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
macOSX®

10.7.5 or later – (Intel only)

Windows®

Windows® 10, Home, Pro or Enterprise
Windows® 8, Home, Pro or Enterprise
Windows® 7, Home (Basic or Premium), Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise
Windows® XP SP3, Home or Enterprise
Windows® Server 2016
Windows® Server 2012
Windows® Server 2012 R2
Windows® Server 2008
Windows® Server 2008 R2
Windows® Server 2003, Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter

 

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 x 1024 or higher recommended)

Other Information


  • Macintosh –  CoPrA, ColorAnt and ZePrA run in 64 Bit mode. The Measure Tool runs in 32 Bit mode
  • Windows –  ZePrA runs in 64 Bit mode. CoPrA, ColorAnt and Measure Tool runs in 32 Bit mode
Installation

ZePrA system requirements

Mac OSX

10.75 or later – (Intel only)

Windows:

64 bit only – Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Installers for the respective platform installs the program by default in either the Applications folder (Macintosh or Windows). Begin installation by double-clicking on the ZePrA installation package.

After accepting the Software License Agreement, select the destination volume and choose between a Standard Installation or custom installation. Standard Installation installs all components including Measure Tool and the DLS-Manager as described below.

DLS-Manager Allows installation of DeviceLink Sets. DeviceLink sets are standard DeviceLinks that will perform a variety of standard color management tasks. Please see our online help for a complete list of sets and profiles.

Computer vs USB dongle license

A computer-based ZePrA license always refers to a the specific computer on which ZePrA was installed and can be requested for temporary test purposes. Computer licenses are required if the computer has no USB ports or no space for a USB dongle, i.e. a rack server.

USB dongle licenses are serialized to the ZePrA USB dongle. The ZePrA USB dongle is shipped with the permanent license of ZePrA and permits use of ZePrA on different computers. To be able to assign the license to the USB dongle, the dongle must be connected before starting ZePrA.

Demo license request

ZePrA allows users to request a demo license for 14 days for software evaluation. The restriction of running ZePrA in demo mode is all pages contain the watermark “Demo”.

The demo license additionally allows testing of ColorLogic’s Standard DeviceLink Profiles which can be installed using the DLS Manager after loading the demo license.

Requesting a Demo License

1. Click the Registration button located on the lower left hand corner of the Main Navigation Panel.

2. Click on the Demo license request tab.

3. Enter all required information.

4. When a location is chosen, ZePrA will provide a list of available dealers in that region. Select a dealer and click Send direct request. A demo license file will be automatically sent to the email address supplied in the contact form.

5. Save the license file contained in the email (indicated by the ending *.lic) to your system.

6. Under License details in the Registration window select the *.lic file. After installing the demo license file, the expiration date of the demo license is shown below the License details.

Restrictions with Demo licenses and ZePrA

ZePrA demo license gives users a 14 day evaluation period to try all the functions of ZePrA within the application. When files are converted with ZePrA while running with a demo license, the only restriction is that the output has a watermark added to each page. If it becomes necessary to test ZePrA within a workflow without the watermark during the test period, contact your dealer for instructions.

Purchasing ZePrA

Select from one of our base ZePrA packages. Click on Buy ColorLogic products under License details or Demo license request in the Registration window.

A list of contacts will open in the browser. After selecting the appropriate dealer, the dealer’s web page with contact information will appear in the browser.

Installing a permanent license

A permanent license provided by the individual dealer will be supplied after purchasing ZePrA. The permanent license is available in the form of a computer-based license or a dongle license (see page 6 Computer vs USB dongle license).

After purchasing the software, a permanent license file (*.lic) will be sent via email. Load the license file under License details in the Registration window.

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

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.