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.

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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.