ZePrA | Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide

Get ZePrA quickly into production

What Is ZePrA?

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

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

ZePrA’s Interface

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

Click to download a pdf version of the Quick Start Guide

Start

Auto Setup

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

Main Setup and Overview

Overview 

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

Configurations 

View and customize ZePrA’s Configurations

Queues 

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

Tools

Spot Color Report 

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

SaveInk Report 

Generate SaveInk Reports for all configurations

Extract ICC Profile 

Extract ICC Profiles from files

Global Settings

Spot Color Libraries 

ZePrA’s advanced Spot Color Library Module

Gradations

Manage and create TVI (Tone Value Increase) curves

Profile Assignments 

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

System Requirements

macOS®

  • macOS® or macOS® Server Version 10.9 and higher

Windows®

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

Recommended Hardware

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

Specifics

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

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

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

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

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


Product Package

What’s included:

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

Activation

Installing a Permanent License

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

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

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

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


Activating a License

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

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


Using One License File on Multi-User Systems

macOS

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

/Users/Shared/ColorLogic/LicenseInstall.

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

Windows

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

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

License Details

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

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

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

Auto Setup

Workflow creation using Auto Setup

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

Sharing Settings With CoPrA and ZePrA

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

qsg_share-w-z

Sharing CoPrA settings with ZePrA

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

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

Step 1: Selecting a Setup Mode

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

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

Choosing a Setup Mode

Choosing a Setup Mode

Normalize and convert colors to new output condition

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

Normalize color to Document color space or output intent

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

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

Save Inks

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

Optimize Total Area Coverage

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

Direct Color Conversion to New Output Condition

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

Apply Gradation Curves Only

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

Step 2: Choosing the conversion

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

Document Color Space

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

Use Existing DeviceLink Profile

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

Using SmartLink

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

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

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

Setting up SmartLink

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

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

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

SmartLink Methods

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

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

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

Large Format Print – Inkjet:

Inkjet printing including large format

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

Rendering Intents

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

Standard Compression: to convert between gamuts of different size.

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

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

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

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

ZePrA's Standard Compression Settings

ZePrA’s Standard Compression Settings

Creating a Gradation workflow

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

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

Options for Creating Gradation Workflow

Use curves from external file

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

Start with linear external file

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

Select curves

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

Normalize Output Data

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

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

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

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

Step 3: Choosing and saving queue names

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

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

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

The configuration of the workflow is now completeand ready for production

Main Setup and Queues

Overview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Processed Jobs

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

Screen Preview

View soft proof

Show Job Properties

View properties the selected job

Save Job Properties

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

Delete

Deletes selected job

Configurations

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

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

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

Queues

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

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

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

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

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

Step 4: Converting jobs via queues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tools

Spot Color Report

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

spot color report win1

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

Procedure:

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

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

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

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

SaveInk Report

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

SaveInkReport_converted

Procedure

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

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

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

Extract ICC Profile

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

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

extract icc profile dialog

Procedure:

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

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

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

Spot Color Iteration

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

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

Global Settings

Spot color Libraries

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

Adding Measurement Data to Spot Colors

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

PantoneLIVE®

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

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

Gradation

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

t1_gradation-curve

Create Gradation Curves – Main Window

Quick Start Procedure

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

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

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

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

Profile Assignments

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

CLI Module

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

Auto setup | Overview

Auto Setup Wizard

Overview

General Information

High-quality color conversion assumes that the source color space of the objects to be converted is known or can be read out. If no matching document color space (output intent) is assigned to the objects in the PDF file, conversion is performed on the basis of the Document Color Space selected as the source profile and may produce results that differ from those anticipated by the document creator.

In most cases the PDF file converted using an Auto Setup queue is a device color space file optimized purely for the output without embedded profiles in individual objects. The output could be CMYK, RGB, Gray, or Multicolor depending on the target profile.

Auto Setup Wizard Main Dialog

Data containing additional spot colors is not changed in the standard queue. All of the color information needed for PDF/X, including use of the target profile as the output intent, is set automatically in Auto Setup queues.

Auto Setup queues can be used as automatic functions for common tasks. However, if the workflow requires special configurations, changes can be made under Configurations / Define Configurations.
To learn more about managing hot folders that have been created using the Auto Setup Wizard or in the Define Queues main window, go to Queues

Choosing a DeviceLink or SmartLink conversion

Use Existing DeviceLink Profile

Use Existing DeviceLink Profile, to convert using an existing DeviceLink profile located in the standard profiles folder on your system. The DeviceLink profile selected in the Auto Setup Wizard configures the source profile of the file if files without embedded profiles are processed. The target profile is also set by Auto Setup since with the ColorLogic standard DeviceLink profiles, Auto Setup automatically enters all relevant PDF/X information. [link Read more about this in Configuration – PDF]

If a set-up mode with normalization was previously selected, the conversion is performed via the document color space to the target profile.

In the both the Save Inks and Optimize Total Area Coverage setup mode, the dropdown menu for choosing the DeviceLink profile will only show profiles whose source and target profile are identical.

Use existing DeviceLink or SmartLink

Use existing DeviceLink or SmartLink

Use SmartLink

Choosing Use SmartLink, DeviceLinks are calculated “on-the-fly” based on the ICC profiles used for the document color space and the target color space. Choose the rendering intent for calculation. Select the output intent of the PDF/X file under Prefer Output Intent if the document color space was not set manually.

Utilizing SmartLink:
High quality DeviceLink profiles are calculated which avoids issues associated with normal ICC conversion and ensures optimal color conversion.

SmartLink:
“On-the-fly” conversion from document color space to target color space by choosing a source and target profile and a rendering intent (conversion methods).

Document Color Space

The document color space serves as a reference when it comes to creating a consistent printing color space for the colors of a PDF file. CMYK color spaces are mostly used as the document color spaces in the framework of print production since printing is generally done with CMYK inks. An RGB document color space may be encountered in modern publications for mobile media. Additional colors are used in HiFi packaging printing where the document color space can also be represented by a Multicolor profile if PDF/X-5n is used. ZePrA supports the full range of color spaces and the Multicolor license must be purchased to use the Multicolor space. If a PDF file contains individual RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles, these are color converted to the document color space. Data exchange should be based on the PDF/X standard for professional print production

Prefer Output Intent

In addition to the ICC device profiles in the individual objects in the PDF file, the entire PDF document may also be tagged with an output intent (an ICC device profile that describes the document color space). The document color space is unequivocally defined as the output intent in PDF/X documents. If this function is enabled, PDF/X files with different output intent can be correctly color converted in one queue because the respective output intent is taken into account instead of the document color space.

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

Rendering Intent

For conversion by means of ICC DeviceLink profiles, ZePrA offers five rendering methods when SmartLink is utilized, in addition to the four standard rendering intents.

Choosing Rendering Intents

There are five additional Rendering Intents for SmartLinks

Extended ZePrA Rendering Intents

The extended rendering intents included with ZePrA avoid incompatible color conversions which can result from the tables for the source and target profiles being calculated differently. To achieve accurate color conversions, ZePrA completely recalculates the source and target profile tables “on-the-fly” using the same algorithms found in ColorLogic’s profiling software CoPrA. These extended rendering intents are only available with the activated SmartLink function. If the Apply SmartLink checkbox is not enabled, or if SmartLink has not been licensed, only the four standard rendering intents are available.

Standard Compression: ColorLogic’s standard method, which is well suited for most applications. Neutral tones are converted using a relative colorimetric approach. If the paper white of the target profile is significantly more yellow than the source profile, the gray axis will look more yellow as well. If the target profile has a smaller color gamut than the source profile, the contrast range will be adapted to avoid a loss of image definition.

Black Point CompensationUse 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 ∫⁄intend. Out-of-gamut colors are cut off.

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.

Absolute CompressionThis method is based on the absolute colorimetric intent but shows some differences. The contrast range in the highlights and shadows is adapted to avoid any loss of image definition. The rendering of neutral colors is based on absolute colorimetry without paper color simulation in the highlights. If the paper white of the used printing medium is significantly more yellow than the reference, the gray axis will look neutral despite the yellowish paper white.

Minimum Compression: This method is largely 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 while 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: The rendering intent set under Images / Vectors is taken into account with PDF files and used when creating a DeviceLink profile “on-the-fly” with SmartLink. Select Ignore PDF Rendering Intents in the Options tab.

SmartLink Methods

SmartLink Methods: Takes into account the various requirements of different printing conditions so that printed color is correctly matched and optimally separated for the required process.

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

b4_sl-method


Choosing a SmartLink Method

Traditional Print – Automatic. – The color and paper of the target color space differ significantly from the output intent or the document color space, choose the setting This option also ensures that the separation is preserved but the colors defined as exceptions are automatically calculated on the basis of both profiles used.
Large Format Print- Inkjet. – Printing on a large format ink system. The separation is structured with a strong GCR and late application of black. The black point and the total area coverage are automatically calculated in order to guarantee the best color output. All other conversion conform to the Traditional Print with Automatic method. If colors vary between different inkjet printers or between the inkjet printing systems and the source color space, (e.g ISOcoated V2 or GRACol) primary and secondary colors do not produce a satisfactory conversion. The Large Format Print- Inkjet method will automatically calculate the most appropriate exceptions.
Digital Print – Toner. Digital production machines or office printers. This method uses the same DeviceLink presets for exceptions as the Large Format Print- Inkjet. The separation method ensures a high percentage of black is used to achieve a stable printout and a neutral gray balance. The total area coverage is taken from the target profile.

Creating Queues and Configurations

Specify a Queue Name to match the name of the configuration.
Specify the Base Folder in which the queue should be created. To create queues (hot folders) in the Base Folder, select Create Queue which will generate the required sub folder.
Z5-en-queues-auto-3

When a PDF file is sent to the Input folder of a created queue, ZePrA automatically converts it in accordance with the color management specifications and saves the converted file in the Output folder. The original file is moved to the Done folder. Files with issues are saved in the Error folder. The queues can be used immediately.
To create a new configuration only, disable the checkbox Create Queue
The wizard automatically handles the setup process and once complete, the new configuration and queue is available immediately.

Overview of File Conversion

Converting PDF files with Auto Setup Queues
The easiest way to set up a color management workflow is to use the Auto Setup in combination with the ColorLogic DeviceLink profile sets  All sets are optimized so that the colors of both image and vector data in a PDF file can be reliably converted.
They are checked for smoothness and for visually correct conversion and have been proven in production.  
All color information needed for the PDF/X, including use of the target profile as the output intent, normalizing and color conversion is set up in Auto Setup Wizard.
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 adjusted in accordance with the purpose of optimization.
Example: If PDF objects are in the RGB color space and have the relative colorimetric rendering intent embedded, the Auto Setup queue automatically activates black point compensation to ensure clean reproduction of details in the shadows.
Grayscale: Grayscale objects might be converted in accordance with the presets for CMYK objects by preserving as much gray as possible and avoiding conversion to four colors. If the SmartLink function has been licensed, color conversions of objects with embedded profiles are always performed via SmartLink and use DeviceLink profiles to guarantee the best possible quality.
Spot Color: If the PDF files contain spot colors, the spot colors are not changed in the standard queues. To convert the spot colors to process colors, adjust the conversion later in the configuration.
No embedded profiles: By default no ICC device profiles are embedded in the individual objects of the output PDF file.
SmartLink: If the SmartLink function has been licensed, color conversions of objects with embedded profiles are always performed via SmartLink and using DeviceLink profiles in order to guarantee the best possible quality. PDF files can be optimized through the identical processing of image and vector data in Auto Setup queues.
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 as standard and the transparency information is preserved unchanged. Transparency reduction may be adjusted later on in the configuration under the PDF tab> (add link)Transparency Flattening .

Converting Pixel Based Files in Auto Setup Queues

Converting Pixel Based Files in Auto Setup Queues
TIFF, JPEG, PSD, or PSB image files in an Auto Setup queue are processed in ZePrA similar to the corresponding image objects in a PDF file. The settings under Images are relevant since there is no separate setup 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.

Selecting Setup Modes

After starting ZePrA, select the Auto Setup button from the Navigation Panel. The Auto Setup wizard allows creation of a queue for optimizing PDF files with just a few clicks.
There are six different setup modes for creating queues due to various condition possibilities:

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 if available and then color converted to the required output condition using DeviceLink profile(s).

Two options are available:

Option 1: Use Existing DeviceLink Profile: Select the desired DeviceLink profile which will convert from the Document Color Space to the new output condition. All other options for RGB, CMYK, Gray and LAB color spaces will be automatically set.
Option 2: Use SmartLink. Calculate the ICC profiles that were selected as the Document Color Space and Target Color Space to a DeviceLink “on-the-fly”. The SmartLink license is included in the ZePrA L package or above.
Choose the Rendering Intent for the calculation. [For further information, view Automatic Configuration Wizard / Use SmartLink/Rendering Intent] Prefer Output Intent allows selection of the output intent of the PDF/X file instead of the manually set document color space.
About the process:
RGB objects with embedded profiles are color converted to the CMYK color space of the document and then the entire document is further processed via the DeviceLink profile. Embedded profiles and rendering intents in RGB objects are taken into account. When normalizing, all images that do not have an embedded profile are color converted to the document color space using the sRGB profile. Black point compensation is generally activated for the event that the embedded intent is relative colorimetric.
CMYK objects with embedded profiles are always converted to the document color space first (normalized). If the SmartLink function is enabled and an individual PDF object has an embedded device profile, the device profile is not used but the profile information is taken into account during conversion via the DeviceLink profile (SmartLink).
If a relative colorimetric rendering intent is active in the PDF object, ZePrA performs conversion with black point compensation as standard
If the DeviceLink profile was calculated with the option for preserving pure primary and secondary colors, this option ensures that pure colors remain pure in CMYK objects with embedded profiles.
After normalization, the PDF document is color converted via the DeviceLink set under Document Color Space. If SmartLink has not been purchased, direct ICC based conversion to the target profile or document color space is performed. Pure CMYK colors are almost always contaminated in the process, leading to problems with overprinting elements. The procedure of first normalizing and then color converting delivers the most consistent results for color conversion as it is recommended in the PDF/X specification.

Normalize Color to Document Color Space or Output Intent

When normalizing, the color spaces of the image data or individual PDF objects that do not correspond to the document color space or output intent are correctly converted to the output intent in most cases. If there is not an output intent, the document color space selected is used instead. After conversion, the final normalized file still only consists of the document color space or the color space of the output intent, as well as any spot colors.
If image data or PDF objects are in the RGB color space, the embedded profile converts them to the document color space with the rendering intent defined in the PDF.
If a relative colorimetric intent is embedded in PDF objects, the Auto Setup queue automatically activates black point compensation to ensure clean reproduction of details in the shadows. The default name of this queue begins with Normalize. The following color conversions apply when normalizing:

 

      • Conversions of Device RGB and iCC based RGB to the document color space

 

 

 

 

    • Spot colors are unchanged

 

 

 

    • Conversion of ICC based CMYK to the document color space, preserving pure colors and the separation characteristics (when using the SmartLink function)

 

 

 

    • Mapping of ICC based Gray onto the black channel of the document color space

SaveInk

The data is normalized to the document color space and then optimized with a predefined SaveInk profile or the SmartLink Ink saving method specified.

Choosing a SaveInk method
When Save Ink is applied the source and target profiles are identical, the optimized file stays in the same color space as the document color space. The focus is accurate reproduction of files, while simultaneously reducing the CMY components and increasing the K components in order to save ink.
The default queue name starts with SaveInk.
Use Existing DeviceLink Profile: Choose an existing Save Ink DeviceLink profile from the dropdown menu. ZePrA will only show profiles whose source and target profile are identical.
Use SmartLink: Choose the profile which matches the document color space and choose from one of the three standard ZePrA SmartLink methods (SaveNeutral, SaveStrong, SaveMaximum). Any customized SmartLink SaveInk setting generated in CoPrA (see more under Sharing settings with ZePrA) and shared with ZePrA will show below the dotted line (copra_extreme).
Calculate Ink Saving: The Auto Setup Wizard allows the option to calculate ink saving for every file processed. The calculation can slow down the processing time considerably disable this feature gaining higher performance.
Note: Ink Saving calculation can be turned off at any time via the Configurations>Options tab

 

Optimize Total Area Coverage (TAC)

Optimize Total Area Coverage data is normalized to the document color space and subsequently optimized using the specified TAC reduction profile or the total amount of color entered under Desired TAC when using SmartLink.
Choosing TAC Options Choosing TAC Options
The source and target profiles are identical, the optimized file stays in the same color space as the document color space. The focus is on accurate file reproduction, while simultaneously reducing the ink limit.
After Optimize Total Area Coverage, select one of two options:

    1. Use Existing DeviceLink Profile – Select a devicelink file from the dropdown menu. Only profiles whose source and target profile are identical will be shown.

 

    1. Use SmartLink – Select the Use SmartLink option to assign a TAC to the selected Document Color Space “on-the-fly” (requires a license for SmartLink). Choose the Desired TAC for the calculation and apply the desired limitation to all output intents in different PDF/X Files.

Direct Color Conversion to New Output Condition

Converts the color of the data with embedded profiles to the required output condition (target profile) without first normalizing the data to the document color space. This mode is optimized for data prepared in a media-neutral fashion, e.g. with RGB image data. This setup mode, maximizes the gamut of the target color space. The image and vector data differing from the document color space is directly converted to the target profile.
RGB Objects with Embedded Profiles in the PDF file are converted directly to the target color space in order to exploit the maximum color space, however the embedded profiles and rendering intents are taken into account during the process. This guarantees consistent conversion and optimization of data. RGB data without an embedded profile is assumed to be in the sRGB color space. Black point compensation is generally active in the event that the embedded intent is relative colorimetric.
In the event of direct color conversion of CMYK objects, CMYK Objects with Embedded Profiles are optimized via the DeviceLink profiles using the SmartLink function.
ZePrA has the option of deactivating color management for vector/text objects via the Images/Vectors tab (under configurations). This allows embedded profiles to be taken into account for images only and leaves vector graphics unchanged.

Choose from the following options:

 

 

        1. Use Existing DeviceLink Profile – converts from the document color space into the required output condition. All other options for RGB, CMYK, Gray and LAB color spaces will be set automatically.

       

        1. Use Smartlink – Calculates the ICC profiles selected as the Document Color Space and Target Color Space to a DeviceLink “on-the-fly”.  Note: Choosing the Rendering Intent is necessary when using SmartLink

       

       

 

 

 

    1. Select a queue name

 

The default queue name starts with Output

Apply Gradation Curves Only

Apply Gradation Curves Only is specific to adjusting files for compensating for different printing conditions without CtP compensations curves in the RIP. ZePrA enables the gradation of the data to be corrected “on-the-fly” without changing the characteristic curves in the RIP.
Auto Setup Gradation options Auto Setup Gradation options

Automatically apply gradation adjustments to existing configurations or to pure gradation workflows to be created which allows the gradation curves to affect the process colors and/or spot colors but the document color space is not changed. Applying pure gradation corrections to print-ready PDF/X 1a files that are composed of only CMYK and spot colors is the best option.

Gradation workflows have three options:

Option 1: Use Curves From External Files

Load an external file with the gradation curves for process colors and/or spot colors. ZePrA reads the gradation curves from the loaded file and assigned them automatically to the appropriate process colors. If spot color curves for defined spot color channels are also stored in the external gradation file, the ZePrA creates the corresponding spot color channels in the configuration and assigns the relevant curve to each color.

Option 2: Start with Linear External File

If no external file with gradation curves is available and the curves are to be generated during the production process, a corresponding configuration may be created in advance with initially linear curves. ZePrA will automatically create a file with linear gradation curves in the base folder of the queue, which can be overwritten late during the production process by an updated file with new curve information and immediately applied to the files in the workflow.

Option 3: Select Curves

Use static gradation curves supplied in ZePrA or use the curves created in the Create Gradation Curves window to create a configuration. Simply select the desired gradations from the options available for process colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

Normalizing Data

Click on the check box to Normalize data. PDF/X-3 or PDF/X-4 files that still contain RGB or CMYK objects with embedded profiles will be normalized by ZePrA and the curves will be applied to the normalized file.

Document Color Space: Select an ICC profile to use as the Document Color Space in the event that no output intent is present in the PDF file. Activate the Prefer Output Intent checkbox to ensure any existing output intent always has priority over the set document color space and is always preserved.

The default queue name starts with Gradations.

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

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 how an entire PDF document is to be handled and what the source ICC profile for the document will be. Select the ICC device profile belonging to the PDF document.(image) 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 the Gray RGB, CMYK or Multicolor color systems.

The Document Color Space can either be the output intent of a PDF/X file or it will be 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 dropdown menu. If the Prefer Output Intent option is enabled, the ICC device profile specified under Document Color Space is replaced with the PDF/X file in the ZePrA workflow.

Tip: It is recommended to specify the profile that should be used as Document Color Space and that the Prefer Output Intent is disabled. This helps to avoid unwanted color conversion resulting from the output intent in a PDF file accidentally being set incorrectly.

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. DeviceLink profiles or SmartLink can be used for the process.

In addition to the target 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. 

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 Embedded Into Output File.

With the Maintain Output Intent function, the output intent the original file is maintained even after conversion to a different target color in the Auto setup queue Normalize to Document Color Space or Output Intent function. This function should only be used if no changes are needed in the Document Color Space.

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

CoPrA SP* and the Update Profile module is integrated in the SmartLink module in order to compensate for these variations and deviations. Instead of having to generate a completely new printing machine profile and DeviceLink profiles for such deviations, the Update Profile makes the required adjustments. To ensure the printing equipment prints consistantly, spectral measurements of dot gain strips or the Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge may be necessary. Measuring strips are also provided with CoPrA.

Full tutorial available here.

Use field tested DeviceLink profiles without having to replace them because of a change in the target color space of a printer.

Note: *SP = Serialized Profiles. The profiles created with CoPrA SP are encoded with the serial number of the ZePrA color server and can only be used within ZePrA.

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.