CoPrA | DeviceLink Iterate

Iterate

Improve DeviceLink profiles

Iterate

Overview

An existing DeviceLink profile can be optimized based on measured color values by using a test chart of your choice (can be created with ColorAnt/Custom Chart, see video turorial below). The iteration​test chart needs to be converted from source to target profile using the original DeviceLink profile and printed on the target printer. The measured color values of the printed test chart are then used to improve the conversion in order to achieve lower color differences and a more accurate reproduction of the source color space. Based on the measured values, it is automatically determined whether the target values are reached (which are determined by the source and target profiles) and a correction is made for deviations. Iteration is therefore particularly useful in proofing situations with absolute or relative colorimetric rendering intents. Perceptive rendering intents can also be used as a special feature of DeviceLink iteration in CoPrA. The iteration calculates a new DeviceLink profile based on the original DeviceLink profile and the measured values. The new profile can be reinserted for iteration until the desired result is achieved.

Iteration for Proofing and Production Printing

Iteration is a great method to get the best possible match for proofing. Proofing uses absolute colorimetric rendering without color exceptions. However, in digital production printing, perceptual rendering methods and color exceptions are used to keep colors pure. Nevertheless, there might be an interest to optimize the colors by iteration measurements (Note: It is not always recommended to do so, especially as out-of-gamut colors cannot be optimized).

Using the Iterate tool, it is possible to iterate data for production printing while retaining exceptions during the iteration process. CoPrA recognizes exceptions and rendering settings from the selected reference DeviceLink profile and retains them (only if the selected DeviceLink is a ColorLogic profile). A checkbox is shown when exceptions are used. By default, the checkbox is enabled. 

Notes

  • Iterate requires a DeviceLink license.
  • The test chart must match the color space of the source profile. 
  • Out-of-gamut colors of the original color space can only be improved to a limited extent. 
  • In proofing situations, the gamut of the target color space ought to be larger than that of the source color space, which makes iteration particularly interesting for DeviceLink profiles in proofing applications.
  • Iterations cannot be repeated arbitrarily due to fluctuations in print output, print material and the reproducibility of measuring instruments. More than 2-3 iterations are usually not necessary and not recommended.
  • Only DeviceLink profiles whose source and target profiles are available and referenced in the DeviceLink profile can be iterated. A warning is issued if the required source and target profiles are missing.
  • Third-party DeviceLinks that reference the used source and target profiles can also be iterated.
  • DeviceLinks that use color Exceptions and perceptual rendering options (such as conversion and separation profiles) can be iterated as well, but it should be done with care and it can only be done for ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles.
    Iteration allows the target values to be reached more accurately, which can result in a loss of channel purity if no exception settings are retained. Perceptive rendering intents require an interpretation of the measurement data, which can lead to slight shifts during iteration.
  • With a DeviceLink and a Multicolor license Multicolor DeviceLinks can be iterated, too.

Procedure

Procedure

Procedure

  1. Select Iterate in the sidebar or DeviceLink Iteration in the Navigation menu.
  2. Select the DeviceLink profile that you would like to iterate from the drop-down menu. Make sure that both the source and target profiles used in the DeviceLink are available in the ICC profile folder of your operating system, as CoPrA needs those to calculate the iterated profile. 
  3. Convert the test chart to be used for iteration with the DeviceLink profile and print it on the printer using the same settings as for the profiling test chart for this printer. The test chart can be converted using CoPrA’s Image Conversion tool.
    
Note: Use a test chart that contains the colors you would like to optimize. Typically, test charts with few color patches will suffice, but those patches must reflect the colors to be optimized. Therefore, using large profiling test charts is not required. Instead of using large test charts, use charts that can also be used to update profiles (see ColorAnt/Custom Chart tool). The color space of the test chart must correspond to the color space of the source profile of the DeviceLink.
  4. Measure the printed test chart in ColorAnt, save the measurement data and open it in CoPrA’s Iterate tool, either via drag-and-drop or via the Load button. Alternatively, click Measure and measure the test chart with CoPrA’s integrated Measure Tool.
  5. Depending on the selected DeviceLink profile and its settings, the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions will be activated or grayed out. It is activated for ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles that use Exceptions. If the DeviceLink is not a CoPrA profile or if it does not use exceptions, – which should be the default setting for proofing, – the checkbox is grayed out.
    Note: If the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions is deactivated, then all Exceptions are deactivated in the iterated DeviceLink profile.
  6. If you disable the checkbox Use same Settings from DeviceLink including exceptions,  then all exceptions are disabled in the iterated DeviceLink profile.
  7. Click Next to get to the Save dialog Format, Size and Further processing.
    Notes:
    a) The Default Template uses an option to add the iteration count number to each iterated DeviceLink.
    b) Size: It is recommended to select Auto because size matters for iteration. The Auto feature ensures that the highest precision is always used when creating the iterated DeviceLink.
    c) The newly created DeviceLink will have a more accurate color rendering for most in-gamut colors compared to the original DeviceLink profile. You can now use it in exactly the same way as the original one or use it for further iterations..
  8. If you would like to further optimize the DeviceLink, proceed as described above. However, select the previously iterated DeviceLink instead of the original one. Now convert the original test chart with the iterated DeviceLink (do not take the already converted test chart from point 3!) and use the measurement data of this printout to calculate a further optimized DeviceLink profile.

Format, Size and Further Processing

In the last step of profile creation, assign a Name and choose the Format and Size of the profile (see screenshot).

Name: Type in a Name for the profile.

Templates: Allows to select and combine name components from a list of options and save them as custom templates. The last selected template is used when creating new profiles, so the naming of profiles is automated.
Available naming options depend on the current profile type and include Date, Date/Time, Measurement data file name, Source and Target profiles, Name of the current preset and others. Each name component can be added at a user-defined position under Template (the position is selected with the mouse pointer). The Example section below shows the resulting name. Additionally, user defined text can be added at any position within the Template field.

Format: Define the Format of your profile. An ICC format in accordance with specification v2 is recommended as basic setting however, the newer format ICC v4 can also be chosen. In this case, please ensure that your programs support this format.
Note: ColorLogic products handle and use ICC v4 profiles consistently and correctly.

Size: The setting Large is recommended. The size specifies the number of grid points in the profile and determines the amount of disk space required for the generated profile. Small profiles should only be used for test purposes. Very Large profiles can slow down further processing in subsequent programs. Additionally, some programs are not able to handle very large profiles.

Further processing

Create Profile Report (PDF): Recommended to activate. The PDF report provides an overview of the quality of the profile based on statistics, diagrams of gray balances, gradients and gamut representations as well as color separations of converted test files.

Save Preview Profile: Is only available in Multicolor printer profiling. By activating this checkbox an ICC preview profile will be created in addition to the printer profile. It can be used as a soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop.
Notes: Preview profiles are only suitable for proofing purposes. Either a preview profile or a CMYK profile can be created in one profiling step, but not both.

Embed profiles: Physically incorporates the used source and target profiles into the DeviceLink. This function is tricky and only recommended if the DeviceLink has to be transferred to a computer which does not have the required source and target profiles. It was implemented mainly for use with certain RIPs which only accept DeviceLinks with embedded source and target profiles.

Save: Creates the printer profile and saves it in the folder Profiles (macOS) or Color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\\Windows\\System32\\spool\\drivers\\color). Demo and encrypted profiles will be saved in a different location only relevant for ColorLogic applications.

Note: CoPrA-SP profiles are stored in the ColorLogic subfolder Licensed-Profiles.

Verifying the optimization

Verifying the optimization

ColorAnt can be used to verify a successful optimization. First create a “Lab Reference” to compare the measured values of the printouts to the values of the DeviceLinks. Use the ICC Transformation tool to create the Lab reference values by using the device values of the original test chart and the source profile and rendering intent of the DeviceLink. These Lab reference values now serve as comparison values after each application of the iterated DeviceLinks on your test chart. Compare the measurements of the iteration with the “Lab Reference” using the Compare tool in ColorAnt. 

You will notice that in-gamut colors of the iterated DeviceLink are closer to the Lab reference than those of the original DeviceLink.

Video Tutorial: How to create a test chart for iteration

Video Tutorial: How to iterate

CoPrA | Preferences

Preferences

Define basic settings

Preferences

View
Choose the tool that opens at startup. Allows quick access to the preferred tool. By activating the checkbox Do not display informational popups graphical information about tools of the Sidebar will no longer be displayed. However, tool tips for features will still be shown.

Profiles
Profiles: Select the location for your profiles. By default profiles are stored in the system profile folder (except for CoPrA SP licences). To store your profiles in a different location, for example a network folder, simply activate the checkbox Custom profile folder and specify the storage path.
Subfolders for the various profile classes and color spaces are created automatically.

Note: Profiles which are not stored in the system profile folder may not be available for other programs.
For Mac users: Create a subfolder in the ColorSync profile folder to store all profiles created by CoPrA in one place. These profiles will still be accessible for all programs using ICC profiles.

 

Overwrite existing preview profiles automatically: Preview profiles can be created when creating DeviceLinks or Multicolor profiles but they can also be created in Batch Overview or Profile Manager. By activating the checkbox Overwrite existing preview profiles automatically existing preview profiles will be overwritten without warning.

Share with ZePrA

Due to the close linkage of CoPrA and ZePrA, DeviceLink profiling settings specified in CoPrA can be used by ZePrA to create profiles required for the conversion of PDF files on-the-fly.

With CoPrA 6 and higher the settings are accessible via a shared folder which has the advantage that CoPrA and ZePrA do not need to be installed on the same computer. The shared folder must simply be accessible by both ZePrA and CoPrA, either over the network, a shared local folder or the cloud.

Share CoPrA Settings with ZePrA Auto Import Folder: Enable the checkbox to share CoPrA’s settings with ZePrA and select ZePrA’s Auto Import folder.

Note: If the checkbox is enabled and the Preferences dialog closed with OK an information message will appear repeatedly asking the user if all shared presets should now be copied to the defined Auto-Import Folder.

ZePrA’s Auto Import Folder
Files (such as ICC profiles, configurations, spot color libraries, gradations or SmartLink settings) that are moved or copied into the
Auto Import folder are transferred to ZePrA’s internal dataset and can then be used by ZePrA.
When the file in the Auto Import folder is replaced by a newer version, it will be updated in ZePrA’s internal datasets as well.
Note: If a file in the Auto Import folder is deleted, it is not deleted in ZePrA’s internal dataset. For example if a SmartLink setting has been deleted in the Auto Import folder, it is still available in ZePrA’s internal dataset and if this setting is deleted in ZePrA’s dataset, it is still available in the Auto Import folder.

Report Creation
Default save path: Defines the location for the Profile Report.

Default report format: Specify whether to create a PDF report with sample images or an XML report with pure data.

Default DeltaE Method: Determines the DeltaE method to calculate color differences for profile reports (dE76 or dE2000).

Open profile reports automatically with default viewer: If enabled, the profile report will be opened and displayed by the default PDF or XML viewer immediately after its creation.

Report Customization
Here you can enter a subtitle or add your own company Logo to the profile report. By default CoPrA’s icon is used.

Protected Mode
The Protected Mode allows to lock and protect all custom settings. If activated – with or without a password – changing a selected profiling setting is denied. This feature proves to be practical if multiple operators in an organization are creating profiles and only a defined set of settings should be used instead of every operator using his own settings. Once the protected mode is activated, options in the Preferences are disabled and importing and exporting of settings is denied.

If you need stricter permissions, the Protected Mode can be used with a password.

Set Password: Enter a secure password and confirm by entering it a second time. If a password has been set, it must be entered each time the protected mode is to be deactivated. To remove or change the password, click Reset Password.

Note: Remember your password well or keep it in a safe place!

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 10.13 and higher
  • Windows 8 and higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 and higher.
  • On modern Mac computers with M1 Apple Silicon processors make sure that you start Photoshop via Rosetta. The Push-2-ZePrA extension does not run natively with the M1 chip.
  • ZePrA 9 and higher/Push-2-ZePrA v2 and higher: The 2nd edition of Push-2-ZePrA has network capability. This eliminates the need for ZePrA to be installed on the same computer as Photoshop.

Note: The Push-2-ZePrA v2 Photoshop extension is integrated with a 1-client license in ZePrA XL and XXL. Additional 5-client or 10-client multi-user licenses can also be purchased. For ZePrA 9 Entry, Basic and L, the Push-2-ZePrA v2 Photoshop extension single and multi-user licenses can be purchased as add-ons.

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 Window/Extensions and select Push-2-ZePrA to open the extension.

Using Push-2-ZePrA locally

Using Push-2-ZePrA locally

Configuring the Push-2-ZePrA clients in Photoshop:

  1. Once the Push-2-ZePrA extension is installed, start Photoshop, go to Windows/Extensions and select Push-2-ZePrA to open the extension.
  2. Click the Gear icon.There are two ways to connect to the ZePrA server: locally or remotely. If your Photoshop/Push-2-ZePA installation is on the same computer as the installed ZePrA color server you should always prefer the ZePrA Local option as this is much faster than communicating via the network. Click ZePrA Local.

  3. Under ZePrA Path navigate to the ZePrA.app on macOS or zcmd.exe on Windows and select it.
  4. Define your Local Output Path (where converted files are to be saved) and click the Home button. You can then immediately use the extension.

Using Push-2-ZePrA locally

When ZePrA is installed on the same computer as Photoshop:

  1. In Photoshop, open the image to be color converted.
  2. Click on the Push-2-ZePrA extension.
  3. On the Home tab 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 retaining of Photoshop Layers. This information is shown below the drop-down menu and picked from the selected configuration.
  5. Click Convert.
  6. After a few seconds, the progress will be displayed, and the converted file will be opened up in Photoshop.
  7. Output folder for local use: Converted files are always saved in the same location as the original file and the configuration name will be appended to the original file name.
    Notes: If the original file has been edited or copied in Photoshop without saving, a temporary file needs to be created by Push-2-ZePrA. The edited and the converted temporary files are saved in the output folder defined under Local Output Path.
    If the original file is located in a read-only folder, the user will be asked if the converted file is to be saved in the output folder defined under Local Output Path.

Note: ZePrA’s Command Line Interface (CLI) is used for the conversion but not the ZePrA application itself. Therefore you won’t find any of the images that have been converted via the Push-2-ZePrA extension in ZePrA’s Overview or hot folders.

    Using Push-2-ZePrA over the network

    Connecting Push-2-ZePrA with ZePrA over the network

    Note: Requires ZePrA 9 or higher and Push-2-ZePrA v2 or higher.

    The 2nd edition of Push-2-ZePrA has network capability. This eliminates the need for ZePrA to be installed on the same computer as Photoshop.

    ZePrA 9 and higher has an integrated Push-2-ZePrA remote server, while the Push-2-ZePrA extension acts as a client application that can access ZePrA from a remote Photoshop installation over the network.

    Therefore, several users who have the extension installed in their Photoshop application can remotely access the same ZePrA server. The Photoshop clients can thus be used on different computers, but also under different operating systems than the ZePrA server.

    Establishing a connection

    Configuring the ZePrA server:

    1. Open the Server Settings from the Tools menu in ZePrA.
    2. Specify the IP address of the computer ZePrA is running on and set a Port. See your system administrator for IP and port information. You will need to enter both the IP address and the port number in the Push-2-ZePrA extension on all client computers.

    3. Click Start to activate the server. The Status changes to Server is running and the License Status indicates the number of licenses in use as well as the number of available licenses.
    4. Stop closes the server and the extensions will no longer work. Closing ZePrA does not stop the server service but shutting down the computer will. So when restarting the computer make sure to restart the ZePrA server in the Server Settings dialog so that the extensions can access it.

    Note: Under macOS the IP address of the computer can be found in the System Preferences/Network settings. Under Windows the IP address can be found under Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties.

    After a ZePrA update, stop the server and restart both ZePrA and the server. This way the newest version of the server will be used.

    Configuring the Push-2-ZePrA clients in Photoshop
    1. Install Push-2-ZePrA and open it in Photoshop.
      Note: On Macs with Apple Silicon M1 chip make sure to start Photoshop with Rosetta – see System Requirements.
    2. Click the Gear icon.
    3. There are two ways to connect to the ZePrA server: locally or remotely. If your Photoshop/Push-2-ZePA installation is on the same computer as the installed ZePrA color server you should always prefer the ZePrA Local option as this is much faster than communicating via the network. If your Photoshop/Push-2-ZePA installation is on a different computer, use the ZePrA Remote option.

    4. To use the ZePrA Remote option, enter the previously defined ZePrA server settings (Server IP Address and Server Port Number) under ZePrA Remote and click the Connect button under Test Connection. The connection status is displayed.
    5. When the connection is successfully established, define your Local Output Path (where converted files are to be saved) and click the Home button. You can then immediately use the extension.

    Note: If all available licenses are linked with the ZePrA server, additional Photoshop extension users will not be able to connect to the ZePrA server. The licenses are linked to the ZePrA server on a first come first served basis.

    Note: In order to use the Photoshop extension, the ZePrA remote server must be running. Once the server has been started in ZePrA, it will run even if the ZePrA application is closed later on. Only when the computer is shut down, the server is also shut down and must be restarted in ZePrA after the computer is restarted.

    Use the Question mark icon to access the Push-2-ZePrA online help page, and the Exclamation mark icon to get the version numbers of the extension and the ZePrA Remote server.

    Using Push-2-ZePrA remotely

    When ZePrA is accessed over the network:

    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 progress will be displayed and the converted file will be opened up in Photoshop.
    7. Output folder for network use: Converted files and temporary files are always placed in the output folder defined under Local Output Path and the configuration name will be appended to the original file name.
      Note: If the original file is located in a read-only folder, the user will be asked if the converted file is to be saved in the output folder defined under Local Output Path.

    Note: ZePrA’s Command Line Interface (CLI) is used for the conversion but not the ZePrA application itself. Therefore you won’t find any of the images that have been converted via the Push-2-ZePrA extension in ZePrA’s Overview or hot folders.

    Recommendations and Troubleshooting

    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.

    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. The maximum file size that can be processed via the remote connection is currently 512 MB. Larger files can be processed directly via ZePrA Queues.
      2. Multiple versions of Photoshop CC must not be installed.
      3. 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.
      4. Incomplete conversions: When clicking the Convert button it may take a few seconds until the image is converted. During processing (the progress will be displayed), do not close the Push-2-ZePrA extension nor minimize Photoshop. This will immediately stop the conversion.
      5. Restricted folders and locations: A warning message appears when trying to save a file in a restricted location. If the selected location (folder) is read-only (for example, the application folder of an operating system), a warning message is displayed prompting you to cancel the conversion or save the converted file to the Local Output Path.
      6. 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.
        Note: Push-2-ZePrA supports the same image file formats as ZePrA, e.g. JPEG, TIFF and PSD. Unsupported file formats, such as PNG, will generate file format errors.
      7. 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 configurations and their settings.
      8. Support for prior ZePrA versions: ZePrA versions prior to v9 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.
      9. 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 | Interface

    User Interface

    Operation and Special Features

    Sidebar

    ZePrA’s sidebar allows quick access to all main workflow functions. Simply klick the Home button on the left and select the required module.

    The colored bar below the title bar shows the tool you are currently using.

    Start

    Auto Setup

    Create workflows with ZePrA’s Auto Setup Wizard

    Main Setup and Overview

    Overview 

    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

    Menu Bar

    Navigation

    Use the shortcuts in the menu to navigate easily and conveniently through all ZePrA modules.

    Access the most important modules via shortcuts

    Tools

    ZePrA’s Tools menu

    Auto Setup
    Calls the Auto Setup Wizard.

    Importing and Exporting Configurations

    For saving complete configurations containing settings for hotfolders and used ICC profiles. This allows all settings to be transferred to another system (e.g. in case of a technical malfunction on the current system). In addition, configurations can be exchanged and transferred between different locations.

    When exporting and importing configurations, the association of the configuration with a queue is also considered. If a configuration assigned to a queue that already exists is imported, the new configuration is linked to the existing queue.

    Export Configurations: Opens the Export Environment window. The configuration sort order can be changed using the icon to the right of the list of configurations. Configurations can either be listed in the default sort order (by creation date) or in an alphanumeric order.

    Select the configuration(s) you want to export by activating the corresponding checkbox(es).

    Exporting selected Configurations

    Export All Configurations: Exports all configurations including the ICC devices and DeviceLink profiles used. Activate the respective checkboxes to Export Profile Assignments and to Export Spot Color Libraries.

    Export all configurations. Profile assignments and spot color libraries can be exported along with the configuration.

    Export ICC Profiles: Exports all ICC device profiles and DeviceLink profiles used in the selected configuration(s).

    Export Profile Assignments: Exports all settings including the profile table created under Profile Assignments, however this does not export the DeviceLink profiles created in SmartLink.

    Export Spot Color Libraries: If individual configurations are selected, only those libraries which are used in the selected configurations will be exported, if Export all Configurations is selected, all libraries will be exported.

    Export Media Wedges: Exports the media wedges of the selected configuration(s).

    Click OK, enter a filename and Save the *.CCF file including the configurations and ICC profiles. Subsequently, the window Information provides information about license terms regarding the import and export of ICC and DeviceLink profiles.

    License agreement notes

    Importing Configurations

    1. Select a previously exported or otherwise provided *.CCF file. The Import Configurations window opens.

      Choosing configurations to import

    2. Select the Desired Base Folder which is where the hot folder should be created when importing configurations.
    3. Click on OK and the configuration is immediately available.

    Imported configurations are inactive until activated in the Overview window.

    Activating the checkbox Use Paths from imported File preserves the original hotfolder paths of each configuration.

    Configurations that already exist in the import system are marked with an asterisk (*). Disable the checkbox to prevent these configurations from being imported and overwriting existing configurations.

    By default, ZePrA creates the imported queues under Desired Base Folder.

    Use Paths from imported File: Activating this checkbox preserves the original hotfolder paths of each configuration.

    Note: If the exact folder structure of the exporting system cannot be created during import, e.g. when importing a configuration from a Windows system to an Apple system, the subfolders defined by the exporting system cannot be retained. Instead, the default folders (Input, Done, Output, Error) are then created in the ZePrA Base folder.

    Extract ICC Profile
    Extracts the embedded profile from images and the output intent from PDF/X files. The extracted profile can then be saved to any location.

    Install DeviceLink Profiles
    Opens the DLS Manager. The DLS Manager is used to install and update DeviceLink sets (DLS). License keys for the required sets can be purchased from your ColorLogic dealer. With a demo installation, all or individual sets can be installed and tested. Please note, however, that demo profiles installed during a demo can no longer be used on a permanent license for ZePrA. The DeviceLink sets will be available for further use after they are purchased.

    SaveInk Report
    The SaveInk report provides a detailed overview of the color savings of all SaveInk queues and processed jobs.

    Spot Color Report
    The Spot Color Report shows which results are achieved with a spot color conversion in respect to deltaE00, deltaE76 and separation into the process colors. This allows to verify the accuracy of the spot color conversion before printing and to determine in advance how spot colors (e.g. Pantone® colors) of specific PDF and image files will be converted by ZePrA.

    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 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.

    DeviceLink Iteration
    Iteration can be necessary to achieve the best possible color match, especially when proofing. To apply an iteration, a special test chart must be converted with the desired color management settings of a given configuration, printed and measured. Based on the measurements the DeviceLink profile can then be optimized. After one to three iteration cycles, a closer match in terms of DeltaE values is achieved. This process is error-prone if done manually, however, it is easy to accomplish with the help of the DeviceLink Iteration Wizard, which guides you through each step.

    Tag Management
    All existing tags are listed in a table under Tag Management. It can be opened via the Tools menu and is especially useful if tags are to be edited or removed from several configurations. The Used in column indicates how many configurations use a tag. With the buttons on the right New tags can be entered and existing tags can be removed (affects all configurations) or renamed (also affects all configurations).

    Server Settings
    ZePrA 9 and higher has an integrated Push-2-ZePrA remote server, while the Push-2-ZePrA Photoshop extension acts as a client application that can access ZePrA from a remote Photoshop installation over the network.

    Therefore, several users, who have the Push-2-ZePrA extension installed in their Photoshop application, can remotely access the same ZePrA server. The Photoshop clients can thus be used on different computers, but also under different operating systems than the ZePrA server.

    The detailed server setup procedure is described under Push-2-ZePrA > Connecting Push-2-ZePrA with ZePrA over the network.

    DeviceLink Iteration

    Overview

    Iteration can be necessary to achieve the best possible color match, especially when proofing. To apply an iteration, a special test chart must be converted with the desired color management settings of a given configuration, printed and measured. Based on the measurements the DeviceLink profile can then be optimized. After one to three iteration cycles, a closer match in terms of DeltaE values is achieved. This process is error-prone if done manually, however, it is easy to accomplish with the help of the DeviceLink Iteration Wizard, which guides you through each step.

    Procedure

    The iteration starts by selecting the configuration containing the DeviceLink to be iterated. This can be done in three different ways:

    1. In the Queues section of the Overview, select the queue and configuration you want to iterate. Open the context menu with a right click and select DeviceLink Iteration.

    2. Select DeviceLink Iteration from the Tools menu and search for the desired configuration in the Configuration drop-down menu of the appearing DeviceLink Iteration Wizard. You can use the same search and sort functions that you are familiar with from the Configuration drop-down menus elsewhere in ZePrA to find the configuration you are looking for.

    3. Open the desired Configuration in the Document/Target tab and click on the Iterate button at the bottom of the Conversion section.

    The DeviceLink Iteration Wizard dialog consists of two tabs, the Current Iteration and the Archive tabs. The Current Iteration tab contains the actual iteration wizard and typically, if a configuration is selected that has not yet been iterated, the wizard is started directly there. The Archive tab contains all the iteration steps that have been carried out, including all the evaluation details.

    Current Iteration

    The wizard guides the user through the iteration process in these four steps:

    1. Create test chart to be printed
    2. Print and measure test chart
    3. View Evaluation Results
    4. Continue or end the iteration

    Step One: Create the test chart to be printed

    There are two possibilities to create the test chart. Either you use the included Default Iteration Chart, which of course is always optimized for the color space of the given configuration. Or, select your own reference file (TXT, CXF3, XML) of a custom chart under Custom Iteration Chart.

    After that, define your measurement Instrument Settings. Various settings for the supported measurement equipment can be selected from the drop-down menu in the Measure Tool (the Measure Tool is included in ZePrA).

    Note: ColorLogic ColorAnt users can create their own instrument settings optimized for their specific requirements in the Export Chart tool.

    Click Save and choose a file format (PDF, TIFF or PSD) to create the test chart in the selected location. All color management settings of the configuration will be applied automatically.

    Note: In some cases the creation of the chart may take some time, for example if the Conversion settings SmartLink or Device Profile are used in the configuration, as the wizard will then need to create a DeviceLink profile first.

    After you successfully created the chart and the associated reference file, a message and a green check mark indicate that you can now proceed to the next step by clicking the Continue button.

    Step Two: Print and measure test chart

    The second step consists of two operations. First, the chart created in step 1 must be printed on the printer without color management settings. Then, after drying, the print must be measured. If the Measure Tool is to be used, simply click on the Measure button. You do not need to worry about the reference file and layout, as this is already preselected within the Measure Tool. Instructions on how to select your device and make measurements using the Measure Tool can be found here.

    Note: Alternatively, you can use the previously exported reference file and measure your printed chart with a different measurement tool. Make sure that the measurements are saved in standard file formats that can be read by ZePrA, such as CGATS TXT, XML or CXF3. The external measurement files can be loaded using the Load button.

    Once the measurement data has been transmitted from Measure Tool or loaded from external sources and it conforms to the printed chart a green check mark indicates a match and you can proceed by clicking Continue.

    Note: When loading measurement data that does not match the chart layout or the corresponding patches in the reference file, you are alerted by a warning message and proceeding to the next step is not possible.

    Step Three: View Evaluation Results

    The third step shows the Evaluation Results of the measurements compared to the desired color conversion.

    If all categories such as substrate, the maximum and average deltaE for all patches, etc. are within their limits they are marked green and the overall result is marked all right.

    In a proofing case, e.g if an absolute colorimetric rendering intent was used in the configuration, the proof print is compatible with a Contract Proof according to ISO12647-7 and the wizard indicates this by a green check mark and a corresponding note text. A further iteration is then not required, hence the Don’t apply Optimization radio button is preselected.

    However, the preselection can be overridden and another iteration cycle applied if the results are to be improved even further. To do this, select the Optimize DeviceLink and apply radio button and click Continue. Alternatively, apply the iteration later via the Archive tab.

    If only a single category is displayed in orange or red in the table of Evaluation Results, the proof print is considered to be not okay and the validation has failed. In this case, a warning is displayed and it is suggested to apply an iteration to improve the result. The corresponding radio button Optimize DeviceLink and apply is then preselected.

    By selecting Optimize DeviceLink and apply and clicking on Continue, an iterated DeviceLink is created on-the-fly and automatically entered in the configuration.

    ZePrA checks for out-of-gamut colors and evaluates whether those colors can be improved. Color values that are displayed in red in the Evaluation Results and Report are considered to be out-of-gamut and their deltaE00 values can most likely not be improved. Nevertheless, an iteration can slightly change the rendering of out-of-gamut colors, for example, to correct hue errors when colors are far from the desired hue. Color values that are displayed in orange, however, can be improved with further iteration. If there are only red values left, ZePrA informs, that further iterations are of no use and preselects the Don’t apply Optimization radio button. If, however, there are orange values left, these can be further optimized and ZePrA suggests Optimize DeviceLink and apply.

    Step Four: Continue or end the iteration

    The fourth step concludes the iteration cycle. Here, there are three options to choose from. Based on the previous results, the wizard already preselects a logical option for you to follow:

    1. Optimize DeviceLink Profile again: Runs another iteration cycle, for example to check whether a previously iterated DeviceLink successfully passes the evaluation. If you select this radio button and click Continue, a new iteration cycle starts with step 1 and the creation of a new test chart to be printed.
    2. View the evaluation results in the Archive tab: If you have already completed several iterations or would like to see the evaluation results once more, select this option. When you click Continue, the Archive tab opens with the last iteration step highlighted.
    3. Close this dialog: If the evaluation results are all right or if you want to end the iteration process you can simply select Close this dialog and by clicking Continue the iteration is ended.

    Archive

    All data created during the iteration - such as test charts, reference data and measurement data, as well as the report - are stored in an internal database in addition to the save location defined by the user.

    Therefore, if data is deleted from the save location it can still be restored from the internal database any time via the Archive tab. Users can stop an iteration process and even close the DeviceLink Iteration Wizard dialog at any time and can revert back to the last completed step with the help of the Information stored in the Archive.

    The Archive tab shows all iteration steps and evaluation details. The History table contains a list of all iterations, with the active iteration highlighted. More information for the selected iteration step is displayed under Details.

    The columns of the History table show the iteration step number #, the maximum DeltaE00 value dE00 (max), the average DeltaE00 value dE00 (avg), the Status of the selected iteration step and some Information about the iteration process itself, such as Optimization applied, when the measurements done from the printed test chart have actually been used to create an iterated DeviceLink, or Evaluation measurement, when the measurements have been used for evaluation only and have not been used to create an iterated DeviceLink.

    In addition, the iteration process (being performed in the Current Iteration tab) can be discontinued, which is indicated with various messages such as Next step: save chart, Next step: measure or load data, Next step: Evaluate.

    Right clicking on an iteration step in the History displays a context menu with the following options:

    Save Chart: Exports the test chart into a file selected by the user. The test chart is not newly created but only copied from the internal database. This implies that the file selection only supports the file type initially chosen by the user.

    Save Reference Data: Exports the reference data that belongs to the test chart into a file selected by the user.

    Save Measurement Data: Exports the measurement data into a file selected by the user.

    Save Report: Saves a report containing all Details displayed on the right and the full information about each measurement patch. This is useful to identify colors with the highest or lowest deltaE values, or colors which are out of gamut. The report is explained in more detail below.

    Revert to state before: This is only available for iterations with the status applied. Reverts back to the state before this iteration, giving the previous iteration, if any, the applied state. The status changes to evaluation measurement. All subsequent items are deleted.

    Revert to state after: This is only available for iterations with the status applied. Proceeds to the state after this iteration step, making it the active iteration. The status of a next iteration, if available, would be evaluation measurement. All subsequent items after the next iteration are deleted.

    Apply Optimization: This is only available for iterations with the status evaluation measurement. It can be used for evaluation measurements that have not been applied in the iteration process itself. Use this option if you want to apply an iteration later on.

    Evaluation Results

    The Evaluation Results shown under Details are always the evaluations of the previous step. This means, if an iteration has been applied in step 1, the evaluation results shown under Details for the selected step 1 are the values before the iteration has actually been applied. Therefore, in order to see the results of the first iteration a second step is necessary. The evaluation results shown for that second step are actually the iteration results of the first iteration step, and so on. This offers the possibility to use the results of an iteration itself for a second iteration. But again, another measurement step is needed to find out if this iteration actually improved the result.

    Evaluation measurements for the different Categories are shown according to the proof evaluation tolerances defined in ISO 12647-7. They can even be regarded as proof evaluation when an absolute colorimetric rendering intent has been used in the configuration. The values shown in the table can assume three different colored states that are green, orange or red. Values shown in green are within the Limit and therefore all right. Orange values are outside the Limit but can be improved by iteration. Red values are outside the Limit and cannot be improved. This is mostly the case if a source color can’t be reproduced in the target color space because it is out-of-gamut. An overall statement of the accuracy of the rendering is given below the table. A green check mark indicates that the color conversion is within the limits, whereas a red cross indicates that it is not.

    Special cases arise if the rendering intent used in the configuration is not absolute colorimetric. In case of relative colorimetric or perceptual rendering intents the reference Lab values used to iterate the conversion need to be calculated from the initial DeviceLink profile. The measurements are then compared to those rendering intent specific reference Lab values. The iteration is still using the tolerances from ISO 12647-7 for the analysis of the iteration accuracy. However, since this conversion is not a proof print, a different statement results for the overall iteration accuracy compared to the iteration result with an absolute colorimetric rendering intent.  

    The Report

    By right-clicking on an iteration step in the left table, a report can be created for this step. The report can be saved in various formats such as PDF, HTML, XML and TXT. The PDF and HTML formats are the most common versions for end users, while the other formats are more intended for automation and usage in other systems such as a MIS (Management Information System). 

    The report contains all displayed Details and the complete information for each measuring patch. This is handy for identifying colors with the highest or lowest DeltaE values or colors that are out-of-gamut. A Legend explaining the color highlighting in the DeltaE column is shown at the bottom of the last page of the report.

    Help

    ZePrA’s Help menu

    What’s New
    Opens the website that shows new features and bug fixes in ZePrA (requires an Internet connection).

    Online Help
    Goes directly to the online help (requires an Internet connection).

    Quick Start Guide
    Opens the download page of the Quick Start Guide (requires an internet connection).

    readme.txt
    Contains the Release Notes with brief information about the latest changes.

    CLI Manual
    Opens the Command Line Interface manual (in PDF format).

    Save Support Data
    Creates a compressed text file that contains important support information. Send this support data to your ColorLogic reseller for expert assistance. The data required includes information about the used operating system, the ZePrA log file, general preferences, and settings at the time of the problem.

    Event Log
    Shows the events that occurred when using ZePrA. Some of the events take place in the background (for performance reasons and to improve the user experience) and are invisible to the user. The event log contains such and other information with the exact time of occurrence.

    Examples:

    • Configurations or spot color libraries exchanged with the Automatic Import feature are automatically updated or added without notice
    • Added or updated SmartLink presets are loaded in the background
    • Automatic stopping or starting of queues, in case hotfolders are temporarily not available due to network problems or other issues
    • Messages and information regarding PantoneLIVE, e.g. login errors and updates
    • The starting and stopping of the program itself

    Automatic Update Check
    Checks whether a new program version is available (requires an Internet connection).

    Enable automatic update check: If activated, ZePrA checks whether a new version is available for download at program startup or once a day.
    If a new version is found, it can be downloaded via the download links given in the window (for macOS or MS Windows).
    The most important new features are briefly described in the window, a detailed description of the new features can be found in the linked “What’s new in ZePrA?

    Register
    Here you can load and activate your licenses, request a demo license, or view further information about your licenses.

    Special Features

    Profile search in drop-down menus
    All profile drop-down menus function like search fields. Simply type in some letters of the desired profile and only those profiles containing these letters will be shown in the list. To select a profile simply click on it. Alternatively you may open the drop-down menu with the arrow on the right and select a profile from the full list as usual.

    Context menus
    A right click on an entry in a table opens a context menu with useful tools specific to the respective table.

    Forward and backward icons
    The two buttons with forward and backward icons at the bottom left allow switching between all opened dialogs similar to the forward and backward buttons of a browser.

    Troubleshooting
    ZePrA automatically checks all settings for errors and inconsistencies, such as missing profiles or incorrectly set rendering intents. In the lower part of the window, a warning message appears that briefly describes the problem and offers a solution. You can then decide whether to ignore the error or have ZePrA fix it automatically.

    For detailed information visit Troubleshooting.

    Screen Preview
    Shows a real color display of your files on the monitor. Also overprinting elements and transparency effects are taken into account. More information about the integrated softproofing can be found in the tutorial Softproofing PDF image files.