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 | PantoneLive EN

    PantoneLIVE

    Access PantoneLIVE libraries in ZePrA

    Access PantoneLIVE libraries in ZePrA

    PantoneLIVE® by X-Rite is a cloud-based solution for the digital storage of spectral spot colors. This applies both for Pantone Guides, paper-dependent, so-called ‘Dependent Standards’, as well as specific color libraries of brand owners.

    Note: The use of PantoneLIVE requires a license for both the spot color module of ZePrA as well as a PantoneLIVE Production license from X-Rite. Activate your licenses in your My X-Rite account for use in ZePrA. See below for more details on the activation process.

    Importing PantoneLIVE libraries

    To import PantoneLIVE spot colors from the cloud into ZePrA, proceed as follows:

    1. Select Spot Color Libraries from the sidebar and click on PantoneLIVE.

    2. In the Login section you can either login using the User Name registered with Pantone or your e-mail address and your Password.

      Note: The login requires an active Internet connection and an activated PantoneLIVE license for ZePrA.
    3. If your company uses a proxy server you can enter the required proxy settings under Proxy before logging in.

      Setting proxy server for PantoneLIVE

    4. Your libraries will be displayed after successfully logging in.
    5. Select the libraries to import and use in ZePrA by enabling the corresponding check boxes. Then click Update. The spot colors will be downloaded from the cloud while the progress is shown in the lower part of the window under Status. Imported libraries are marked as up to date while libraries which have not been imported are marked as not used.
      Note: Depending on the number of selected spot colors and the speed of your internet connection this may take some time. The dialog cannot be closed during download.
    6. Once the selected libraries have been downloaded, you can close the dialog. Your PantoneLIVE libraries are now displayed under Libraries in the Manage Spot Color Libraries dialog and can easily be distinguished from other libraries by the Pantone icon.
    Characteristics and use of PantoneLIVE libraries
    • PantoneLIVE libraries can only be used in ZePrA while you are logged into PantoneLIVE. Once logged out, the libraries can no longer be used.
    • As long as ZePrA is connected to the internet and you are logged into PantoneLIVE, imported PantoneLIVE libraries can be used without limitation.
    • If you have not logged off from PantoneLIVE but the internet connection is interrupted, already imported PantoneLIVE libraries can be used until the expiration date. Typically, this is for one month. The remaining days are shown in the Information column. However, it is recommended to log in again as soon as possible to be informed about potential color updates or to prevent error messages because the libraries are not available.
    • The revision number of PantoneLIVE libraries is displayed in the column Revision of the PantoneLIVE dialog and for already imported libraries in the column Information of the Manage Spot Color Libraries dialog. Additionally, the PantoneLIVE dialog indicates the Brand Owner and the column Dependent Standard Code shows a letter combination. This Code provides further information, among others the printing process and the paper of the selected library.
    • When the revision number changes, or when spot colors have been updated in the cloud, the Status of the affected libraries will change in the PantoneLIVE dialog from up to date to needs update. In this case, click on Update and the libraries will be updated in ZePrA.
    • Standard libraries can be edited in ZePrA, which means that spot colors can be copied, modified, deleted, or exported from one library to another, and Lab values can be edited. This is not the intention of PantoneLIVE libraries and are prevented by ZePrA.
    • The Lab values of PantoneLIVE spot colors are displayed as rounded numbers in ZePrA; however, internally ZePrA calculates the spectral measurement values with full accuracy.
    • To aid recognition of PantoneLIVE libraries, these libraries are marked with a PL: in the drop-down menus of the sub-dialogs under Configuration and in the Spot Color Report.
    PantoneLIVE licenses in ZePrA

    ZePrA allows direct access to PantoneLIVE®. A ZePrA spot color module license and an active PantoneLIVE® Production license from X-Rite are required. PantoneLIVE® libraries will then be available for use in ZePrA.

    PantoneLIVE licenses are computer-bound and may even be application bound. If the computer (and ZePrA) is not enabled, you will receive the following error message in ZePrA (see screenshot):

    To activate a PantoneLIVE license, open the page My PantoneLIVE of your My X-Rite account. The list with available licenses is found at the bottom of the page. If an Unused license is present, click Edit. This opens the dialog for this license, and you have two options to activate it:

    1. Activate the license by selecting Use this activation yourself and click on Done. In ZePrA, you can close the error message with Cancel and login again. Since the activation has already been done on the My X-Rite website, entering the activation code is not required.
    2. Do not change anything on the My PantoneLIVE website, simply copy the Activation Code and paste it into the error message in ZePrA. Then close the dialog box with OK. In this case, ZePrA completes the activation. The activation may be visible only after re-logining in on the My PantoneLIVE page.

    Please check this YouTube video for the licensing procedure.

    In case of problems with licensing please contact the X-Rite support.

    ZePrA | Tools | Spot Color Report

    Spot Color Report

    Review accuracy of spot color conversion

    Spot Color Report

    Overview

    The spot color report shows the results achieved with a spot color conversion in relation to deltaE00, deltaE76, and the separation into process colors. This allows the accuracy of spot color conversions to be checked before processing or printing, and to determine in advance how ZePrA converts spot colors (e.g. Pantone® or other spot colors).

    Procedure

      1. Configurations: Select one or more configurations from the list which contain all settings for the conversion. Only Configurations which have spot color conversion enabled are displayed in the list.
      2. Select a single PDF or image file, a spot color library or multiple files under Source Data.
        PDF or Image File: Select the PDF or pixel image file with spot colors to be processed using the settings of the selected configuration.
        Library: Select the spot color library to be converted using the settings of the selected configuration.
        File List: Add multiple files which will be checked simultaneously.
      3. Select the Sort order.
        Sorts the list according to various criteria. When sorting by Delta E, spot colors with the lowest dE are listed at the top, and the highest dE at the bottom.
      4. Create the report. It can be created in various formats (PDF, XML, Text, CGATS or Color Exchange Format).
        Save: Creates the spot color report and saves it. Optionally, a Preview can be created beforehand.

      Best Configuration: The configuration with the lowest maximum deltaE00 will be automatically determined and listed as Best Configuration on top of the report.

      Overview: The Preview and the spot color PDF report show an Overview and a Best Configuration section that describes how the file(s) were processed with the various user-selectable configurations.

      Process File(s): Selected files can be processed directly from the Spot Color Report window with the best configuration. The files are automatically moved to the Input folder of the corresponding configuration and automatically processed.

      The spot color report shows the results achieved with a spot color conversion in relation to deltaE00, deltaE76, and the separation into process colors.

      Note: When creating the report, all spot color settings made in the Configurations are used, including manual settings and warnings. Colors with warnings are displayed in red deltaE values.

      A table of contents (TOC) in the PDF report file allows easy navigation to the details of each configuration. This is especially helpful in getting directly to the details of the individual configuration results if a spot color library has hundreds or even thousands of spot colors that have been evaluated.

      Features to streamline production

      Different configurations can be set up, for example for printing with the same printer but using different target profiles with CMYK, 5 colors, 6 colors or 7 colors. Then the production PDF file(s) can be checked with all possible color configurations. It may be found that the production PDF file(s) do not need 7C, but are already well suited with a certain set of 5 colors or even CMYK.

      This way, many clicks in digital printing or many plate productions in conventional printing could be saved. After checking the file(s) and determining the best matching configurations, the file(s) can be automatically processed with the configurations having the lowest maximum DeltaE directly from the Spot Color Report dialog.

      Spot Color Report Example: The screenshot shows the preview for processing spot colors with two different configurations. All spot colors found in the PDF file are included. One configuration uses a CMYK target profile and the other a 7C target profile. The report shows that in this case the 7C profile is much better suited for simulating the spot colors of the PDF file.

      ZePrA | SaveInk Report

      SaveInk Report

      Information on ink saving

      Creating SaveInk Reports

      SaveInk reports give a detailed overview of the ink savings of all SaveInk queues and jobs processed. To create a report select SaveInk Report in the sidebar.

       

      Ink savings on all SaveInk queues

      Procedure

      1. Select SaveInk-Report in the Sidebar.
      2. Enter a file name and select the format. The report can be created as PDF (default), TXT, HTML or XML. Then specify the save location.
      3. Click Save and the ink saving report will be generated.

      Summary: Shows the ink saving for all files for each SaveInk queue and for all queues.

      Ink Saving per Queue and Job: Shows details of individual queues and jobs.

      Note: The percentage calculations in the SaveInk Report refer only to the CMYK components. Transparency effects, overprinting elements, and spot colors are not taken into account.

      ZePrA | Extract ICC Profile

      Extract ICC Profile

      Extracting ICC profiles from PDF/X files

      Extracting ICC Profiles

      The Extract ICC Profile tool extracts and saves profiles that are embedded in images or output intents of PDF/X files. Embedded profiles that do not exist separately as ICC profiles but are embedded in image or PDF files can be extracted and used, for example, This feature allows embedded profiles that are generally embedded in image and PDF files to be extracted and used, e.g., to create DeviceLink or SaveInk profiles.

      Extracting an ICC profile

       

      Procedure

      1. Click the Extract ICC Profile icon in the Sidebar.
      2. Select the File (PDF, JPEG, TIFF, PSB, or PSD) containing the embedded profile, or  drag-and-drop the file into the selection window.
      3. The embedded ICC Profile, the PDF/X Version, and the Output Condition are displayed. The embedded profile can be saved with Extract.