely as well.

Note: Deleted jobs cannot be restored.

Job Management Options

Configurations | Document and Target

Document/Target

Define settings for the conversion from document to target color space

Define Configurations controls the settings relevant to handling color and PDF specific parameters.

The upper area of the window allows selection, creation, renaming, deletion or saving configurations. When Duplicating an existing configuration:

  1. Click on New.
  2. Enter a new name.
  3. Make settings adjustments.
  4. Click Save

To Rename a configuration:

  1. Select configuration from the dropdown list
  2. Click Rename
  3. Change the name
  4. Confirm changes by clicking OK

All modifications made in the Configurations window can be saved. If the changes are not saved before closing the window, a dialog box will prompt the to either save or discard the corrections.

doc-target-main

Define Configurations Window

To link a configuration with a queue, select Queues from the Navigation Panel.

The settings for 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 options are available with different presets and optimization options resulting in a wide variety of possible combinations.

Document Color Space

The Document Color Space can be used to specify the handling of an entire PDF document and what the source ICC profile for the document will be. Select the ICC device profile associated with the PDF document. ZePrA can also access the output intent (ICC device profile) that is attached to the PDF/X compliant documents. ZePrA focuses on processing PDF files for printing, however, TIFF, JPEG, PSD, and PSB images can also be processed using the same configuration. A PDF/X file can contain Gray, RGB, CMYK or Multicolor color systems.

The Document Color Space can either be the output intent of a PDF/X file or the (assumed) profile that was used when the document was created.

If the file does not have an output intent, select an ICC device profile under Document Color Space. The color system of the selected profile is displayed alongside the drop-down menu. If the checkbox Prefer Output Intent is enabled, the ICC device profile specified under Document Color Space is replaced by the PDF/X profile within the ZePrA workflow. In this case it is recommended to work with SmartLink instead of a fixed DeviceLink profile for conversion from Document to the Target Color Space.

PDF 2.0 Support

PDF 2.0 files can have page level output intents which means that different pages can contain different output intents. The checkbox Prefer Output Intent in the Document/Target tab must be enabled to consider these output conditions for the conversion. If the checkbox is enabled all objects on each page will be converted to the Target Color Space with the settings defined under the Image/Vector and Document/Target tabs using the corresponding output intent of each single page.

Disabling the checkbox ignores the page level output intents and the conversion is done for all pages using the same source ICC profile defined as Document Color Space.

Another major feature of PDF 2.0 files is the support of black point compensation in combination with the relative colorimetric rendering intent.

Note: If you have reason to believe that the output intent of a PDF/X file may have been set incorrectly you should specify an appropriate ICC profile as Document Color Space and disable the Prefer Output Intent checkbox.

Target Color Space

Under Target Color Space, select the target ICC profile. If the document color space/output intent of a PDF/X file does not match the color space of the ultimate printing process, the entire PDF file needs to be converted from the Document Color Space to the Target Color Space. For best quality of the conversion DeviceLink profiles or SmartLink can be used.
In addition to the target profile selected, the color space of the target profile will also be displayed which is beneficial when seeing if Multicolor target profiles relate to a 5, 6, or 7 channel ICC profile. When moving over the color space icon the channel names of a selected Multicolor target profile will be displayed.

Setting the Target Color Space

Setting the Target Color Space

To specify if a target profile will be embedded into the file after conversion, select Embed into Output File.

With the Maintain Output Intent function, the output intent of the original file is maintained even after conversion to a different target profile. This function should only be used if no changes are needed in the Output Intent.

Correction of the Target Color Space

Variations between the batches of paper, other dot gains or fresh inks that differ from the last series used can result in tonal shifts and deviations in the distribution of tonal values. Those color deviations can be corrected with the help of Correction DeviceLink profiles – see description under Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile.

Conversion

There are four conversion methods:

 

1. Conversion of the complete PDF Document via a DeviceLink Profile

A DeviceLink profile represents a tailor-made color conversion from a defined source to a target profile. Within the ICC Standard, a PSID Tag can be used in the DeviceLink profile to store information regarding the source and target color spaces for which a DeviceLink profile was calculated. ZePrA is capable of reading the PSID Tag and automatically sets the profiles under Document Color Space and Target when a DeviceLink profile is selected.

Note: With profile version CoLoV3 and on, all ColorLogic standard profiles contain the PSID Tag.

2. SmartLink (if licensed)

  1. Select SmartLink as the Conversion Method (only available if licensed)
  2. Define the SmartLink method used to calculate the DeviceLink profile “on-the-fly” from the Document Color Space and the Target Color Space.
  3. Set the desired Rendering Intent below (refer to Rendering Intent section for details on each)

3. Device Profile

Conversion of the PDF document via DeviceLink Profile from the Document Color Space to the ICC device profile selected under Target Color Space.

4. No Conversion of the entire PDF Document

Setting the conversion setting to No Conversion in the Document Color Space tab and in the Images/Vectors tab will still allow spot colors to be converted to the Target Color Space if necessary. (ex: if an otherwise print ready PDF file still contains spot colors and these need to be converted into process colors). Select the corresponding Rendering Intent for the application of the file (Read more here).

SmartLink Method

SmartLink Methods of Conversion

The SmartLink function provides the ability to produce high quality DeviceLink profiles and perform all color conversion steps without exception. The SmartLink function is the name of the use of dynamic DeviceLink profiles calculated on the fly and in the background from predefined or embedded ICC device profiles. ZePrA uses these profiles for a wide variety of color space combinations including:

RGB to CMYK

CMYK to CMYK

CMYK to RGB

Gray to Gray

Gray to RGB

Gray to CMYK

CMYK to Gray

CMYK to Multicolor

RGB to Multicolor

Based on specific production requirements, the SmartLink Method provides setting options which are used at various points during the DeviceLink conversion controlled by SmartLink in ZePrA.

Defining SmartLink Conversion

To ensure printed color is correctly matched and optimally separated for the required printing process, ZePrA takes into account the various printing condition requirements. Below are the available options listed under SmartLink Methods:

Traditional Print – Classic: Suitable for data that needs to be converted for offset, gravure or newspaper printing. The DeviceLinks created ensures preservation of black, gray, primary, secondary and tertiary hues of the source file. The TAC is taken from the target profile.

Traditional Print with Automatic: Allows use of conventional printing with the color and paper of the target space differing significantly from the output intent or the Document Color Space. This option will ensure the separation is preserved but the colors defined as exceptions are automatically calculated on the basis of both profiles used.

Large Format Print- Inkjet: Ensures the separation is structured with a strong GCR and delayed application of black. The black point total area coverage are automatically calculated in order to guarantee the best color output.

Digital Print-Toner: For digital production machines or office printers. This method uses the same DeviceLink presets for exceptions as the Large Format Print-Inkjet method but for the separation, ensures that a high percentage of black is used to achieve a stable printout and a neutral gray balance.

Note: All methods with automatic color exceptions can result in the overprinting of primary and secondary colors, and gray can be lost during conversion. If SmartLink has not been licensed, the Auto Setup Wizard sets the configuration differently in order to guarantee the highest possible production reliability. Without a SmartLink license, CMYK objects with embedded profiles are treated like objects without profiles and are converted using the DeviceLink profile selected. (Read More)

If one of the four above default setting are selected, no further SmartLink presets are required.

TAC Reduction: The ink amount for TAC reduction can be custom set. This ensures data interference is minimal and the total area coverage is limited while the color appearance of the data is preserved. (Read More- SmartLink Settings). The TAC Reduction method is only available if the CMYK profiles selected for the Document Color Space and the Target Color Space are identical. The Settings button is enabled providing the ability to define the desired TAC reduction in percentage in the SmartLink Settings dialog. As default, the TAC setting from the Target Color Space profile are selected.

SaveInk: By selecting Save Ink as the SmartLink Method, ink is saved while preserving the color appearance of the data. Read more here- (SmartLink Settings). The Save Ink method is only available if the CMYK profiles selected for the Document Color Space and the Target Color Space are identical. ZePrA must either be licensed for XL or above or the SaveInk for SmartLink module.

Save Neutral: Moderately increases the black component in the neutral color areas. Ideal for printing companies implementing ink saving and first want to gather some practical experience. These profiles primarily serve to stabilize the printing process and are less suitable for saving large amounts of ink.

Save Strong: Significantly increases the black component and targets printing companies that have printing processes completely under control in accordance with the applicable standards.

Save Maximum: Maximizes the black component. Primarily for printing companies that have mastered and deployed standardization.

 

Applying Correction DeviceLinks
  1. In Configuration, Document/Target click the checkbox Apply correction DeviceLink profile. If there are no correction DeviceLink profiles, the option for Correction is completely grayed out.
  2. Click Settings to open the Correction DeviceLink Profile dialog and select a correction DeviceLink that has previously been created with CoPrA.
  3. We recommend that you not only select the Correction DeviceLink profile, but that you also embed the associated updated target profile into the converted files (Embed updated Target Profile instead of the Target Profile). When this option is enabled, this profile becomes the new output intent of a converted PDF file. The updated target profile is shown below.

Note: ZePrA checks whether there are corresponding correction DeviceLink profiles and updated printer profiles for the selected Target Color Space. These profiles will be shown and can be selected once the Apply correction DeviceLink profile has been enabled.

Custom SmartLink Option

Using the SmartLink Method – Custom, the Settings button enables and allows access to all of the options for customized definition.

SmartLink Settings Dialog

The SmartLink Settings dialog defines how conversion from Document Color Space to Target Color Space and from Images / Vectors to the Target Color Space is calculated.

Various presets can be applied for conversion of CMYK, RGB, Gray and Multicolor color spaces so that other calculation methods can be implemented depending on the color space. Custom SmartLink settings created using CoPrA can be automatically displayed or imported and used in ZePrA.

Using the Import option, import presets that are exported from CoPrA. See Tutorials for specific situations where this may apply.