ZePrA | Push 2 ZePrA

Push-2-ZePrA

Process PSD files directly from Photoshop

What is Push-2-ZePrA ?

Push-2-ZePrA is an Adobe Photoshop extension that allows color converting an image file selected in Photoshop with ColorLogic’s color server ZePrA from Photoshop. Depending on the color server settings high quality color conversions with DeviceLink profiles will be performed leading to better color rendering of images than typical color conversion with Photoshop. Even spot colors can be converted if the selected ZePrA configuration is set up accordingly. The converted file will be opened up in Photoshop so that you do not need to leave Photoshop in order to get the best possible color converted images.

Push-2-ZePrA System Requirements
  • macOS X 10.9 and higher
  • Windows 7 and higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 and higher.
  • ColorLogic ZePrA 7.x and higher – must be installed on the same computer where Photoshop is installed and a valid license for ZePrA must be used.
Installation
  1. Use the installer for macOS or Windows for your respective operating system.
  2. Close Photoshop before installation and follow the easy-to-use installer.
  3. Once installed, start Photoshop, go to Windows/Extension and select Push-2-ZePrA to open the extension.
  4. Default location installation: If ZePrA 7 has been installed at the default location on your computer and a valid license has been loaded in ZePrA, it is ready.
  5. Non-default installations: If the extension does not locate ZePrA application, a blue warning message will display underneath the Convert button. To find the ZePrA installation use the fly out menu of the extension and select ZePrA Path… Navigate to the ZePrA.app on macOS or zcmd.exe on Windows and select it. After that, you are ready to go.
Using Push-2-ZePrA
  1. Open up an image in Photoshop to be color converted.
  2. Click on the Push-2-ZePrA extension.
  3. Select a ZePrA Configuration from the drop down menu. The drop down list will show all the configurations set up in ZePrA.
  4. Choose a configuration that fits your requirements in terms of Target Color Space and Photoshop Layers retaining. This information is shown below the drop down menu and picked from the selected configuration.
  5. Click Convert.
  6. After a few seconds, the converted file will be opened up in Photoshop.

    Note: The converted file will be saved at the same location as the original file and the configuration name will be appended to the original file name.
  7. If the original file has been edited or copied in Photoshop without saving, a temporary file needs to be created from the extension and the converted file will be placed in a predefined output folder.
    This folder is typically located under $HOME/Documents/Push-2-ZePrA/Output. Via the fly out menu of the extension, you can open that folder (Open Output Folder…) or set the path to your own preferred folder (Set custom Output Folder…). This folder is only used for converted files that have not been saved in Photoshop before using the extension.
    Note: The Command Line Interface (CLI) from ZePrA is used for the conversion but not the ZePrA application itself. That means you won’t find any of the images that have been converted via the Push-2-ZePrA extension in the ZePrA Overview dialog or hot folders of the ZePrA application.
Best Practices

For image conversions, we recommend setting up Direct Color Conversion configurations in ZePrA with the help of the Auto Setup Wizard. With a direct conversion from the image color space to the Target Color Space, double conversions are avoided. It is not recommended to use a Normalize and Convert queue as this can lead to converting the image two times (a double conversion – from the image color space to the Document Color Space and then to the Target Color Space), which typically is not wanted for image conversions.

Selecting the Direct Color Conversion option

For any changes in terms of PSD or TIFF file layers handling, color conversion or spot color conversion, please adjust the appropriate ZePrA configuration in the ZePrA color server. The Push-2-ZePrA Photoshop extension uses the configurations, but editing configurations is not supported.

Error Handling

When working with the Push-2-ZePrA extension potential issues might happen:

    1. Select the proper file for conversion: When several images are open in Photoshop keep in mind that only the selected, active document will be converted with Push-2-ZePrA.
    2. Incomplete conversions: When clicking the Convert button it may take a few seconds until the image is converted. During processing, do not close the Push-2-ZePrA extension nor minimize Photoshop. This will immediately stop the conversion.
    3. Restricted folders and locations: A warning message appears when saving a file in a restricted location. Please keep in mind that the converted file will be saved at the same location as the original image file. If that location (folder) has write protection settings (e.g the applications folder of an operating system) a warning message appears.  The warning message offers the option to cancel the conversion or to save the converted file in the output folder (see point 7 above).
    4. Troubleshooting job warnings: An error message with the selected configuration appears. In such a situation, check the corresponding configuration in the ZePrA application and check for the cause of the error. It may be that the image file and the setting in the configuration do not match. In such a case, it is suggested to convert the image file in the ZePrA application with the same configuration used in the Push-2-ZePrA extension. The same job warning message may show in ZePrA. Troubleshoot the issue and change the settings in the ZePrA application, until the file conversion works as desired. Once the configuration has been saved in ZePrA go back to the Push-2-ZePrA extension, close it and reopen the extension to update the list of configurations and settings and convert the file in Photoshop again.
    5. Changes and updates to configurations: When changes or updates to ZePrA configurations have not been applied in the Push-2-ZePrA extension, make sure that the edits have been saved in ZePrA before heading to the Photoshop extension. Then close the extension and start it again so that it refreshes the list of configuration and their settings.
    6. Support for prior ZePrA versions: ZePrA versions prior to v7 are not supported. The extension may show the settings of configurations from older ZePrA versions, but will not convert files. We do not recommend selecting prior ZePrA versions with the extension and will not be supporting prior versions in future releases.
    7. Avoid special characters in configuration names: characters such as | < > * ? / \\ : in configurations names with ZePrA. While ZePrA will handle such characters the Push-2-ZePrA extension does not.

ZePrA | Tools | PantoneLive

PantoneLIVE

Access PantoneLIVE libraries in ZePrA

Access PantoneLIVE libraries in ZePrA

PantoneLIVE® by X-Rite is a cloud-based solution for the digital storage of spectral spot colors. This applies both for Pantone Guides, paper-dependent, so-called ‘Dependent Standards’, as well as specific color libraries of brand owners.

Note: The use of PantoneLIVE requires licenses for both the spot color module of ZePrA as well as PantoneLIVE from X-Rite. Activate your licenses in your My X-Rite account for use in ZePrA. See below for more details on the activation process.

Importing PantoneLIVE libraries

To import PantoneLIVE spot colors from the cloud into ZePrA, proceed as follows:

  1. Select Spot Color Libraries from the sidebar and click on PantoneLIVE.

  2. In the Login section you can either login using the User Name registered with Pantone or your e-mail address and your Password.

    Note: The login requires an active Internet connection and an activated PantoneLIVE license for ZePrA.
  3. If your company uses a proxy server you can enter the required proxy settings under Proxy before logging in.

    Setting proxy server for PantoneLIVE

  4. Your libraries will be displayed after successfully logging in.
  5. Select the libraries to import and use in ZePrA by enabling the corresponding check boxes. Then click Update. The spot colors will be downloaded from the cloud while the progress is shown in the lower part of the window under Status. Imported libraries are marked as up to date while libraries which have not been imported are marked as not used.
    Note: Depending on the number of selected spot colors and the speed of your internet connection this may take some time. The dialog cannot be closed during download.
  6. Once the selected libraries have been downloaded, you can close the dialog. Your PantoneLIVE libraries are now displayed under Libraries in the Manage Spot Color Libraries dialog and can easily be distinguished from other libraries by the Pantone icon.
Characteristics and use of PantoneLIVE libraries
  • PantoneLIVE libraries can only be used in ZePrA while you are logged into PantoneLIVE. Once logged out, the libraries can no longer be used.
  • As long as ZePrA is connected to the internet and you are logged into PantoneLIVE, imported PantoneLIVE libraries can be used without limitation.
  • If you have not logged off from PantoneLIVE but the internet connection is interrupted, already imported PantoneLIVE libraries can be used until the expiration date. Typically, this is for one month. The remaining days are shown in the Information column. However, it is recommended to log in again as soon as possible to be informed about potential color updates or to prevent error messages because the libraries are not available.
  • The revision number of PantoneLIVE libraries is displayed in the column Revision of the PantoneLIVE dialog and for already imported libraries in the column Information of the Manage Spot Color Libraries dialog. Additionally, the PantoneLIVE dialog indicates the Brand Owner and the column Dependent Standard Code shows a letter combination. This Code provides further information, among others the printing process and the paper of the selected library.
  • When the revision number changes, or when spot colors have been updated in the cloud, the Status of the affected libraries will change in the PantoneLIVE dialog from up to date to needs update. In this case, click on Update and the libraries will be updated in ZePrA.
  • Standard libraries can be edited in ZePrA, which means that spot colors can be copied, modified, deleted, or exported from one library to another, and Lab values can be edited. This is not the intention of PantoneLIVE libraries and are prevented by ZePrA.
  • The Lab values of PantoneLIVE spot colors are displayed as rounded numbers in ZePrA; however, internally ZePrA calculates the spectral measurement values with full accuracy.
  • To aid recognition of PantoneLIVE libraries, these libraries are marked with a PL: in the drop-down menus of the sub-dialogs under Configuration and in the Spot Color Report.
PantoneLIVE licenses in ZePrA

PantoneLIVE licenses are computer-bound and may even be application bound. If the computer (and ZePrA) is not enabled, you will receive the following error message in ZePrA (see screenshot):

To activate a PantoneLIVE license, open the page My PantoneLIVE of your My X-Rite account. The list with available licenses is found at the bottom of the page. If an Unused license is present, click Edit. This opens the dialog for this license, and you have two options to activate it:

  1. Activate the license by selecting Use this activation yourself and click on Done. In ZePrA, you can close the error message with Cancel and login again. Since the activation has already been done on the My X-Rite website, entering the activation code is not required.
  2. Do not change anything on the My PantoneLIVE website, simply copy the Activation Code and paste it into the error message in ZePrA. Then close the dialog box with OK. In this case, ZePrA completes the activation. The activation may be visible only after re-logining in on the My PantoneLIVE page.

Please check this YouTube video for the licensing procedure.

In case of problems with licensing please contact the X-Rite support.

Tools | Spot Color Iteration

Spot Color Iteration

Iterate spot color to improve or maintain quality

ZePrA’s Spot Color Iteration

Spot Color Iteration is a process that involves printing of the spot colors converted from ZePrA on the printer to be used for the print job, followed by measuring test charts and optimizing the color differences (expressed in deltaE2000) until the measured deltaE values are within the desired tolerances. Printing the test chart and applying the Iterate Spot Colors feature once only already results in an improved spot color rendering which is usually close to the optimum of this printer.

Why can spot color iteration be required?

First of all, be assured that ZePrA already calculates the best possible spot color conversion based on the target profile set under Configuration/Target Color Space. However, printers, inks and papers drift over time so that there are always some deviations from the state the printer was profiled. During spot color iteration we measure how converted spot colors are actually printed in the current state, and subsequently optimize the deltaE2000 values. The iteration report shows which colors are improved and where restrictions based on the color gamut or the spot color Calculation Method occur so they can’t be optimized further or if additional iteration steps are recommendable.

Procedure

Open the Iterate Spot Colors dialog right from the Spot Colors tab of the Configuration you would like to optimize or the Tools menu and follow the steps from top to bottom. A Spot Color module license is required to use the tool.

Step 1: First, select the Configuration you would like to use for printing. The option Convert Spot Colors must be enabled in this configuration.

Notes: The best approach for the iteration of spot colors is to set the Calculation Method to Precise Match or Visual Match in the appropriate Configuration.

The setting Use the least Amount of Channels may be insufficient for iterating spot colors. Importantly, spot color iteration will not work when the spot color conversion is set to Convert using Alternate Color Space from PDF.

Step 2: Select the source of the spot colors you would like to optimize. You can either choose a PDF or an image file with spot colors or a complete spot color library. In the following example we will use a PDF file with spot colors as source file.

Step 3: A test chart file will be created from either a PDF or Image File or a spot color Library. If you select a PDF file and click on the Save button, ZePrA will extract all spot colors (full tones) used in the file and convert them using the selected configuration. In this step select an Instrument Setting for your measuring instrument. In the Save dialog, choose either a PDF or TIFF file type to create a test chart which contains the spot colors as a strip optimized for your measuring instrument. In addition, the  associated reference file for measuring will be created. The newly created test chart needs to be printed on the printer to be used for the print job.

Note: The test chart contains the converted spot colors as given in the Configuration using the conversion settings and Calculation Method defined in the tab Spot Colors.

Step 4: Print the test chart on your printer. Do not apply any color management when printing the test chart.

Step 5: Subsequently, measure the printed test chart using ColorAnt/Measure Tool or an appropriate software. The required reference file which is needed for measuring the spot colors will be shown in step 3. Click on Measure to open the Measure Tool in ColorAnt. The reference file will be selected automatically so that you can use the tool right away for measurements with your instrument. For information on how to use the Measure Tool in combination with your instrument follow the instruction given in the online help. Alternatively you may use the provided reference file for measurements with other tools.

Step 6: This step is optional but highly recommended. If you click on Save Report a Spot Color Iteration Report will be generated. The report provides you with information about the achieved and measured deltaE values.

The last column of the report – Status – provides status information such as improvements, recommendations about further processing or warnings. If the deltaE00 value is already very low (lower than 1) further optimization is not needed and the color is marked green. Colors that are marked yellow are higher than 1 but below 2 dE00 and colors marked orange are higher than 2 dE00. For colors that have been improved by an iteration the improved value is shown in brackets expressed as deltaE behind the status. If a spot color is out of gamut or optimization is not possible due to restraints from the selected configuration those colors are marked accordingly. A Legend below the table of the report explains the different statuses.  If a color is marked as Optimizable, the value in brackets behind the status indicates the maximum improvement to be expected.

Step 7: When clicking the Apply button the optimized spot colors (based on the measurement data) will be calculated and applied in the Configuration. Only tick the checkbox Iterate all Spot Colors if you would like to iterate all spot colors. We recommend to deactivate the checkbox in order to include only those spot colors in the iteration which can actually be improved. Consequently, if the checkbox is disabled, spot colors which are already marked as Good in the report will not be optimized further.

A feedback message informs the user when a spot color iteration has been applied successfully.

You will find the optimized device values (Output values) in the table of the tab Spot Colors under Configuration. They will be marked as Iterated in the column Information of the table.

 

Expert tips: It is a good idea to Export the optimized spot color table of the tab Spot Colors. This will give you the chance to revert to these values in case you do some further iterations or change some values manually. Another tip in case you would like to revert to the original values without iteration is to use the Reset button in the Spot Color Iteration dialog. This deletes the iterated colors from the table.

Additional information

If you would like to evaluate the improvements in terms of deltaE2000 after Step 7 you need to print the optimized spot colors once more. To do so click on the Save button  in Step 3 of the Iterate Spot Colors dialog to create a new test chart file with the optimized device values and a new reference file. Make sure to use the second  testchart file when printing and measuring rather than the first one! After measuring and saving a new Report you can assess the improved deltaE00 values. You can continue to iterate by simply clicking the Apply button in Step 7. Or, in case the deltaEs are fine and further iteration is not recommended, simply close the dialog without applying the new measurements.

If the selected source file does contain spot colors which have not been considered in the selected configuration, an error message will appear as the test chart cannot be created. For that reason we recommend to convert the source file containing the spot colors integrating the wanted configuration prior to the iteration, or to verify them using the Spot Color Report in order to ensure correct settings in the configuration.

If you would like to optimize the creation of the test chart for you measuring device (for Step 3 of the iteration) you can create your own settings using the tool Export Chart in ColorAnt. The newly created settings are available in the drop-down menu Instrument Setting after the dialog Spot Color Iteration has been closed and reopened.

The measurement data that has been transmitted from Measure Tool to ZePrA in Step 5 is saved for later use in the shared folder for all users under ColorLogic/SpotColorMeasurements (Windows: C:\Users\Public\Documents\ColorLogic\SpotColorMeasurements. Mac: \Users\Shared\ColorLogic\SpotColorMeasurements).

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.

Tools | Spot Color Report

Spot Color Report

Review accuracy of spot color conversion

Spot Color Report

Overview

The spot color report shows the results achieved with a spot color conversion in relation to deltaE00, deltaE76, and the separation into process colors. This allows the accuracy of spot color conversions to be checked before processing or printing, and to determine in advance how ZePrA converts spot colors (e.g. Pantone® colors) of specific PDF and image files.

Procedure

  1. Configurations: Select one or more configurations from the list which contain all settings for the conversion. Only Configurations which have spot color conversion enabled are displayed in the list.
  2. Select a PDF or Image File or a Library under Source Data.
    PDF or Image File: Select the PDF or pixel image file with spot colors to be processed using the settings of the selected configuration.
    Library: Select the spot color library to be converted using the settings of the selected configuration.
  3. Select the Sort order.
    Sorts the list according to various criteria. When sorting by Delta E, spot colors with the lowest dE are listed at the top, and the highest dE at the bottom.
  4. Create the report. It can be created in various formats (PDF, XML, Text, CGATS or Color Exchange Format).
    Save: Creates the spot color report and saves it. Optionally, a Preview can be created beforehand.

The spot color report shows the results achieved with a spot color conversion in relation to deltaE00, deltaE76, and the separation into process colors.

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

The screenshot shows the preview for processing spot colors with two different configurations. All spot colors found in the PDF file are included. One configuration uses a CMYK target profile and the other a 7C target profile. The report shows that in this case the 7C profile is much better suited for simulating the spot colors of the PDF file.

Reviewing the Spot Color Conversion

 

ZePrA | SaveInk Report

SaveInk Report

Information on ink saving

Creating SaveInk Reports

SaveInk reports give a detailed overview of the ink savings of all SaveInk queues and jobs processed. To create a report select SaveInk Report in the sidebar.

 

Ink savings on all SaveInk queues

Procedure

  1. Select SaveInk-Report in the Sidebar.
  2. Enter a file name and select the format. The report can be created as PDF (default), TXT, HTML or XML. Then specify the save location.
  3. Click Save and the ink saving report will be generated.

Summary: Shows the ink saving for all files for each SaveInk queue and for all queues.

Ink Saving per Queue and Job: Shows details of individual queues and jobs.

Note: The percentage calculations in the SaveInk Report refer only to the CMYK components. Transparency effects, overprinting elements, and spot colors are not taken into account.