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:
- Click on New.
- Enter a new name.
- Make settings adjustments.
- Click Save
To Rename a configuration:
- Select configuration from the dropdown list
- Click Rename
- Change the name
- 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.
To link a configuration with a queue, select Queues from the Navigation Panel.
The settings for Configuration include color conversion using ICC device profiles or ICC DeviceLink profiles, definition of workflows for mixed PDF files (CMYK, RGB, Gray, spot colors in a single document) and individual application of gradations and spot colors. All options are available with different presets and optimization options resulting in a wide variety of possible combinations.
Document Color Space
The Document Color Space can be used to specify the handling of an entire PDF document and what the source ICC profile for the document will be. Select the ICC device profile associated with the PDF document. ZePrA can also access the output intent (ICC device profile) that is attached to the PDF/X compliant documents. ZePrA focuses on processing PDF files for printing, however, TIFF, JPEG, PSD, and PSB images can also be processed using the same configuration. A PDF/X file can contain Gray, RGB, CMYK or Multicolor color systems.
The Document Color Space can either be the output intent of a PDF/X file or the (assumed) profile that was used when the document was created.
If the file does not have an output intent, select an ICC device profile under Document Color Space. The color system of the selected profile is displayed alongside the drop-down menu. If the checkbox Prefer Output Intent is enabled, the ICC device profile specified under Document Color Space is replaced by the PDF/X profile within the ZePrA workflow. In this case it is recommended to work with SmartLink instead of a fixed DeviceLink profile for conversion from Document to the Target Color Space.
PDF 2.0 Support
PDF 2.0 files can have page level output intents which means that different pages can contain different output intents. The checkbox Prefer Output Intent in the Document/Target tab must be enabled to consider these output conditions for the conversion. If the checkbox is enabled all objects on each page will be converted to the Target Color Space with the settings defined under the Image/Vector and Document/Target tabs using the corresponding output intent of each single page.
Disabling the checkbox ignores the page level output intents and the conversion is done for all pages using the same source ICC profile defined as Document Color Space.
Another major feature of PDF 2.0 files is the support of black point compensation in combination with the relative colorimetric rendering intent.
Note: If you have reason to believe that the output intent of a PDF/X file may have been set incorrectly you should specify an appropriate ICC profile as Document Color Space and disable the Prefer Output Intent checkbox.
Target Color Space
Under Target Color Space, select the target ICC profile. If the document color space/output intent of a PDF/X file does not match the color space of the ultimate printing process, the entire PDF file needs to be converted from the Document Color Space to the Target Color Space. For best quality of the conversion DeviceLink profiles or SmartLink can be used.
In addition to the target profile selected, the color space of the target profile will also be displayed which is beneficial when seeing if Multicolor target profiles relate to a 5, 6, or 7 channel ICC profile. When moving over the color space icon the channel names of a selected Multicolor target profile will be displayed.
Setting the Target Color Space
To specify if a target profile will be embedded into the file after conversion, select Embed into Output File.
With the Maintain Output Intent function, the output intent of the original file is maintained even after conversion to a different target profile. This function should only be used if no changes are needed in the Output Intent.
Correction of the Target Color Space
Variations between the batches of paper, other dot gains or fresh inks that differ from the last series used can result in tonal shifts and deviations in the distribution of tonal values. Those color deviations can be corrected with the help of Correction DeviceLink profiles – see description under Apply Correction DeviceLink Profile.
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)
- Select SmartLink as the Conversion Method (only available if licensed)
- Define the SmartLink method used to calculate the DeviceLink profile “on-the-fly” from the Document Color Space and the Target Color Space.
- 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 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
- In Configuration, Document/Target click the checkbox Apply correction DeviceLink profile. If there are no correction DeviceLink profiles, the option for Correction is completely grayed out.
- Click Settings to open the Correction DeviceLink Profile dialog and select a correction DeviceLink that has previously been created with CoPrA.
- We recommend that you not only select the Correction DeviceLink profile, but that you also embed the associated updated target profile into the converted files (Embed updated Target Profile instead of the Target Profile). When this option is enabled, this profile becomes the new output intent of a converted PDF file. The updated target profile is shown below.
Note: ZePrA checks whether there are corresponding correction DeviceLink profiles and updated printer profiles for the selected Target Color Space. These profiles will be shown and can be selected once the Apply correction DeviceLink profile has been enabled.
Custom SmartLink Option
Using the SmartLink Method – Custom, the Settings button enables and allows access to all of the options for customized definition.
SmartLink Settings Dialog
The SmartLink Settings dialog defines how conversion from Document Color Space to Target Color Space and from Images / Vectors to the Target Color Space is calculated.
Various presets can be applied for conversion of CMYK, RGB, Gray and Multicolor color spaces so that other calculation methods can be implemented depending on the color space. Custom SmartLink settings created using CoPrA can be automatically displayed or imported and used in ZePrA.
Using the Import option, import presets that are exported from CoPrA. See Tutorials for specific situations where this may apply.