ZePrA | Apply Photoshop color corrections to PDF files

Apply Photoshop color corrections to PDF files

In some applications it is not possible to use measurement based DeviceLink profiles. This is true, for example, if a customer brings print data and a print that should be as accurate as possible in the production run without a correct proof. If you view the print data on a monitor with a soft proof of the print standard for the production run, clear deviations from the print that you have brought with you can become visible.

In this case you could either print outside the standard and try to recreate the default – either by making gradation corrections in ZePrA or by using the capabilities of the printing press – or print inside the standard by applying Photoshop corrections to the PDF file. The latter has the advantage that you can proof the color-corrected data according to the standard and have it approved by the customer. This procedure requires an experienced Photoshop user and CoPrA’s Editing tool.

For a test with production data the demo version of the programs can also be used. To do this, meaningful objects must be combined from the existing PDF data into one file in Photoshop and combined with CoPrA’s test chart (EditTarget). This test file is then corrected under softproof conditions on the monitor. The edited image is imported into CoPrA and the corrections are taken into account in the created DeviceLink profile.

Then the DeviceLink profile can be used in ZePrA to correct the color of the original PDF data. If necessary, the corrections can be approved by the customer on a proof before printing. The printer can work as usual according to standard and reach the proof reliably.

The individual steps are described in detail in the chapter How to create DeviceLink profiles with edited charts in the CoPrA Help.

ZePrA | Proofing

Proofing

Color-consistent simulation of the printing result

Proofing

ZePrA’s sophisticated technology – e.g. the quality of DeviceLink and SmartLink profiles and the spot color rendering of its advanced spot color module – can be used for proofing as well. This is especially useful as many RIPs do not support CxF/X-4 data and SCTV calibration nor have a spectral color prediction model for spot color rendering.

The Proofing tab under Configuration contains all Media wedge settings and the Proofing Information label.

Media Wedges

Two types of media wedges can be used:

  1. Media Wedge in Simulation Color Space: Can be used to determine the accuracy of the proof. This media wedge is converted based on the color management setting defined in the various configuration tabs.
  2. Media Wedge in Proofer Color Space: Allows using a second media wedge that is not color managed. It must be in the color space of the proofer and can be used to determine the stability of the proof printer.

Choose a Media Wedge.The media wedge is added outside the document’s media box to verify the proof. This can either be a dynamic or an external media wedge.

Dynamic Media Wedge: Uses the color space information of the simulation color space and dynamically adds all spot colors of the documents to be processed. The required reference files for measuring the wedges are created on-the-fly by ZePrA. They will be saved in the Folder for Report and other Data folder of the proofing queue that has automatically been set up by the Auto Setup Wizard.

The reference files for dynamic media wedges contain both the device values (DCS values) and the target Lab values. The target Lab values are also calculated for the spot colors of the job and incorporated into the reference file in addition to the color values of the document color space. This is done according to the settings under Configurations > Options (solid tone only or gradation values as well) and Configurations > Spot Colors.

The measured values obtained can then be immediately compared to the target Lab values (e.g. in ColorAnt/Compare). Use these reference files in appropriate tools, such as ColorAnt’s Measure Tool, for measuring.

Note: Reference files are not created when the report folder Folder for Report and other Data is missing. If you convert a normal queue by enabling proofing, you must create this folder manually so that a reference file can be created. If this folder is missing, no reference file can be created.

Reference files are created for each job in the queue and named as follows:

Jobname_DynamicMediaWedgeReferenceSource
Jobname_DynamicMediaWedgeReferenceTarget

If dynamic media wedges are selected for source and target color spaces, two reference files for each job will be created.

Note: If the same job is run again, the reference file will be overwritten. This means that if the spot color patches are changed under Options, a modified reference file is saved, and any previous conversion with the reference file with a different number of patches is lost.
The use of spot colors for the dynamic media wedge can be defined under Options 

Media Wedge from File: Can be media wedges such as the FOGRA, UGRA, Idealliance* or other media wedges. For external media wedges, the corresponding reference file is required to measure the printed wedge. Measurements can be done with any proof evaluation software or with ColorAnt’s Measure Tool.

*The IDEAlliance ISO 12647-7 Control Wedge 2013 is included in ZePrA and available under /Users/Shared/ColorLogic/MediaWedges (Idealliance ISO 12647-7: 2013, 3-Row Digital Control Wedge ® is a registered trademark of the Idealliance).

Note: A separate ColorAnt license is required to use the measurement and comparison features.

Proofing Information: Enabling this checkbox will add text information which are in accordance with ISO 12647-7 such as information about the job, date and time, conversion settings and the software used. The information that will be added to the converted file can be verified and edited in the text field. For editing switch to Custom.

Position: The two media wedges and the proofing information label can be positioned independently on the converted document. For each of these 3 elements, the user can specify where it should be placed. Positioning options are: Automatic, Bottom Margin, Right Margin, Top Margin, Left Margin. The elements are placed outside the media box of the document according to this setting. This results in an enlarged media box in the converted document. Automatic is suggested as default settings for all 3 elements to make sure that they are placed together on the converted job.

Options: General settings and settings for Dynamic Media Wedges can be defined unter Options.

Media Wedge Options

General

Font Size: Defines the font size used for the proofing information label in points.

White Space: Allows the placement of margins on media wedges by entering a user-defined distance in mm. By default a white space of 15 mm is added. This ensures that enough white space is added on the left and right of the placed media wedges which some instruments need for correct measuring. The White Space margin applies both to external and dynamic media wedges.
Note: If the external media wedge already has a margin, we recommend entering 0 mm as White Space. As a rule of thumb the white space in millimeters for dynamic media wedges should be at least the size of the Patch Width. The white space of the Media Wedge in Simulation Color Space is color managed whereas the white space of the Media Wedge in Proofer Color Space is not.

Place on every page: For multi-page PDF files media wedges can be placed on each page. By disabling the checkbox media wedges will be placed on the first page of the PDF only.

Dynamic Media Wedges

Defines the Default Chart Width, the Patch Width and the Patch Height of the dynamic wedge.

Gap Size: To separate individual patches. Select the width in mm.

Patch Distribution: Defines the distribution of patches on the media wedge.

  • Randomize: Color patches are distributed randomly.
  • Normal: Color patches are distributed as specified in the reference file.
  • Sorted: Color patches are sorted from light to dark.

Patches per Spot Color: Defines whether spot colors are to be used in the dynamic media wedge and, if so, whether tints are to be used.

  • None: No spot color is added to the dynamic wedge.
  • Solid Tone: Only the solid tone of each spot color in the job is used in the dynamic wedge.
  • 3 Patches: Uses the following patches for each spot color: 100%, 70%, 40%.
  • 5 Patches: Uses the following patches for each spot color: 100%, 70%, 40%, 20%, 10%.

Exclude Colors from dynamic wedges: Spot colors are used in documents for various reasons besides printing purposes, e.g. to illustrate the DIE cut lines, or varnish, braille or other non printing elements. Obviously, those colors are not to be used in the dynamic media wedge. To avoid using them in media wedges, create a library (or more if needed) containing all spot colors to be excluded and select it (or them) from the list under Exclude Colors from dynamic wedges. This list contains all spot color libraries managed by ZePrA. Enable the checkboxes of only those libraries which contain the colors to be excluded.

The selected libraries containing the colors to be excluded are also applied to spot colors of external media wedges. Typically, if the Document Color Space is Multicolor, ZePrA assignes the channels of the Document Color Space to the channels of the media wedge. This is intended in most cases, e.g. if a 7C media wedge with generic channel names is used for a 7C Document Color Space in such a way that the channels are associated. However, this is not intended in case a spot color White is to be used as 5th channel and the 5th channel in the Multicolor profile of the Document Color Space is called Orange (for example). To retain the white spot colors an exclusion library which contains White as non-printing color can be selected.

ZePrA | Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Detect and resolve errors

Overview

To prevent errors and problems when processing files, ZePrA checks configurations and hot folders as well as settings and licenses.

If errors or problems are detected, an error message appears in the lower left of the ZePrA window.

If you click on this message, the error is displayed. If several errors are detected, a list of all errors is displayed.

Another click on the corresponding message opens the Troubleshooting dialog, which lists possible solutions to the problem found, which can then be applied to resolve the error.

Causes of errors

Errors can occur, for example, if certain profiles (or spot color libraries) are used in a configuration without embedding them in the configuration, and this configuration is then transferred to a computer on which these profiles (or spot color libraries) are not available. It is then not possible to process files with this configuration.

But certain combinations in the settings can also cause problems.

ZePrA therefore checks:

  • Configurations
  • Settings
  • Hotfolder (all required folders must be available)
  • Profiles (all required profiles must be available on the computer)
  • Gradation curves (all required gradation curves must be available on the computer)
  • Licenses (all required licenses must be available on the computer, depending on the job this can be SmartLink, Multicolor, spot color or SaveInk licenses)
  • Spot color libraries (all required spot color libraries must be available on the computer)

Troubleshooting

In the Troubleshooting dialog, the identified problem is described and options for solving the problem are suggested.

Some problems can occur in multiple configurations and can be solved immediately for all affected configurations, for example, when using the Perceptual Rendering intent in combination with SmartLink.

Click on the message to open the Troubleshooting dialog. Here, by selecting the Solve the issue automatically checkbox, you can switch all affected configurations to Standard Compression without having to change each configuration individually.

ZePrA | Push 2 ZePrA

Push-2-ZePrA

Process PSD files directly from Photoshop

What is Push-2-ZePrA ?

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

Push-2-ZePrA System Requirements
  • macOS X 10.9 and higher
  • Windows 7 and higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 and higher.
  • ColorLogic ZePrA 7.x and higher – must be installed on the same computer where Photoshop is installed and a valid license for ZePrA must be used.
Installation
  1. Use the installer for macOS or Windows for your respective operating system.
  2. Close Photoshop before installation and follow the easy-to-use installer.
  3. Once installed, start Photoshop, go to Windows/Extension and select Push-2-ZePrA to open the extension.
  4. Default location installation: If ZePrA 7 has been installed at the default location on your computer and a valid license has been loaded in ZePrA, it is ready.
  5. Non-default installations: If the extension does not locate ZePrA application, a blue warning message will display underneath the Convert button. To find the ZePrA installation use the fly out menu of the extension and select ZePrA Path… Navigate to the ZePrA.app on macOS or zcmd.exe on Windows and select it. After that, you are ready to go.
Using Push-2-ZePrA
  1. Open up an image in Photoshop to be color converted.
  2. Click on the Push-2-ZePrA extension.
  3. Select a ZePrA Configuration from the drop down menu. The drop down list will show all the configurations set up in ZePrA.
  4. Choose a configuration that fits your requirements in terms of Target Color Space and Photoshop Layers retaining. This information is shown below the drop down menu and picked from the selected configuration.
  5. Click Convert.
  6. After a few seconds, the converted file will be opened up in Photoshop.
    Note: The converted file will be saved at the same location as the original file and the configuration name will be appended to the original file name.
  7. If the original file has been edited or copied in Photoshop without saving, a temporary file needs to be created from the extension and the converted file will be placed in a predefined output folder.
    This folder is typically located under $HOME/Documents/Push-2-ZePrA/Output. Via the fly out menu of the extension, you can open that folder (Open Output Folder…) or set the path to your own preferred folder (Set custom Output Folder…).
    This folder is only used for converted files that have been edited in Photoshop but not saved before using the extension.
    Using the Push-2-ZePrA extension immediately after editing in Photoshop will cause the converted file to be saved in the specified folder. If the user prefers to save the converted file in the same location as the original, this is accomplished by saving the edited file prior to conversion.
    Note: The Command Line Interface (CLI) from ZePrA is used for the conversion but not the ZePrA application itself. That means you won’t find any of the images that have been converted via the Push-2-ZePrA extension in the ZePrA Overview dialog or hot folders of the ZePrA application.
Best Practices

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

Selecting the Direct Color Conversion option

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

Error Handling

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

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

ZePrA | 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

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.

ZePrA’s Tools menu

Export Configurations: Opens the Export Environment window.
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.

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.

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.

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).

Help

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).

ZePrA’s Help menu

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.

ZePrA | Job Warnings

Job Warnings

Customize job warnings for configurations

Customize Job Warnings for Configurations

In general, job warnings and error messages will be issued when problems or errors occur while processing a file. Files with a yellow warning in the Overview window have been processed but may have issues. They are placed in the Output Folder. Alternatively, when configuring the Queue, define an Output Folder with Warnings, where such files will be moved after processing. Incorrectly processed files, fatal errors or unsupported file types are highlighted in red and are moved to the Error Folder.

The list contains all existing warning messages. Their behavior can be customized independently for any configuration, for example if you don’t want a warning message for a certain problem or if you feel that a problem is so serious that it should better be treated like an error.

Note: The behavior of error messages can’t be changed.

Job Warnings can be adjusted individually: Right click on the desired job warning to open the context menu. Select Inactive, Active or Active (Treat as Error).

Inactive: Deactivates the job warning in the selected configuration. The Overview window no longer displays a yellow warning.

Active: Activates the job warning in the selected configuration.

Active (Treat as Error): Treats the associated problem like an error. The file will be highlighted in red and moved to the Error Folder.

Reset: Resets the changed warnings to the default settings.