ColorAnt | Evaluate

Evaluate - Proof Evaluation

Evaluation of Proof Measurement Data

Evaluate – Proof Evaluation

The Evaluate tool can be used to check whether the proof measurement data from a media wedge fulfills the requirements for a contract proof according to ISO 12647-7 or a validation print according to ISO 12647-8.

In addition, a PSD evaluation can be performed using two different evaluation methods: “Side-by-Side” or “Media Relative”.

Moreover, the Evaluation Method G7 gray balance allows the measurement data to be checked for G7® conformity.

Finally, a fully detailed report can be created with a pass/fail indicator.

Notes

  • The Proof Evaluate tool supports all color spaces including Multicolor and spot colors. It is a powerful addition to ZePrA’s proofing feature, as it allows you to use the reference files of the dynamic media wedges created by ZePrA for proof evaluation.
  • For redundant measurement values, the median is determined and all duplicates (i.e., all patches with identical DCS values) are removed before evaluation.
    This procedure prevents duplicates as well as outliers from unjustifiably influencing the proof evaluations.
  • The Evaluate tool supports all color spaces as either reference data or reference ICC profile. In addition, it checks whether the selected wedge is actually suitable for evaluation and displays a corresponding message.
  • The Evaluate tool is available from ColorAnt L.

The Evaluation tab immediately shows the categories related to the chosen standard, the deltas to the reference, and a score with either a ✓ (passed) or an ✕(failed).

An overall score indicates if the proof has passed or failed.

There are two ways of selecting your reference:  

  • Choose reference data: This drop-down menu contains all data loaded under Data Sets that fit the selected proof measurement data as a reference, which means the number of patches and the color space must match. Select the reference that you want to compare with the selected media wedge measurement data. If dynamic media wedges were used in ZePrA, the corresponding reference data can be used for the proof evaluation in ColorAnt.

    Using reference data from ZePrA:
    1. Open the reference file of the ZePrA configuration in ColorAnt. It is located in ZePrA’s Report folder of the corresponding queue.
    2. Select Measure to measure the media wedge in the proof printout
    3. Open the resulting measurement file and click the Evaluate button.
    4. Select the original reference file from ZePrA under Choose reference data in the Proof Evaluation window.
  • Choose reference ICC profile: This drop-down menu contains all ICC profiles that fit the selected proof measurement data as reference in terms of the same color space. Choose the reference ICC profile that you want to compare with the selected media wedge measurement data.
    Note: The ICC profile is used to create virtual reference values (absolute colorimetric). Depending on the accuracy of the ICC profile, the quality of the reference data can vary from very exact (e.g., CMYK profiles created by CoPrA) to less exact (e.g., small Multicolor profiles).  

Evaluation method: Select a method to either evaluate a Contract Proof according to the ISO 12647-7 standard, a Validation Print according to the ISO 12647-8 standard, to evaluate your data according to Fogra’s PSD standard (ProcessStandard Digital), or to check the measurement data for G7® conformity. The PSD standard is based on the tolerances defined by Fogra and provides guidelines to increase process stability in digital printing. Further information can be found on the Fogra website.

ISO 12647-7 (Contract Proof 2016): For the evaluation of a binding contract proof use this method. 

ISO 12647-8 (Validation Print 2021): Checks the conformance of printing systems that produce a hard-copy validation print, directly from digital data, which is intended to simulate the expected appearance of material printed per a characterized printing condition. The method considers the latest tolerances published in 2021.

G7 gray balance: This method checks the measurement data for G7® conformity to ensure accurate and consistent color reproduction. G7® is an internationally recognized method for calibrating printing presses and proofing systems.

Notes

  • Recently, other visualizations of the final printed product have found a place in the printing/proofing workflow because designers and print buyers prefer not to go to the expense of using an ISO 12647-7 compliant contract proof any earlier in the process than necessary. In many situations, participants in the workflow require a hardcopy visual reference of lesser quality than a contract proof. In the past, those prints varied widely in quality and were often referred to as design proofs, concept proofs, layout prints, etc. That quality level is here being referred to as a validation print.
  • The All Patches ratings do not include Boundary Patches for wedge evaluations.
  • Wedge evaluation: For small charts with less than 150 patches, such as Media Wedges, all Boundary Patches are omitted.
  • Chart evaluation: For larger charts with more than 150 patches, such as the IT-8, the Boundary Patches are taken into account.

PSD Evaluation

The PSD reflects the different customer requirements for the degree of color match with three different quality levels, the quality types A, B and C. Here, A represents a better approximation than B, which in turn is better than C. The overall rating depends on the lowest rated Category. If a value exceeds the tolerance limit, a red X indicates that the evaluation has failed. Quality types A to C thus indicate that all values are within the respective tolerances and that the evaluation has passed (shown in shades of green).

This gradual evaluation of the quality with regard to color reproduction can be achieved with two different evaluation methods: Side-by-Side or Media Relative.

PSD Evaluation (FOGRA PSD 2022 Side-by-Side): Side-by-side is a long-established method based on simultaneous and immediately adjacent color matching. The deviation tolerances apply to the comparison of the target values, defined by the color reference, and the measured values of the OK sheet.

From the Fogra PSD Handbook: Deviation tolerances for Side-by-Side reproductions. Version: PSD 2022

From the Fogra PSD Handbook: CIEDE2000 tolerances for spot colors. Version: PSD 2022

PSD Evaluation (FOGRA PSD 2022 Media Relative): The media-relative evaluation consists of two steps. First, the similarity between the reference and the current output color gamut is checked using the white and black points. A similarity is mandatory to perform the colorimetric evaluation in the second step.

From the Fogra PSD Handbook: CIELAB tolerances for gamut differences to check if media-relative is applicable. The color differences for the white color are very similar when using ΔE ab or CIEDE2000. The CIEDE2000 tolerances shall take precedence. CIELAB 1976 color differences are given in brackets. Version: PSD 2022

The calculation of the media-relative CIELAB color values only takes place if the criteria specified for the first step are met. They are the starting point for the final color evaluation based on all control patches in the second step.

From the Fogra PSD Handbook: Deviation tolerances for media-relative reproductions. Version: PSD 2022

Note: Reliable results can only be achieved with absolute colorimetric measurement data, so please do not use relative or scaled (e.g., converted with perceptual rendering intent) measurement data.

Specify spot colors: When evaluating Multicolor measurement data, the additional colors can be evaluated as process colors or as spot colors. In most cases, with typical Multicolor media wedges, all colors are process colors, but with ZePrA-created dynamic media wedges, additional spot colors may also be included in the file.
Specify spot colors opens a dialog where you can define whether a color is included in the selected Evaluation Method calculation as a Process color or as a Spot color.

By default, all channels of Multicolor data are defined as process colors and included in the evaluation All Patches.

However, if spot colors are present and should not be treated as process colors, e.g., in the case of dynamic media wedges in ZePrA, they can be defined as spot colors. In this case, they are not included in the All Patches evaluation, but are evaluated separately and displayed in a separate Spot color evaluation line.

Note: The button for the Specify spot colors dialog is shown for Multicolor data only.

Report

The available input fields depend on the selected Evaluation method. Enter the required information according to the selected ISO standard.

Save Report: Saves the report in the location and format (PDF, HTML, XML) specified in Settings.

The report contains all the information that you have entered, the summary from the evaluation dialog, a list of all patches with their names or IDs, the device color space, the Lab reference values, the Lab measurement value and the delta.

Label

Allows you to print a label with the evaluation results directly from within ColorAnt. The tab shows a preview of the label to be printed. The label contains the data entered in the Report tab and a table with the data from the Evaluation tab. It also indicates if the print is Accepted or if the evaluation has failed (X) and provides space for a signature.

Note: The label layout is optimized for DYMO 99012 labels (format 89mm x 36mm). For other formats, adjustments may be necessary to achieve optimum results.

Video Tutorial

How to Use the Proof Evaluation Tool in ColorAnt in combination with ZePrA

Learn step-by-step how to use the Proof Evaluation tool in ColorAnt for the evaluation of a proofing media wedge created with ZePrA. In this example, we will be demonstrating the special feature of ZePrA to create a dynamic media wedge using process and spot colors and how to use the supplied reference data from ZePrA for evaluation of a Contract Proof.

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

System Requirements for Push-2-ZePrA version 3

  • macOS 10.15 and higher
  • Windows 10 and higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 and higher.
  • ZePrA 11
  • Supported file formats: TIFF, JPEG, PSD and PSB
  • Unsupported file formats: PNG, PDF and EPS
  • On macOS systems with M1/M2 Apple Silicon processors make sure that you start Photoshop via Rosetta. The Push-2-ZePrA extension does not run natively on M1/M2 chips.

System Requirements for Push-2-ZePrA version 1 and 2

  • macOS 10.13 and higher
  • Windows 8 and higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 and higher.
  • Supported file formats: TIFF, JPEG, PSD and PSB
  • Unsupported file formats: PNG, PDF and EPS
  • On macOS systems with M1/M2 Apple Silicon processors make sure that you start Photoshop via Rosetta. The Push-2-ZePrA extension does not run natively on M1/M2 chips.
  • 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: Push-2-ZePrA 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 Entry, Basic and L, the Push-2-ZePrA 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.

Note: The installer on macOS systems will take an additional step to prepare Photoshop. Hence Photoshop must be closed before installation. The warning message is displayed twice. Just click the Allow button twice to install.

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.
    Note: A search option is available here, where any number and letter can be entered and only the configurations containing these numbers and letters are listed in the drop-down menu below. This makes it easier to search for specific configurations, especially if the list of configurations in ZePrA is very long.
  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.

    Push-2-ZePrA is network capable from version 2. This eliminates the need for ZePrA to be installed on the same computer as Photoshop.

    ZePrA 9 and higher have 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.
      Note: A search option is available here, where any number and letter can be entered and only the configurations containing these numbers and letters are listed in the drop-down menu below. This makes it easier to search for specific configurations, especially if the list of configurations in ZePrA is very long.
    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. When updating Photoshop to a newer version, the Push-2-ZePrA extension may no longer be loaded. In this case, it is recommended to re-install the Push-2-ZePrA extension.
    2. The Push-2-ZePrA Photoshop extension version 3 is only executable with ZePrA 11.
    3. The maximum file size that can be processed via the remote connection using the zcmdServer of ZePrA 10 is 512 MB. Larger files can be processed directly via ZePrA Queues.
    4. The zcmdServer included in ZePrA 11 allows the processing of image files up to a size of 2 GB.
    5. Please do not use the zcmdServers of ZePrA 10 and 11 at the same time. Make sure the server in ZePrA 10 is stopped (click the Stop button in the Server Settings dialog). After that open the Server Settings dialog in ZePrA 11 and click on Start to activate the zcmdServer of ZePrA 11.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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. TIFF, JPEG, PSD and PSB. Unsupported file formats, such as PNG, PDF or EPS, will generate file format errors.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.

    ColorAnt | Color Editor

    Color Editor

    Manual editing of patches and best possible spot color conversion

    Color Editor

    The Color Editor tool covers several applications:

    1. Best possible conversion of colors (usually spot colors) using ICC profiles.
    2. Saving spot colors converted with Color Editor in various color formats for use in other applications.
    3. Manually changing color names.
    4. Manually changing Lab values and device values assigned to a color patch.
    5. Adding or removing color patches.

    Overview of the Color Editor

    On the left side is a table with the colors of the loaded measurement file. It contains the following information:

    • Color: Name of the color
    • Measurement: Measured color values in Lab (spectral values are retained but shown as Lab)
    • Current (DCS): Specifies the current device values. Displays the device values after applying the settings and functions on the right side.
    • Profile (DCS): Displays the device values resulting from a conversion using the selected profile on the right-hand side.
    • dE00 (Current): Displays the absolute colorimetric DeltaE 2000 values, which result from the measured Lab values and the current device values.

    Single, multiple or all color values can be selected in the table and then edited with the tools on the right. The color table can be sorted by Color or dE00 (Current) by clicking on the column headings.

    Below the table are two buttons to Add or Delete patches as well as the Invert Selection button.

    Invert Selection: Provides a quick and easy way to reduce a large number of displayed colors of a large data set to only a few colors. Simply select the desired color patches, click Invert Selection followed by the Delete button. Now you are working on your individual color selection.

    Search: Helps to find and edit specific colors of large data sets. Type in the name of the desired color and the list will show only colors with those name components.

    Tip: Combine the Search with Invert Selection

    If, for example, you would like to edit all colors with the name component ‘Red’ of a Pantone library as a small list, enter ‘Red’ in the Search.

    Select the colors found, then delete the search term and click on Invert Selection.

    By pressing the Delete button, only the colors with the name component ‘Red’ remain in the list. All others are removed.

    Spot Color Report: Generates a PDF report that can be used to check the conversion of spot colors before actually printing.

    The spot color report shows the results achieved by 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 spot colors (e.g., Pantone® or HKS and other colors) of specific PDF and image files are converted.

    A spot color library with multiple spot colors such as Pantone, HKS or other colors can be color converted with a target ICC profile to check for the resulting process color breakdowns (DCS). The report provides the color name for each spot color, the process color breakdowns, the expected deltaE2000 and deltaE76 values, and an overall evaluation in terms of average and maximum deltaEs.  It also includes the median and how many colors are reproduced within a tolerance of 1 and 2.5 dE00 as well as within the user-defined dE00 limit.

    The report also contains an information column that shows, among other things, whether a color is out of gamut.

    Measurement Information

    Shows the Name, the measured Lab value (CIE) and the current device value (DCS) including the color space for the selected color field.


    Color Conversion Settings

    After selecting an ICC Profile, first the DCS values are calculated using the Absolute Colorimetric rendering intent.

    However, these are not always the best possible color values, neither with regard to the smallest DeltaE nor to printability.

    Therefore, various optimization modes are available in the Color Conversion Settings, which can be applied to the colors selected on the left side of the table.

    It is also possible to apply different modes and colors to individual colors.

    Define the Profile and the Mode for the conversion of the measured values. Six modes are available for the color conversion:

    1. Precise Match – Proofing
      Spot colors are reproduced as accurately as possible on a proof printer. This method is not suitable for production as it may use all process colors for spot color simulation to achieve the best result (based on DeltaE 2000). The full tone is calculated with the aim of achieving the smallest possible DeltaE 2000 value. No channel reduction or print optimization is applied.
    2. Visual Match – Utilize More Channels
      Produces visually the best possible conversion with high color accuracy and with excellent printing properties. Full tones of spot colors are converted with as few channels as possible and still remain colorimetrically accurate. This method is suitable for digital printing, large format inkjet printing or offset printing with a fine screen ruling and good register accuracy.
    3. Use the least Amount of Channels possible
      A good method to convert full tones of spot colors with a minimum number of channels and still get colorimetric accurate results. Choose this method for packaging printing where pure colors are desired. One or two-color combinations are also included in the search for the best possible color combination.
    4. Use one Output Channel only
      Useful for print packaging production. The spot colors used for text and bar codes will be converted using a maximum of one process color.
    5. Use a Maximum of two Channels
      Uses one or two output channels. Best for one or two process colors providing the best colorimetric match selected for each spot color automatically. The results are very clean separations that are easily printed, but not necessarily very exact in colorimetric terms. It is recommended to only use this function for individual, manually created spot colors.
    6. Use a Maximum of three Channels
      Uses one to three output channels. Similar to the calculation method Use the least Amount of Channels possible. No more than a maximum of three channels should be used. Choose this method for packaging printing, where the purest possible colors are to be produced and not more than three process colors for spot color conversion must be used. Single-color and two-color combinations are also included in the search for the best color combination.

    dE00 Limit: Colors exceeding the set threshold are marked with a warning symbol.


    Optimize Output Values

    Displays the current device values for the selected ICC profile.

    By clicking on dE76 or dE00 the deltaE can be minimized for each color.

    Automatic: Uses the selected ColorLogic calculation mode, typically reducing the number of channels for better printability.
    Note: By deactivating the checkboxes for the color channels, the values displayed in the number fields are fixed (for example 0% or 100%) so that they are not changed when applying dE76 or dE00. However, this does not apply to Automatic, here, all channels are always taken into account.

    Revert: Undoes all changes and reverts back to the original DCS values initially calculated using the selected ICC Profile.

    Color Information

    Displays various information about the selected color:

    Reference: Measured Lab value of the color
    Profile: Shows the color value calculated with the process colors of the target profile
    Current: Optimized color value of the process colors
    dE76: Expected color difference in DeltaE 76
    dE00: Expected color difference in DeltaE 2000
    Paper white simulation: Considers the coloration of the substrate for the target color space
    Note: It is recommended to activate the Paper white simulation.
    Divided color preview: The divided color preview shows how the original color (upper bar), the non-optimized color by means of the profile (left lower square), and the optimized color (right lower square) would look like when printing. The color preview is displayed in true colors on a calibrated and profiled monitor.

    Comparison of original color (Reference), non-edited color (Profile) and edited color (Current)

    Note: A warning message is displayed below the color preview when one of the three colors is out of the monitor’s gamut.

    After editing the measured values, a file with the optimized device and/or measured values is created by clicking on Start.

    Note: The Color Editor tool is grayed out if the file loaded under Data Sets does not contain any measured values. Once a single measurement file has been selected, it can be opened in the Color Editor (multiple files cannot be opened simultaneously).

    Color Editor Use Cases

    Example: Best possible conversion of (spot) colors

    Measurement data from spot colors loaded into ColorAnt can be converted into any color space using the Color Editor and ICC profiles. All color spaces including RGB, CMYK and Multicolor are supported.

    Note: The Conversion of Multicolor profiles requires an L license.

    To convert a spot color to RGB, CMYK or Multicolor, follow these steps:

    1. Load the measurement data file including individual full tone spot colors (for example a spot color library as CxF file) under Data Sets in ColorAnt, select the file and then click Color Editor.
    2. Under Color Conversion Settings, select the desired ICC Profile from the drop-down menu.
    3. The table on the left side fills with the device values. Initially, the device values are identical for Current (DCS) and Profile (DCS), since no optimizations have yet been made.
    4. Select the color you would like to optimize from the table and a Mode under Color Conversion Settings.
      The calculation mode specifies how ZePrA should convert one or more spot colors to the target color space.
    5. Choose one of the three modes described above. Under dE00 Limit, enter the threshold value in DeltaE 2000 from which colors in the table are to be marked with a warning symbol.

    6. The control panel Optimize Output Values shows the device values (Current DCS) calculated with the selected ICC profile. The calculation is always absolute colorimetric.

    7. Now click on Automatic to convert the colors using the selected calculation mode. Alternatively, perform the calculation according to DeltaE76 (dE76) or DeltaE 2000 (dE00). However, these two methods do not include ColorLogics high-quality calculation modes. The device values are displayed immediately after application of the calculation.

      By clicking on Revert the changes can be undone.
    8. The Color Information panel shows the measured Lab value of the color under Reference, the color value calculated with the process colors of the target profile under Profile and the optimized color value under Current. Additionally, the expected color difference is displayed in dE76 (DeltaE 76) and dE00 (DeltaE 2000). Activating the checkbox Paper white simulation takes the coloration of the substrate for the target color space into account. The calculation of the Lab values for Current and the color distance (DeltaE) are performed accordingly.
      Note: It is recommended to activate the Paper white simulation.
      Divided color preview: The divided color preview shows how the original color (upper bar), the non-optimized color by means of the profile (left lower square) and the optimized color (right lower square) would look like when printing. The color preview is displayed in true colors on a calibrated and profiled monitor.

      Comparison of original color (Reference), non-edited color (Profile) and edited color (Current)

    9. If you want to make fine adjustments, manually optimize the percentages in the Optimize Output Values control panel and see the effects directly under Color Information.
    10.  If you are satisfied with the optimization, continue optimizing more colors. Optimized colors are updated directly in the table. With a click on Start the editing is completed using the device values shown under Current (DCS) and the dialog will close. Please note that colors that have not been optimized will only be converted using the normal profile conversion and may therefore not achieve the best possible result.

    Specifics

    • If you would like to optimize several or all colors in the table at once, select the desired colors and click on the desired calculation (Automatic, dE76 or dE00).
    • If two or more colors are selected, device and color values are grayed out in the panels Optimize Output Values and Color Information.
    • If a file previously optimized with an ICC profile in the Color Editor is re-opened in Color Editor, the previously used ICC profile is preselected automatically.
    • If you change the ICC profile, typically, the device values have to be recalculated. To do so, activate the checkbox Recalculate DCS values and confirm with OK.

    Confirm recalculation of the DCS values

    Example: Saving color-converted spot colors to other formats
    Spot colors converted with Color Editor can be saved in various color formats supported by ColorAnt and used in other applications.

    •    CxF or CxF/X-4 for use in many modern applications
    •    Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) for use in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign
    •    ACO for use in Adobe Photoshop
    •    ICC Named Color Profiles for use in programs that support this special ICC format.

    The complete list of supported formats can be found here.

    Note: Spot colors converted with Color Editor contain the original color values (Lab or spectral values) and the optimized device values for the selected ICC profile.

    Example: Manual Editing

    The Color Editor also allows to manually change color patch names or color names, to manually change the measurements and device values associated with a color patch, and add or remove individual color patches. Make the appropriate changes in the topmost control panel Measurement Information.

    Under Name change the name of (spot) colors or color patches of test charts.

    Under
    CIE edit the measured values of the color, under DCS edit device values (if present). Typically, DCS values are not available in a pure spot color measurement file.

    Using the buttons below the table (Add, Delete), selected colors can be removed or one or more colors can be added. Added colors are placed at the end of the table. A default name and a medium gray are preselected, which can be changed under Measurement Information as required.

    Specifics

    • Measurements of profiling test charts often have no name designations. For such measurements, the Color Editor automatically adds an identifier, for example #1 for the first patch.

    • Spectral measurement data can also be edited in the Color Editor. They are then displayed as Lab values with D50/2 degree standard observers. In the final file, however, the spectral values are preserved.
    • If the CIE values of spectral measurements are edited as Lab values, the spectral properties of the color are retained.
    • We recommend not to change or optimize DCS values in test charts if the data is used for profiling purposes.
    • When selecting an ICC profile, typically, the device values don’t have to be recalculated. Deactivate the checkbox Recalculate DCS values and confirm with OK.

    Recalculating colors without changing the DCS values

    CoPrA | DeviceLink Profiling

    DeviceLink

    Create DeviceLinks for a variety of print methods

    Creating DeviceLinks

    Overview

    DeviceLink profiles offer some advantages in comparison to device profiles:

    • DeviceLink profiles perform a direct conversion between input and output color spaces. Color values or color combinations can be protected or individually customized and will only be altered where necessary.
    • DeviceLink profiles compensate for many weak points of conversions using ICC output profiles. For example, the DeviceLink allows preservation of the black channel so that black text is printed with black ink rather than using four inks.
    • Ink can be saved (SaveInk) or the total area coverage (TAC) reduced without altering other color areas.
    • In proofing iterated DeviceLinks also provide a substantially increased proof quality.

    Supported Color Systems

    CoPrA allows to create DeviceLinks for all types of color spaces Gray, RGB, CMYK and Multicolor. Cross color space profiles are also supported, such as RGB to CMYK, CMYK to Grayscale or RGB/CMYK to Multicolor.

    The following color systems are supported:

    • 2- and 3-color systems
    • 4-color systems with CMYK
    • 4-color systems with CMY + either Red or Green or Blue, without Black
    • 5-color systems: CMYK + either Red or Green or Blue
    • 5-colour systems: CMY + either Red+Green, Red+Blue or Green+Blue, without black
    • 6-colour systems: CMYK + either Red+Green, Red+Blue or Green+Blue
    • 6-colour systems: CMY + Red+Green+Blue, without Black
    • 7-colour systems: CMYK + Red+Green+Blue
    • 8-color systems: CMYK + Red+Orange+Green+Blue
    • 9-color systems: CMYK + Red+Orange+Green+Blue+Violet
    • The CMY channels can even be exchanged for other similar colors, e.g., Magenta for another reddish color or Yellow for Beige and so on.
    • Creation of DeviceLinks with up to 9 channels

    Arguably, the most important applications are conversions of CMYK-to-CMYK, RGB-to-CMYK, CMYK-to-Multicolor and Multicolor-to-Multicolor. DeviceLink profiles thus complement the color conversions of ‘typical’ ICC output profiles and are often used for special applications in order to achieve significantly better results, for example in conversions of CMYK data for various printing processes.

    ICC printer profiles are needed to create DeviceLink profiles. If you do not have printer profiles yet, you can easily create them in CoPrA (using the tool Printer Profiling from the sidebar).

    Select Source and Target Profile

    Select profiles

    A DeviceLink profile converts colors directly from the source to the target color space in a single profile. Every color value of the source color space is therefore directly converted into a specific color value of the target color space. Source and target color space can be different or identical depending on the intended use of the DeviceLink profile. The tool DeviceLink offers the following options:

    • Source Profile: Specifies the source profile for the conversion.
    • Target profile: Sets the target profile.
    • Setting: Select one of the PREDEFINED settings (for example Proofing or Print-to-Print) or an edited setting. Predefined settings can be modified and saved.
    • Customize: Modify the DeviceLink settings to improve profile quality. Allows to specify the Rendering, the Exceptions and the Color Generation. Customized settings can be saved.

    Note: 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.

    When a DeviceLink profile is selected in which source and target profiles are embedded (including SaveInk profiles), CoPrA can use these profiles directly from the DeviceLink.
    This eliminates the need to install the profiles on the system before the DeviceLink is used.

    Setting: Select a suitable PREDEFINED setting for the creation of the DeviceLink profile from the drop-down menu. The names of the presets are based on typical tasks in printing.

    Default: Start with this preset if none of the other presets match your requirements. Then adapt to your needs.

    Default – Correction DeviceLink: Default setting for creating a Correction DeviceLink profile.

    Default – Multicolor: Standard presetting, which provides a good starting point for adaptations to special requirements.

    Digital Printing – Close Match: For digital prints that look as similar as possible to the source profile. Achieves the closest possible match between two color spaces, e.g., to achieve a match similar to a proof but without paper simulation and avoiding washed out shadows.

    Digital Printing – PSD conformity: For digital prints according to “Fogra ProcessStandard Digital Printing”.

    Digital Printing – Paper absolute: Uses a paper absolute rendering with consideration of the paper tone.

    Digital Printing – Paper relative: Uses a paper relative rendering without consideration of the paper tone.

    Large Format Printing – Close Match: For large format prints that look as similar as possible to the source profile. Achieves the closest possible match between two color spaces, e.g., to achieve a match similar to a proof but without paper simulation and avoiding washed out shadows.

    Large Format Printing – High Saturation: Results in more saturated large format prints.

    Print-to-Print – Automatic exceptions: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are determined automatically and the separation properties of the source profile are retained.

    Print-to-Print – Automatic exceptions – Paper absolute: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are determined automatically and the separation properties of the source profile are retained. Uses a paper absolute rendering with consideration of the paper tone.

    Print-to-Print – Automatic exceptions – Paper relative: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are determined automatically and the separation properties of the source profile are retained. Uses a paper relative rendering without consideration of the paper tone.

    Print-to-Print – No Black: Creates a DeviceLink profile without black separation. The exceptions are set so that no black is generated.

    Print-to-Print – Traditional: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are predefined and the separation properties of the source profile are retained.

    Print-to-Print – Traditional – Paper absolute: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are predefined and the separation properties of the source profile are retained. Uses a paper absolute rendering with consideration of the paper tone.

    Print-to-Print – Traditional – Paper relative: For offset or newspaper printing. Exceptions are predefined and the separation properties of the source profile are retained. Uses a paper relative rendering without consideration of the paper tone.

    Print-to-Print – Paper absolute: Uses a paper absolute rendering with consideration of the paper tone.

    Print-to-Print – Paper relative: Uses a paper relative rendering without consideration of the paper tone.

    Print to Print – Preserve Color Properties: For Multicolor-to-Multicolor DeviceLinks. Selects the appropriate Multicolor Mode and all other settings automatically.

    White Ink + 3 Primaries – Printing on Black substrate / White Ink + 4 Primaries – Printing on Black substrate:  For color managed color prints on black substrates, such as textiles, white ink must be used first and colors must be applied on top of the white ink to obtain colorful graphics. This preset uses White for the separation. It automatically selects the appropriate Multicolor Mode – either CMY+White_on_Black or CMYK+White_on_Black – while all other Color Generation controls are disabled.
    Note: To create profiles with White, special test charts are required, which can be found in the test charts subfolder Special for the two cases CMY+White_on_Black and CMYK+White_on_Black.

    Proofing: For proofing applications. The rendering intent is set to absolute colorimetric and all exceptions are disabled.

    TAC300 Reduction – Same Source and Target Profile: To set the ink application reliably to 300% in your print data. Note that the source and target profiles must be identical.

    Working with Profile Settings

    Import, Export or Cleanup of Profile Settings

    Profile settings for Printer, DeviceLink and SaveInk profiling can be selected in the drop-down menu Setting.

    The package CoPrA Basic allows selection of default predefined settings. The package CoPrA M and higher provides access to all the parameters of the profile which can be customized.

    To adjust these profile parameters, select Customize. Custom settings can be saved, imported and exported which provides the ability to exchange personal profiling settings easily with other CoPrA users or make them available for support purposes.

    Import setting: Settings can either be imported as configuration file via the Tools menu using the entry Import setting or by dragging an ICC profile with the desired settings on the drop-down menu Setting. The name of imported profiles receives the suffix (imported). If an inappropriate profile (for example an RGB profile for CMYK profiling) is dragged on the drop-down menu Setting, an error message appears.

    Export setting: Customized profile settings can be selected in the drop-down menu Setting and exported as configuration file by using the entry Export setting from the Tools menu.

    However, CoPrA’s default settings cannot be exported. Standard settings are listed in the drop-down menu Setting under the entry [PREDEFINED] and can be customized, but they cannot be overwritten. After customizing any setting the name receives the suffix (edited). It is now a custom setting which is listed under the entry [EDITED] and thus can be exported. Edited settings can be saved under any name. Saved settings will be removed from [EDITED] and listed under [SAVED]. Saved and edited settings can be deleted manually.

    Cleanup settings: All settings found under the entry [EDITED] will be deleted.

    Sharing settings with ZePrA (CoPrA 5 and lower)

    Due to the close connection between CoPrA (ColorLogic’s profiling solution) and our color server ZePrA, the profile settings from CoPrA can be used to calculate DeviceLink profiles in ZePrA.

    By selecting the checkbox Share with ZePrA in CoPrA, the settings of your DeviceLink and SaveInk profiles are transferred directly to ZePrA and can be used there as SmartLink Method.

    The SmartLink Method in ZePrA allows calculation of the necessary DeviceLink and/or SaveInk profiles for the conversion of PDF files on-the-fly, without the need to create these DeviceLinks in advance.

    The DeviceLink tool in CoPrA: SmartLink can use the profile settings from CoPrA to create DeviceLinks in ZePrA

    To do so, make all the required settings in CoPrA by entering all relevant information in the DeviceLink tool under Rendering, Exceptions, and Color GenerationClick Save As and enter a name for the setting. Confirm with OK, then activate the Share with ZePrA checkbox. 

    The so created methods shared with ZePrA are then available as SmartLink Method in the drop-down menus of both the Auto Setup and the Configurations.

    Note: Only saved settings can be shared with ZePrA. Default or edited presets cannot be shared.

    Sharing settings with ZePrA (CoPrA 6 and higher)

    The SmartLink Method in ZePrA allows to create DeviceLinks and SaveInk profiles for the conversion of PDF files on-the-fly, without the need to create these DeviceLinks in advance.
    Due to the close linkage between CoPrA and ZePrA, profiling settings specified in CoPrA can be used by ZePrA to create the required profiles.

    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.

    Procedure

    In CoPrA

    1. Under Preferences, enable the checkbox Share CoPrA Settings with ZePrA Auto Import Folder and select ZePrA’s Auto Import folder.
      Note: The Auto Import folder must be activated in ZePrA as well.
      If the checkbox is enabled and the Preferences dialog closed with OK an information message will appear asking the user if all shared presets should now be copied to the defined Auto-Import Folder.

    2. In the DeviceLink tool, define all required settings by entering all relevant information under Rendering, Exceptions and Color Generation.
    3. Click Save As and enter a name for the setting. Confirm with OK, then activate the Share with ZePrA checkbox.
    4. CoPrA Settings created that way and shared with ZePrA are available for selection as SmartLink Method in the drop-down menus of both the Auto Setup and the Configurations settings.

    Note: Only saved settings can be shared with ZePrA. Default or edited presets cannot be shared.

    In ZePrA

    Make sure to enable the Auto Import function in ZePrA’s Preferences and to use the same folder as CoPrA. CoPrA’s DeviceLink and SaveInk settings are now accessible in ZePrA and can be used there as a SmartLink Method. SmartLink can now create custom DeviceLinks which can be used in ZePrA configurations.

    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.

    Rendering

    Rendering - Overview

    Every DeviceLink profile contains exactly one rendering intent. In addition to the standard rendering intents – Perceptual, Relative Colorimetric, Saturation, and Absolute Colorimetric – CoPrA offers six additional rendering intents.

    Any two rendering options can be merged using a Merge slider to combine the best of both renderings. In addition, Chroma, Saturation, Lightness and the Gray Balance can be customized for all rendering intents as well. All this allows to individually adjust the rendering for a specific application.

    Note: Merging rendering intents is recommended among Relative Colorimetric, Absolute Colorimetric, Blackpoint Compensation and any ColorLogic rendering intent. However, merging of Perceptual rendering and other rendering intents is not recommended for 3rd party profiles.

    Gamut plot

    The gamut plot illustrates a source and target gamut based on the selected Rendering settings for creating the DeviceLink profile. It is a graphical visualization of two virtual profiles with different white points and different gray balances. The source gamut white point and gray balance are assumed to be neutral in Lab and the target gamut to be a larger gamut with yellowish paper tint and yellowish gray balance. This can be seen if the Absolute Colorimetric rendering setting has been selected.

    Note: The gamut plots are not based on the loaded profiles.

    The plot of the Target Gamut does not change but the plot of the Source Gamut changes depending on the chosen Rendering method. If any other rendering setting than Absolute Colorimetric is selected, the white point of the source profile is matched to that of the target profile. The dotted line represents the gray balance of the Source gamut and it depends on the selected Rendering method. If a simple Relative Colorimetric rendering is selected the white points are matching but the black points are not and the gray balance is relative to the paper tint, e.g. yellowish.

    For the Perceptual Rendering, there is a choice of paper-relative options such as Perceptual, Standard Compression, Blackpoint Compensation or Minimum Compression (Paper relative), or paper-absolute options such as Absolute Compression, Minimum Compression (Paper absolute) and Minimum White Compression. With all perceptual methods the white and black points are merged and synchronized between the two profiles. With paper-relative perceptual methods the gray balance is yellowish while it converges to the gray balance of the source gamut with paper-absolute perceptual methods. In our plot, for example, it is neutral.

    A special feature of CoPrA’s DeviceLink module is the ability to Merge between two different rendering methods, for example, Standard Compression and Absolute Compression. The dotted lines of the gray balance and the shapes of the gamut indicate the effects when using the Merge slider.

    Changes in the Advanced Rendering Options such as Saturation, Chroma, Lightness or the Gray Balance are also visible in the gamut plot. More Chroma results in a larger Source gamut and a cooler Gray Balance causes the dotted line to shift to the right to more bluish.

    DeviceLink Rendering Intents

    One of the most important decisions when creating a DeviceLink profile is to choose the optimal rendering settings for a given task. To simplify this decision, the Mode drop-down menu offers three modes for typical use cases in addition to a Custom mode.

    Mode: Select between the following three typical use cases or select the Custom mode:

    1. Close Match: A typical use case is for achieving the closest possible match between two color spaces, e.g. to achieve a match similar to a proof but without paper simulation and avoiding washed out shadows. An example would be the reproduction of ISO coated V2 on a digital printing machine so that both prints should look the same.
    2. Automatic Paper Relative: A paper relative rendering without consideration of the paper tone. A typical use case would be a rather more colorful but still faithful rendering of a color space on a different printer. For example, a campaign prepared for ISO coated V2 but rendered on a large format inkjet printer without consideration of the paper tone.
    3. Automatic Paper Absolute: A paper absolute rendering with consideration of the paper tone. A typical use case would be the same as for Automatic Paper Relative, but with consideration of the paper tone.
    4. Custom: Gives full control to the user, enabling him to define all settings himself.

    The first three Rendering modes Automatic Paper Relative, Automatic Paper Absolute and Close Match automatically calculate the best of two rendering methods considering Merge, Lightness and Chroma adjustments. The two drop-down menus for the rendering methods are then pre-selected with all the required options, e.g. the most suitable setting for the Merge slider as well as the best settings for the Advanced Rendering Options such as Lightness and/or Chroma. All these options are grayed out, they can only be changed if the Custom mode is selected.

    Note: The Rendering modes Automatic Paper Relative and Automatic Paper Absolute support different gamut sizes, e.g. small to large gamuts, large to small gamuts and similar sized gamuts.
    For the mode Close Match, the automatic calculation works best if the target color space has a larger or similar gamut as the source profile.

    CoPrA’s DeviceLink Rendering Intents

    Standard Compression: This is the default method. It uses a perceptual conversion that is well suited for all types of gamuts, i.e., also for conversions between color spaces of different sizes. Neutral tones are converted using a relative colorimetric approach, and the appearance of the gray axis always depends on the paper white of the target profile. Therefore, the gray axis of the transformed file will appear yellowish on a very yellowish paper. The same gray axis will appear bluish on a bluish paper. For very small color gamuts, for example in newspaper printing, the dark tones are raised slightly to achieve more image definition in these areas.

    Black Point Compensation: Use Black Point Compensation to achieve the same results with a perceptive conversion as with “Relative Colorimetric with Black Point Compensation”. When converting from large to small color spaces, the image definition is preserved in the highlights and shadows, unlike with a pure Relative Colorimetric conversion. Neutral tones are converted using the Relative Colorimetric intent. Out-of-gamut colors are cut off.

    Absolute Compression: This method is based on the absolute colorimetric rendering intent in terms of color reproduction and is recommended when the paper tones differ significantly (the color gamuts can be similar or different). In contrast to the Standard Compression and Black Point Compensation, the paper tint is compensated in the gray balance. The rendering of neutral colors is based on the absolute colorimetric rendering intent, without paper tone simulation in the highlights. If, for example, the paper white is significantly more yellow than in the reference, the gray axis appears neutral despite the yellowish paper tone. This ensures that the color appearance of the original file is preserved as best as possible on a target medium with a different paper tint. The contrast range in the highlights and shadows is adapted to avoid any loss of image definition.

    Dynamic Compression: Only available in CoPrA 6 and lower. Compares the source color space with the target color space and generates a compression that minimizes out-of-gamut areas. This setting preserves the brightness of the original color space while reducing the saturation, and therefore also preserves the image definition. As for the Standard Compression, the gray axis of the conversion is built relative to the paper white of the target profile. This approach is well suited when the source and target profiles have a very large dynamic range and contrast, for example, in RGB-to-CMYK conversions.
    Note: This method is now only available in ZePrA for compatibility reasons, and no longer in CoPrA. We recommend using Automatic Paper Relative instead.

    Minimum Compression (Paper Absolute): This method is largely similar to the absolute colorimetric intent and only compensates close to the black and the white point.
    In addition, the white point of the source color space is not simulated, but scaled to the white point of the target color space, thus ensuring a pure paper white.
    Use this rendering intent to achieve a close reproduction, for example when using print standards such as ISO Coated V2 or GRACoL2006 Coated1v2 on a digital printer.
    Note: As for the absolute colorimetric rendering intent, ensure that the target color space is larger or has at least a similar size to avoid any loss of image definition. For color conversions from larger to smaller color spaces use Absolute Compression to maintain the gray balance of the source color space.

    Minimum Compression (Paper Relative): This method is largely similar to the relative colorimetric intent and only compensates close to the black and the white point. It is similar to Minimal Compression (Paper Absolute) but uses relative colorimetric instead.

    Minimum White Compression: This method is similar to Minimum Compression (Paper Absolute). Both rendering intents compress the white point without paper simulation, however, there is an important difference: The Minimum Compression is a rather perceptual rendering that additionally compresses the black point, so the maximum dynamic range is utilized without loss of detail in the shadows. In contrast, the Minimum White Compression compresses the white point but not the black point, so a close absolute colorimetric match between source and target color spaces can be achieved. This can be useful for the color representation across various media, color matching or printing on slightly differing media. It can be regarded as close to absolute colorimetric rendering without paper tint simulation.
    Note: Remember that the target color space should be larger than the simulated color space (or similarly large) to avoid loss of detail and vividness (similar to the absolute colorimetric rendering intent). For conversions from large to small color spaces, instead use our rendering intent Absolute Compression if the gray balance of the source color space is to be preserved.

    Additional Options

    Merge: Use two rendering methods, merge them in defined proportions when creating the DeviceLink profile. For instance, choose the combination Standard Compression (1st selection, left) and Absolute Compression (2nd selection, right) and set the Merge slider to 75, the corresponding proportions of the two rendering methods are used in the DeviceLink profile when converting files. In this example, 75% Absolute Compression and 25% Standard Compression results in a gray axis that is 75% adapted to the paper color, without paper color simulation in the highlights and a simultaneous adaptation of the contrast range in the highlights and shadows.

    Advanced Rendering Options

    Advanced Rendering Options: The drop down menu allows changes to the overall Chroma, Lightness or Saturation of the profile using a slider.

    Chroma can be used to reduce or increase the chroma of highly saturated colors in the range between -20 and +20.

    Saturation can be used when highly saturated colors are required. As with Chroma, the gray balance is not affected when moving the slider. Saturation or Chroma can be used especially for large color spaces such as gamut extending Multicolor in order to achieve more brilliant colors.

    Advanced Rendering Options

    Notes:

    1. ColorLogic intentionally keeps the chroma effect moderate. However, when increasing the chroma, ensure that the setting neither causes a loss of image definition in highly saturated colors or adversely affects colors such as skin tones.
    2. The effect of each of these settings is shown in the gamut graph on the right. Increasing the saturation results in higher chroma and lower lightness, so more saturation will slightly darken the colors and they will appear more vibrant. In contrast, more chroma can result in high chroma colors being out-of-gamut and these colors would not be rendered by the given profile.

    Gray Balance: Allows adjustment of the gray balance to create a cooler or warmer gray axis. cooler shifts the gray balance towards more bluish colors (negative b* values), warmer shifts it towards yellowish colors (positive b* values). The effect of the slider setting is visualized in the graphic.

    Changing the Gray Balance

    Note: The setting Gray Balance works independently from the selected Rendering method which has already an effect on the gray balance and allows visual adjustments based on personal color preferences.

    Modify Color Appearance with Additional Profile

    Modify Color Appearance with Additional Profile: Incorporate a correction into a DeviceLink profile by using an additional profile, such as an edited DeviceLink or an abstract profile. The additional profile may contain a selective color correction in a certain color range or specify a change in the gradation tonalities. The additional profile will be included in the calculation after the source profile is linked to the target profile.

    The Modify color appearance with additional profile represents special situations, therefore the setting None should be selected in most cases.

    Note: Further information about the creation of edited profiles can be found in the section DeviceLink Editing.

    Apply G7® properties: When using a source profile that complies with a certain standard (e.g., the G7® method), this property may be lost or changed when converting to a target profile.

    Apply G7 properties adds a correction so that the DeviceLink conversion complies to the G7® method.

    Note: This option is not limited to G7® based source profiles and will add the correction to any DeviceLink conversion when enabled.

    Note: The Apply G7 properties option is also included in the Profile Report.

    Exceptions

    Automatic Exceptions

    The proper choice of exceptions in DeviceLink profiling can sometimes be an art in itself and ensures hue-accurate, pure and saturated colors as well as print optimized color behavior, for example when overprinting. In order to facilitate this choice, the tab Exceptions contains an option for the automatic selection of the most appropriate exceptions for the selected source and target profiles. Here, different kinds of calculations for color rendering, color distances, device color differences as well as empirical values regarding the preservation of color purity will be combined.

    To activate this function, select the mode Automatic. After a short calculation time recommended exceptions are either enabled or disabled. All automatically identified exceptions are grayed out. Exceptions that are not implicated are not grayed out and can be activated or deactivated manually. This makes it much easier to choose exceptions appropriately.

    Note: We recommend enabling  the automatic selection of exceptions for the creation of DeviceLinks by default in order to obtain a good preselection. If you prefer to select exceptions manually or if you would like to adjust the automatically determined settings, select the mode Custom. If you have manually selected exceptions or a DeviceLink preset and then switch to Automatic, previous settings will be overwritten.

    Custom Exceptions

    Exceptions are used to specifically influence color conversions of special colors. If source and target colors in a color conversion are identical the colors will be linearized. If the color spaces differ, the colors will be optimized and adapted.

    Exceptions ensure that special properties of colors remain unchanged. The choice of appropriate Exceptions thus allows a precise color conversion of specific colors. Exceptions preserve the properties of the input colors (for example using a single color channel for primary colors or two color channels for secondary colors) and calculate the best possible combination to minimize related color errors (our definition of “optimized”).

    All color patches that are affected by the selected exception are highlighted in the graphical representation by a red border. If you move the mouse pointer over a color patch it is emphasized by a black or white border and the values of the source and target color space are displayed. Press the “Alt” key on your keyboard to capture the color patch allowing you to check quickly and easily whether it is affected by an exception.

    Exceptions which are not available are grayed out. This may be the case when a dependency between exceptions exists, or when exceptions are not relevant for a specific color space.

    Exceptions are often related to each other under certain circumstances such as Rendering or Black Generation settings. For example, if the Gray exception is enabled the 100% Black exception is enabled automatically, too. However, this is only the case if a perceptual rendering method has been selected. If a relative or absolute colorimetric rendering method has been selected these two exceptions are independent because in these cases we want to respect the colorimetric accuracy.

    Custom Exception settings

    Triplex (two primary colors plus black): Optimizes the color conversion of a secondary color (for example, blue: cyan plus magenta) plus black by preventing color contaminations. Triplex colors are recalculated during the conversion but remain triplex colors in the target profile. Therefore, if you have a dark shade of blue, like 100C 60M 50K, and you would like to convert it to the most suitable blue represented in the target color space consisting only of cyan, magenta and black, the exception Triplex must be activated.

    The exception Triplex includes the exception Duplex and therefore also the exceptions Primaries, Secondaries, Gray and 100% Black.

    Duplex (a primary color plus black): Optimizes the color conversion of a primary color (cyan, magenta or yellow) plus black by preventing color contaminations. Duplex colors are recalculated during the conversion but remain duplex colors in the target profile.
    The exception Duplex includes the exceptions Primaries, Gray and 100% Black.

    Gray: Protects the single-color structure of Black from 0 to 100%. This exception includes the exceptions 100% Black and White.
    For RGB DeviceLink profiles Gray ensures that the gray axis is composed of equal RGB value proportions. For a conversion of an RGB source profile into a CMYK target color space, Gray ensures that the RGB gray axis is created by black only.

    100% Black: Protects 100% black, so 100% K remains 100% K and will not be supplemented with or replaced by CMY.
    For a conversion of an RGB source profile into a CMYK target color space 100% Black ensures that an RGB black of 0, 0, 0 is converted to 100% black. For example, this allows you to prevent a pure black RGB text from being composed of four colors in the CMYK profile after the conversion.

    100% C,M,Y: Protects cyan, magenta and yellow. The 100% values of C, M and Y are retained after the color conversion at 100%.

    100% R,G,B: Protects pure red, green and blue. The 100% values of red, green and blue are retained after the color conversion at 100%. Red will therefore still be formed with 100% magenta and 100% yellow.

    Max. C,M,Y: Creates a maximum saturation of primaries. This function can be used independently of the protection of primaries and secondaries.
    Example: If 100C would be converted to 80C + M + Y, activation of this exception ensures that cyan is now converted to the maximum value, which means, C is set to a value higher than 80, i.e. a value between 80C and 100C, depending on what is achievable in terms of maximum saturation while contaminating color proportions are adjusted color corrected.
    Note: If the exception Primaries is selected as well, the exception Max. C,M,Y is grayed out while the exception 100% C,M,Y is activated instead, as in the case of a purity protection of primaries the maximum value is 100%.

    Max. R,G,B: In CMYK color spaces ‘R, G, B’ corresponds to the color combinations MY, CY and CM. When activated, the higher color value is set to 100% while the second color value is optimized colorimetrically. This function can be used independently of the protection of primaries and secondaries.
    Example: If a pure 100% red (100% M+Y) would be converted to 95% M and 90% Y in a conversion with pure secondary colors, activating the setting Max. R,G,B increases the color red to maximum saturation, like 100% M and 95% Y. However, if you require that 100% red remains 100% red in the conversion, use the setting 100% R,G,B.
    Note, however, that this might not be the best colorimetric value.
    Max R,G,B, on the other hand, calculates the best color correct value with the highest level of saturation.

    Primaries: Protects the single color structure of primary colors. Calculates the Lab value of a primary color of the source profile and searches for the best matching primary color value in the target profile. For example, 40C might be converted to 53C but the single color structure remains. If this exception is not enabled, primary colors of the source profile may be contaminated in the target profile. The checkboxes C, M and Y allow protection of individual primaries. Here, optimized transitions are calculated which gently extend into adjacent color areas in order to avoid hard edges. The slider Tolerance range defines how far adjacent color areas are included.
    Note: Enabling this exception does not preserve the 100% values which means that 100C might be converted to 98C. If you would like to conserve the 100% values in the target profile, enable the exception 100% C,M,Y.
    In case of a conversion of an RGB source profile into a CMYK target color space, Primaries ensures that the primary colors C, M and Y are kept pure.

    Adapt TVI to source profile: This exception is important when tone value increases of primary colors needs to be preserved precisely. An application example would be a predefined printing standard that needs to be printed on a different paper while the used target profile featured a different tone value increase. The exception Adapt TVI to source profile allows creation of a DeviceLink profile which corrects the tone value increases of the target profile to meet the requirements of the printing standard (from the source profile) precisely.

    Secondaries: Protects the two-color structure of secondaries. Calculates the Lab value of a secondary color of the source profile and searches for the best matching secondary color value in the target profile. For example, 40C 100M might be converted to 41C 97M but the two-color structure remains. If this exception is not enabled, secondary colors of the source profile may be contaminated in the target profile. The checkboxes MY, CY and CM allow protection of individual secondaries. Here, optimized transitions are calculated which gently extend into adjacent color areas in order to avoid hard edges. The slider Tolerance range defines how far adjacent color areas are included.
    In case of a conversion of an RGB source profile into a CMYK target color space, Secondaries ensures that the secondary colors MY, CY and CM are kept pure.

    Black overprint: Protects 100% black as additional layer above a CMY background: CMY values are minimized but colors are calculated correctly and changed as little as possible compared to the original.

    White: Protects the paper white. This is especially useful when you would like to achieve an absolute colorimetric simulation for proofs without a simulation of the paper color (e.g. for aesthetic reasons). Is available only if Absolute Colorimetric is selected as Rendering intent and Proofing as a Setting.

    400% Black: Protects 400% Black: Even when a lower Total Amount of Color (TAC) is selected in the tab Color Generation, a color value of CMYK = 100%, 100%, 100%, 100% is maintained.

    Border Clipping: Percentage values close to zero will be set to 0% and key values close to 100% will be rounded up to 100%. This results in pure tones which no longer need to be screened in printing.

    400% Black to Pure Black: 400% inks will be converted to 100% black, so CMYK = 100%, 100%, 100%, 100% will be converted to CMYK =0%, 0%, 0%, 100%.

    Tolerance range: This slider defines how far the exceptions affect neighboring color combinations. This allows smoother transitions between patches that have an exception assigned to them and adjacent patches. The Tolerance range has a non-linear effect.

    Highlights
    In flexo printing, the first printed tone is often subject to a rather high tone value increase. Additionally, in some flexo printing processes, there is no transfer of tone values below a certain percentage in the highlight areas. However, the simulation of those process properties is particularly important for proofing applications to truly simulate the final print result in the highlights. It may also be necessary to increase the tone values in the highlights when using the profile for production or separation. For that reason, CoPrA has six settings to adjust the Highlights when creating DeviceLink profiles.

    These settings specify when the First Printed Tone in the profile is recognized and appears in the proof (hard or soft proof) or how high the tone value prints at 1%. This ensures that your proof matches your printout. Analogically, when a profile is used for separation which was created with a value of 3% for the first printed tone, small tonal values will be raised to 3% to be printed reliably. By selecting a setting for the first printed tone you can determine whether the created DeviceLink is intended for Proof or Production.

    Default: Ensures ‘normal’ profiling behavior in highlight areas. Use this setting for all printing processes that don’t require any adjustment of the first printed tone.

    First Printed Tone (Production, Preserve 0%): The paper white remains unaffected. Small tonal values will be increased to the entered percentage to be printed more reliably. The purity of colors set in the tab Exceptions will be preserved. This may result in hard edges.

    First Printed Tone (Proof): Use this setting to specify when the first printed tone will appear. For example, if you enter 3% for the first printed tone, no tonal values will be printed from 0 to 3%. Color values will start only from 3%.

    Printed Tone at 1% (Proof):  This setting defines the tone value to be reached at 1%. It is popular for proofing but can be used for production applications as well.

    First Printed Tone (Production, Preserve White): The paper white remains unaffected. Low tones will be increased to the entered percentage throughout the separation to be printed more reliably. The settings defined in the tab Exceptions are not retained as a tone is composed using all channels. This reduces hard edges.

    First Printed Tone (Production, Minimal Tone): The paper white will be replaced by the set tonal value in all channels throughout the separation.The settings defined in the tab Exceptions are not retained as a tone is composed using all channels. This reduces hard edges.

    Dependency between Gray and White exceptions in Soft Proofs
    The rendering intent Absolute Colorimetric is often used in proofing in order to determine how printed colors will be affected by the color of the paper. It is important to point out that a dependency exists between the exceptions Gray and White when selecting the setting Proofing and the rendering intent Absolute Colorimetric in CoPrA.

    When creating DeviceLink profiles using the rendering intent Absolute Colorimetric the simulation of the paper color will be prevented when the exception Gray is activated. The use of these exceptions in combination with the rendering intent Absolute Colorimetric is contradictory and therefore not recommended.

    For this reason, all exceptions are disabled by default when the setting Proofing is selected in CoPrA. In order to make this dependency even clearer, the exceptions White and Gray are linked to each other. When an exception which is connected to Gray (e.g. Duplex or Triplex) is activated, the exception White will be disabled and grayed out automatically.

    Note: Please note that the exception White is only available when Absolute Colorimetric is selected as Rendering intent. The exception White ensures that paper white is not simulated which is especially useful when trying to achieve an absolute colorimetric simulation for proofs without a simulation of the paper color (e.g. for aesthetic reasons).

    Color Generation

    Color Generation

    Multicolor Mode: Determines how colors will be built up in individual separations. Is only available when a Multicolor target profile has been loaded. A Multicolor license is required to use Multicolor features.

    Note: Multicolor modes that are not recommended for the loaded measurement data are marked red in the drop-down menu.

    In some cases a warning or information message is shown below at the bottom of the window in case the loaded data may require a different mode than the selected one.

    In CoPrA, the first three channels represent primary colors (usually CMY). They should form a sound color space (gamut) and should also be able to create a gray axis. The fourth channel should be black if a separation with UCR/GCR is desired. If black is absent in the Multicolor measurement data while automatic Black Calculation is selected, it will be recognized by CoPrA and the separation will not be generated. Black separation is disabled if the value for Max. Black in the Black Point and TAC setting is 0%. Additional spot color channels (e.g. Orange, Green or Violet in a CMYK-OGV 7 color data set) are regarded as color space expanding colors. The Multicolor Mode determines how color space expanding colors are factored in together with primary colors.

    The following Mulicolor modes are available:

    Strong: As much spot color as possible will be applied. Accordingly, fewer primaries will be used in the highly saturated color areas. This results in a greater use of color space expanding spot colors and therefore in highly saturated colors in the printout.

    Smooth: Use this method when more CMY is required and if a particularly smooth and harmonious separation with the extended colors is needed.
    Note: The two Multicolor modes Smooth and Strong are similar but Smooth uses less color space expanding spot color channels.

    Generate separations with sparse inks: Is of interest for the packaging market as color separations are created in such a way that a certain hue uses as much as possible of a related spot color and very little or no primary colors. For example, in order to create a red color as much as possible of a reddish spot color is used but very little to no magenta or yellow. A maximum of two or three colors are used for each color segment and, therefore, this Multicolor mode is practical to save process colors. However, black generation cannot be controlled and is based on the (separation) mode MaxK.
    Note: In contrast to the Multicolor modes Smooth, Strong and Use CMYK only, the Multicolor mode Generate separations with sparse inks does not allow regulation of the Black Generation. Accordingly, these settings are grayed out.

    Use CMYK only: Selecting this method results in a Multicolor DeviceLink profile that creates the desired number of channels (e.g. 7 channels) but is only composed of CMYK. The color space expanding spot color channels are not used for the separation.

    Notes:

    1. In package printing there is sometimes a request for images and vectors composed of CMYK to be generated with only minimal changes to CMYK values and without spot colors – despite conversion into a Multicolor space. In this case, only spot colors, like Pantone colors, which are present as DeviceN in the PDF should be converted into the large Multicolor space. Such a workflow is possible in two easy steps: (1) Creation of a separation-preserving CMYK-to-Multicolor DeviceLink profile in CoPrA using the Multicolor method Use CMYK only. (2) Spot color conversion of the PDF using ColorLogic’s color server ZePrA.
    2. In CoPrA all setting concerning the Color Generation (i.e. the entire tab) depend on black being present in the measurement data. This also applies for Exceptions. All Exceptions concerning black (Gray, Black, Duplex, Triplex, Black overprint) use black as fourth channel, therefore, black must be present in the measurement data or ICC profiles as fourth channel. If black is not present in the measurement data as fourth channel, this channel will be treated as if it were the black channel.
      As an example, if blue is present as fourth channel, then all settings in the tabs
      Color Generation and Exceptions will still treat the fourth – now blue – channel as black channel. In this situation, spot colors can be used for the calculation of the gray balance and the black point.

    Preserve Color Properties: Is only available for Multicolor-to-Multicolor DeviceLink profiles. This Multicolor Mode allows the use of Exceptions for all Multicolor channels (not only for CMYK) thus preserving pure colors and the separation characteristics of the source.
    All types of Multicolor-to-Multicolor combinations can be applied. Source and target color spaces can differ in their number of channels (e.g. for 6 to 7 color DeviceLinks), in their hue, or in their name.
    Channels that are similar in hue are automatically assigned even if the channel names or the channel order differ between source and target profiles. If single channels do not match between source and target profiles but other channels do, the matching channels will be retained while the non-matching channels are recalculated using a mixture of the other channels to match the colors of the original channel. 

    Example: When combining a CMYKOB profile with a CMYKOGV profile, the Orange channel (O) will be retained but the Blue channel (B) will be recalculated using Violet (V) and a mixture of the other primaries to match the Blue original colors.

    Note: Exceptions for Primaries affect all channels. The exceptions for Secondaries keeps all two color combinations pure, not only those with CMY portions.

    Use Settings of the Target Profile: Uses the Multicolor mode that was selected when the printer profile was created. The used mode is written in parentheses. That way it is immediately clear which mode was used in the profile.
    Note: Only applies to CoPrA printer profiles. For non CoPrA Multicolor profiles the Strong Multicolor mode will be used.

    CMY+White: If the measurement data includes White as a color channel in addition to 3 primary colors,  Multicolor Mode must be selected. CMY refers to any 3 primary colors that form a sound color space and include a gray balance. This mode predefines the separation settings to use the color of the background (e.g. the black substrate) and the white ink within the separation. It automatically selects the optimal settings, therefore, all other Color Generation controls are disabled, only the overall TAC can be adjusted under Black Point and TAC.
    Please be aware that the resulting ICC profile is a Multicolor profile (4CLR profile).

    CMYK+White: If the measurement data includes White as a color channel in addition to Black and 3 primary colors, this Multicolor Mode must be selected. CMY refers to any 3 primary colors that form a sound color space and include a gray balance. This mode predefines the separation settings to use the color of the background (e.g. the black substrate) and the white ink within the separation. It automatically selects the optimal settings, therefore, all other Color Generation controls are disabled, only the overall TAC can be adjusted under Black Point and TAC. The assumed black point, e.g. the darkest color, uses a predefined combination of 100% Black printed on the back substrate.
    Please be aware that the resulting ICC profile is a Multicolor profile (5CLR profile).

    Background: For color managed color prints on black substrates, such as textiles, white ink must be used first and colors must be applied on top of the white ink to obtain colorful graphics.
    Note: To create profiles with White, special test charts are required, which can be found in the test charts subfolder Special for the two cases CMY+White_on_Black and CMYK+White_on_Black.

    Black Generation

    Defines the method for the generation of black in the target color space and therefore influences the separation comprehensively. Nine different black generation modes are available in the drop-down menu (depending on the licensed modules):

    Target Profile: Uses the black separation and the out-of-gamut mapping of the target profile. Denies modifying the Color Generation and Black Point and TAC settings.

    Target Profile with ColorLogic Gamut Mapping: Uses the black separation of the target profile – same as Target Profile – but recalculates the out-of-gamut mapping. Allows to change the Black Point and TAC settings. After clicking Modify the black generation settings can be changed as well. This way the settings of the target profile act as a starting point and can then be adapted to your needs.
    Note: When clicking Modify the black generation switches to an appropriate mode closest to the target profiles settings (GCR, UCR, maxK…). This works best for ColorLogic printer profiles as the appropriate settings are exactly reproducible. For 3rd party profiles this may lead to a little update of the curves as with some profiles only settings as close as possible to those of the 3rd party profile will be found.

    UCR: Allows adjustment of the settings Black Start and Black Width.

    GCR: Additionally allows the adjustment of the setting GCR Amount.

    MinK: Only uses a minimal amount of black and generates a separation using the maximum amount of CMY.

    MaxK: Uses a maximal amount of black and generates a separation using the minimum amount of CMY. Is only available with a SaveInk license.

    The methods UCR, GCR, MinK and MaxK generate a new separation, regardless of the separation of the target profile.

    Preserve Separation: Preserves the ratio between the black channel and CMY composed black.
    Note: The black generation mode Preserve Separation is especially important for conversions between similar CMYK printing processes (conversions between two offset presses or two inkjets of the same model etc.), because it ensures that the ratio between CMY and black which is used to generate gray is maintained in the color conversion.
    When the mode Preserve Separation is selected, Enhance Shadows should always be enabled.

    Preserve Black: Linearizes the black value of the source profile and retains the black channel.

    Save Ink: Replaces CMY colors by black to save CMY inks. This setting is only available with a SaveInk license.

    Preserve 0% Black: Is available when selecting one of the Black Generation modes Target Profile with ColorLogic Gamut Mapping, GCR, UCR, Preserve Separation or Save Ink. It prevents the generation of black in separations for source colors without black. This is important for some overprint applications.
    Note: In order to use this function for the Preserve Separation mode, the Enhance Shadows checkbox must be enabled.

    Enhance Shadows: Is also only available when the mode Preserve Separation has been selected. Prevents detail losses in dark colors and weak shadows.

    GCR Amount: Defines the amount of CMY that is replaced by black. At 0 only a low GCR amount is used which mainly impacts the shadows whereas at 100 a very strong GCR is used which affects the shadows and the highlights.

    Black Start: Defines the starting point for the black generation. Black will be used if the minimum amount of C, M, Y exceeds this limit.

    Black Width: Defines the range in which black is generated outside the color-neutral area. The lower the value the less black will be generated outside the color-neutral area.

    Ink-Saving: Replaces CMY colors by black to save CMY inks. This setting is only available with a SaveInk license (included in CoPrA XL and CoPrA XXL) and if the Save Ink option was selected under Black Generation.

    Black Control Range: Controls the transition to black. If black exceeds the limit, CMY colorants will not be modified and black is linearly added. Up to the specified value black will be calculated accurately. A value of 0% indicates that only CMY will be converted whereas black will be linearized. If a proof requires an exact colorimetric reproduction the slider should be set to 100%. 80% is a good value to achieve a smooth transition in the shadows. We recommend activating the checkbox Auto.

    Additional Options

    Preserve 0% Black: Is available when selecting one of the Black Generation modes Target Profile with ColorLogic Gamut Mapping, GCR, UCR, Preserve Separation or Save Ink. It prevents the generation of black in separations for source colors without black. This is important for some overprint applications.
    Note: In order to use this function for the Preserve Separation mode, the Enhance Shadows checkbox must be enabled.

    Enhance Shadows: Is also only available when the mode Preserve Separation has been selected. Prevents detail losses in dark colors and weak shadows.

    Avoid Dot-on-Dot: Prevents Black and Violet/Blue color combinations that could produce dot-on-dot effects in AM printing. Replaces some of the Black by CMY, therefore avoiding dot-on-dot effects.

    Background: When using gamut extending process colors in traditional AM screening, such as CMYK+Orange+Green+Violet/Blue, the process colors Violet or Blue are often on the same screening angle as Black which can cause dot-on-dot issues leading to color and lightness variances. However, avoiding Black and Violet/Blue color combinations in separations would reduce the available gamut considerably and would also prevent dark bluish spot colors from being reproduced faithfully. By activating this feature the separation uses more of the CMY colors instead of Black thereby preventing dot-on-dot effects. For this function to work best, use a late Black Start and a rather weak GCR or even a UCR Black Generation setting.

    Note: Other color combinations using the same AM screening angles such as Cyan and Orange or Magenta and Green are not affected by this feature as those combinations are rarely used in separations anyway.

    Used Channels: Displays the channels to be used in a profile. Excluded channels are grayed out and marked with an X. All settings that affect channels, such as channel definition, channel combination, or enabling/disabling channels, can be configured in the Channel Settings. This can be done both automatically and manually.

    Note: If the Black Calculation is set to Target Profile, the black point is preset by the profile and the function Used Channels is deactivated.

    The effect of selecting or excluding colors on Curves and the Gamut is immediately visualized in the graphic and the Black Point value.

    Note: The excluding channels function is particularly intelligent for Multicolor profiles, as it searches for replacement colors in the Multicolor channels when excluding a channel (e.g., Cyan), which can compensate for the missing channel in the gray balance. The alternatively calculated Multicolor channels are displayed grayed out in the panel Black Point and TAC (further information can be found in the toggle Black Point and TAC).

    Example: If a brown chocolate artwork is intended to be printed in CMYK without using any Cyan in the separation, a CMYK printer profile can be created which only uses MYK. These types of profiles avoid unwanted Cyan dots in the separation and the converted artwork would appear visually close to a conversion with a complete CMYK profile. Obviously such a profile should not be used if the artwork contains Cyan based color combinations, such as cyan tones and blue or violet colors.

    Channel Settings: By default, all channels of the profile are enabled, and all Channel Settings are set to Auto. Channels can be enabled or disabled by clicking on the icon of the desired channel. It is possible to exclude multiple channels.

     Note: In CoPrA, the default channel order in the measurement data has always been: Three primary colors (P), optional black (K) and optional additional (other) colors (O). This definition was applied regardless of whether the order could be handled correctly or not.

    The Channel Settings option allows editing channels that are not defined in the correct order so that they can be used correctly in CoPrA.

    Definition: The channel Definition determines the assignment of the channels, i.e., whether it is a Primary Color (e.g., CMY), Black or another gamut-extending (spot) color (Other). This assignment can be done automatically or manually. By default, the order is set automatically (Auto).

    An important element of the channel Definition is the inherent flexibility to achieve the maximum gamut volume from the measurement data used.

    Note: There are several reasons why measurement data do not comply with the required printing sequence.
    For example, in some applications, a specific color sequence must be adhered to on printing presses, and the RIP assigns a linearization to this sequence. The profiling chart is then defined and printed based on this sequence.
    In other applications, such as ceramic printing, standardized CMYK colors are not used, and a specific sequence is not provided.
    In addition, different densities of the colors used can result in colors being swapped to obtain a larger color space (e.g., Magenta and Red).

    If Auto is enabled, CoPrA automatically calculates and selects the ink definitions and the combinations with the largest gamut. The size of the Gamut Volume and the combined channels are displayed.

    Manual Definition: If required, the channels can be manually assigned a custom definition. There are three options per channel available.

    Primary: The data must contain three primary colors.

    Black: One channel can be defined as black.

    Other: Additional colors get the status Other.

    After defining the channels and confirming the settings with Apply the Gamut Volume is calculated and displayed. By clicking OK the changes are applied and the window is closed.

    Combination: The channel Combination specifies the Multicolor channels which are to be combined to expand the color gamut. This can be assigned automatically (which is the default for measurement data ≥4CLR) or manually.

    Auto: This checkbox is enabled by default for all Multicolor presets. When enabled, CoPrA automatically calculates and selects the ink combinations with the largest gamut and indicates the combined channels. The combined channels are displayed in the Channel Settings window and also below the Curves and Gamut previews. In both previews CoPrA shows the impact of the combined colors by the Gamut Volume number.

     

    If the Auto checkbox is disabled, the channels can be defined manually by clicking the checkboxes of the desired combinable channels. If the additional inks are not to be combined with the four standard inks, the channels of the additional inks can be disabled.

    Note: All profile settings, including those from the Channel Settings window, are embedded in the profile, and can be imported and used to reproduce settings by dragging an ICC profile onto the Setting drop-down menu. The name of imported profiles is given the suffix (imported).

    Background: The channel Combination option is intended for creating Multicolor printer and DeviceLink profiles used in industrial applications such as ceramic printing, glass or metal decoration or textile printing, with Multicolor inks.
    In these industries, special inks different from CMYK are often used in order to increase the color gamut in the shadows and some colorful areas, or to reduce costs.
    For example, a dark Red ink can be combined with a Magenta ink of similar hue to extend the color gamut in the dark areas of the ceramic print. Similarly, a light Gray can be used in combination with the Black channel in Flexo printing to create a smoother gradient from light to dark grays.

    CoPrA 8 and higher automatically detects if additional inks are either typical gamut-extending colors or special inks and will use them accordingly. For example, two inks with a similar hue but different chroma or lightness can be combined in a single channel.

    Example: If the Auto checkbox is activated, CoPrA calculates for the 6 color inks of the example data set (see screenshot) that the second channel (Magenta) can be combined with the 5th channel (a dark Red ink) to increase the gamut in the dark areas.

    The Curves show that Magenta is used for lighter colors, while more of the dark Red channel is used for darker colors with the Magenta channel being reduced to a minimum.
    On the other hand, the 6th channel (Orange) is a typical gamut-extending color and as such is automatically used by the selected Multicolor Mode in the Magenta-Yellow range of the color space.
    The Auto function determines the best combination of additional inks and their combination with the 4 standard inks to achieve the largest color Gamut Volume.

    Note: Typical gamut-extending colors used in ECG printing such as Orange, Green or Violet can not be combined with the 4 standard inks (CMYK).

    In industrial printing, it may be necessary to use combinations other than those recommended by the Auto function. By deactivating the Auto checkbox you can select custom channel combinations, provided that a combination of inks is applicable.
    Regarding the example in the screenshot, when the Auto checkbox is deactivated and channels can be combined, Magenta and dark Red are combined, and Yellow and Orange are combined, resulting in two channels under Combination.
    If the dark Red channel is disabled under Combination, only the Yellow and Orange inks are combined. Switching to the Gamut view allows comparing the impact of the combinable channels on the Gamut Volume number.

    Note: The channel Combination differs from the Used Channels! Channels that are disabled under Used Channels are not used in the separation. Usually, it is recommended to use all channels and not to disable any channel if you want to combine channels.

    It is recommended to use the default Auto setting for the channel Definition and Combination, as it automatically calculates and selects the ink definition and combinations with the largest gamut and indicates the combined channels.

    In our example the Magenta and Orange channel will be used as a Primary Color and Yellow is now combined with Orange.

    Graphic: Visualizes the effects of the selected color separation and Black Point settings. Provides a real time preview of the loaded measurement data when altering settings.

    Black Point and TAC

    In the panel Black Point and TAC you can define the overall Total Area Coverage (TAC) and the TAC for the black point (Black TAC). The black TAC represents the darkest color value of the profile which is usually identical with the maximum TAC. The graphical display of each color contains a number field showing the amount of ink used in the profile. Depending on the selected Black Calculation the number fields are either enabled or disabled.

    Note: The default window size sometimes truncates the input fields for Multicolor channels. Enlarge the window to display the input fields for all colors.

    Black Calculation: Five different settings available for DeviceLink profiling (see screenshot below).


    Black Calculation methods

    Auto: The calculation of the optimal black point (dark and neutral) is based on the target profile. The values entered for Black TAC and Max.Black define limits which are not exceeded but may be lower if technically possible. All channels are used to generate the black point (Black TAC), therefore individual channel editing is disabled. This mode will not use any Multicolor channels beside the first four channels (usually CMYK).
    Note: If no default value for the Black TAC is defined, it is recommended to use 400% as a starting point for the calculation.

    Balance CMY: This setting adapts the CMY values to a pre-defined Max.Black value and generates a neutral black point. Define the Black TAC and TAC in accordance with the printing conditions. The Max.Black should be set to the ideal value for your substrate. Similar to the setting Auto those values are regarded as maximum values which may be underrun if a neutral black point is not achievable. Allows customization of the black channel (or in general the 4th channel) and the addition of Multicolor channels.

    Note on excluding channels: Basically Balance CMY allows editing of the black channel (or in general the fourth channel) and the Multicolor channels. The CMY channels are grayed out (see screenshot).

    However, if a channel is excluded, the Multicolor channels are searched for a replacement color that can compensate for the missing channel in the gray balance. The replacement Multicolor channels are grayed out in the control panel Black Point and TAC (see screenshot).

    Darkest: Calculates the darkest possible black point with maximum density/lowest L*. Allows generation of a black point without neutral a* and b* values and darker L* if available.

    The values entered for Black TAC and Max.Black define limits which are not exceeded but may be lower if technically possible. Darkest uses the first 4 channels, usually CMYK. Possible Multicolor channels are added, but cannot be changed manually. If this is required, the Custom option must be selected.

    Custom: Allows to define the black point in the input box Custom as CMYK values. The Black TAC value will then be recalculated. Allows editing of all channels.

    Notes:

    • CoPrA calculates the Lab values based on the entered custom values. When changing custom values the resulting effects can be seen immediately. If you prefer CoPrA’s recommendations select the settings Balance CMY or Auto.
    • For Multicolor profiles with more than four channels you can use the extra Multicolor channels for the black generation besides the first four channels (typically CMYK). However, the total area coverage (TAC) cannot exceed 400%. Values for the Multicolor channels can be entered manually when using the settings  Balance CMY or Auto and these values will then be used to calculate the Black TAC. Usually it is not necessary to use those channels but sometimes a dark Multicolor channel adds desired contrast and definition. This can easily be checked by viewing the Lab values below the Custom fields. If the addition of a certain Multicolor channel decreases L* while a*b* values are not significantly altered, using this channel can be considered. However, the gray balance will use additional channels as well.

    Note: Neutral a* and b* values are the basis of the Black Calculation when selecting the settings Auto or Balance CMY. In contrast, selecting the setting Custom allows generation of  a black point without neutral a* and b* values.

    Target Profile: Calculates a black point based on the values of the target profile. The values for the calculation will be displayed and all sliders will be grayed out.

    Total Area Coverage (TAC) and Black TAC
    Many modern printing systems allow a black point that is generated by using a low amount of ink. Sometimes the darkest color can be printed using pure black which means in extreme cases a black point of 100% K may be sufficient. Obviously, such a low TAC does not work for other color areas – it would not even be possible to print a true red, green or blue! Therefore we separated the Black TAC from the general TAC. This allows use of the best setting for Black Calculation without restricting the color space.

    TAC: Defines the value for the maximum total area coverage (value range: 0 to 400%). This value will not be exceeded. This also applies to Multicolor profiles. The TAC can also be set for 2 or 3 channel profiles.
    Note: The sliders limit each other, so the TAC can never be lower than the Black TAC (but it can be higher).

    Black TAC: The Black TAC is the sum of all color values. The value resulting from your settings for the black point (Black TAC) is displayed after a short calculation under the Custom text field next to the calculated Lab value in percent (red frame in the screenshot below).

    The Lab value is particularly handy for assessing the effect on the black point when changing the TAC or Black TAC. The smaller the L* value, the deeper the black and the higher the contrast.

    Max.Black: Here you specify the maximum amount of black ink to be used by the separation (value range: 0 to 100%). Note that the entered value always refers to the fourth channel which, in Multicolor cases, may not be black but a chromatic color. Furthermore, the fourth channel of the Black TAC is always used for the darkest point of the profile, the black point.

    TAC and Black TAC can be adjusted separately in CoPrA
    The total area coverage (TAC), defined by the separation, and the black TAC are identical in traditional printing systems, however, industrial printing applications and many digital printing systems show that the black point can be selected much lower than the total area coverage. To achieve a sound gray balance with a high contrast while maintaining highly saturated colors it is necessary to separate these two settings.

    Advantages of a separate Black TAC
    The importance of adjusting the Black TAC independently from the total area coverage (TAC) is demonstrated using a digital printing system. Let’s assume the Black TAC and the TAC could not be set separately and we had to use identical values for both of them. If you selected the mode Auto to calculate the black point and set a TAC of 300% (and therefore a Black TAC of 300% as well), CoPrA would calculate the best black point for this case. The result would be a total area coverage of 275% with a neutral black point (a* and b* are 0 respectively), but with a very light L* of 22.0 (outlined in red in the screenshot).

    However, CoPrA allows to set the Black TAC separately from the total area coverage (TAC). As pure black is used in some digital printing systems as the darkest printing color, the Black TAC can be reduced to 100% which results in a black point with a significantly darker (lower) L* value of 9.8. Using a separate setting for the Black TAC achieves a significantly higher and better contrast than a TAC which is linked to a Black TAC of 275%. Additionally, a total area coverage (TAC) of 300% ensures highly saturated colors. These precise settings are only possible with separate TAC values.

    Profile Processing

    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: 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.
    Under Preferences, the Default save path for the reports and the Default report format can be selected. If XML is selected as the format, the corresponding XSD files will be created automatically as well.

    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.

    Preview Profiles

    Introduction: Using Preview Profiles for Soft Proofs

    Preview profiles allow soft proofing of image files in DeviceLink profiling and Multicolor printer profiling, without converting a file. Multicolor preview profiles provide a true color representation of images to be converted into the Multicolor color space in order to review the achievable result prior to the actual Multicolor conversion (More information can be found further down in the text). The same applies to DeviceLink conversions. Here, too, the DeviceLink preview profile can be used in Photoshop with the original data to visually review how the result of such a conversion would look like.

    Preview profiles can be created together with DeviceLink or Multicolor printer profiles by activating the checkbox Save Preview Profile (see screenshots). Preview profiles have the suffix ‘preview‘ and are saved in the folder Profiles (macOS) or color (Windows), (macOS: /Users/Username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles, Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color). Right clicking on the preview profile and selecting the menu entry Show file in the context menu will take you directly to the location of the selected profile.

    Creating preview profiles in Multicolor printer profiling


    Creating preview profiles in DeviceLink profiling

    A preview profile is a printer profile with the same color space as the source profile of the DeviceLink. It can be used as soft proof profile, for example in Adobe Photoshop. Preview profiles can be created for the following DeviceLink combinations:
    RGB-to-CMYK, CMYK-to-CMYK, RGB-to-Multicolor and CMYK-to-Multicolor

    Note: The creation of preview profiles is not available for DeviceLink profiles using more than four channels in the source color space since only preview profiles of the color spaces Gray, RGB or CMYK can be used in Photoshop. Multicolor printer profiles are not affected as their preview profiles are always RGB profiles which can be used in Photoshop.

    Example: To adapt your RGB image data in RGB mode to the desired CMYK printing condition, use the preview profile of your RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLink as soft proof profile in Adobe Photoshop to check how the image would look like after the conversion. This allows specific RGB adjustments without the need to convert the RGB file early on. A preview profile is a very useful feature, particularly in view of storing RGB image data in media-neutral workflows.

    Preview profiles can also be created for Multicolor printer profiles which allows a true color simulation of the color representation prior to application of the Multicolor profile. Although Adobe Photoshop CS4 or higher is able to convert image data using Multicolor profiles, the display of multichannel files is not a true color representation in Photoshop. So far, a true color representation of multichannel files is only possible using additional plug-ins and causes an increased workload. The preview profile function generates an RGB printer profile which features the same color visualization as the original Multicolor profile. Use this preview profile on an original image data for soft proofing.

    Note: Preview profiles are only intended for soft proofs and should never be used for the actual conversion. A preview profile provides an excellent visual preview of the expected result of a DeviceLink conversion. However, the special features of the DeviceLink, such as preserving color purity, cannot be 100% emulated.

    Using Preview Profiles for DeviceLinks in Adobe Photoshop

    1. Open the original image data to be converted using a DeviceLink profile in Adobe Photoshop.
    2. Either assign the Preview profile from CoPrA to this image file, or select the Preview profile in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate (see screenshot).
      Note: The color space of the preview profile is based on the color space of the DeviceLink’s source profile. It is an RGB preview profile for RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLinks and a CMYK preview profile for CMYK-to-CMYK DeviceLinks.
    3. Click Preserve CMYK Numbers to get a virtually exact preview of the expected color representation for the DeviceLink conversion.
      Note: Pipette values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. Only the color representation in the soft proof does.

    Using Multicolor Preview Profiles in Photoshop

    1. Open the original image data to be converted using a Multicolor printer profile in Adobe Photoshop (for example an RGB image).
    2. Select the Preview profile from CoPrA in the dialog Customize Proof Condition as Device to Simulate. Find the profile in the list of RGB profiles. The naming is based on the Multicolor profile name: Profile name_preview.icc
    3. Select the desired Rendering Intent and disable the checkbox Preserve RGB/CMYK Numbers.
      Note: Eyedropper values do not correspond to the final DeviceLink conversion. This is only for a soft proof.
    Profile Reports

    Profile reports can be created for Printer or DeviceLink profiles. To do so, activate the checkbox Create Profile Report in the last step of the profiling or, when updating profiles, the checkbox Create Profile Comparison Report.

     

    Depending on the type of profile the report contains various statistical data, such as statistics about profile precision (Integrity, Precision, Black Point, White Point etc.), graphic representations of curves and gamuts (Gray Balance, Gradients etc.), conversions of test images, separations and color patches to evaluate the smoothness or the purity of colors. All this facilitates the detection of artifacts that may be present.

    Profile reports can be created at any time in Batch Overview or in Profile Manager which, by the way, is not restricted to ColorLogic profiles.

    Under Preferences you can define some basic settings for the creation of the profile report, such as the Default save path, the Default report format (PDF or XML) or the DeltaE method (dE76 or dE2000). If XML is selected as the format, the corresponding XSD files will be created automatically as well.

    Note: If a profile comparison report is created when updating a profile, the measurement data obtained from the update test chart will be compared to the data of the original profile (reference profile).

    If the checkboxes Brightener Compensation or Measurement Correction have been activated, the data of the original profile will not be compared to the measurement data from the update test chart but to the data modified by these options.

    ColorAnt | Export CxF/X4

    Export CxF/X-4

    Creating CxF/X-4 files with custom options

    Exporting a CxF/X-4 file from ColorAnt

    The function Export CxF/X-4 exports spectral data as a Color exchange Format (CxF/X-4) compatible file. It can be found under File > Export CxF/X-4.

    CxF files are used to communicate colors in a vendor-neutral way. CxF/X-4 has been an ISO standard since 2015 and is designed to define spot colors by measuring and storing spectral information of inks and colors on the substrate or process black. These spectral definitions allow for better proofing and reproduction of spot colors in color management systems. CxF/X-4 files can be loaded as a spot color library in ZePrA.

    Procedure

      1. Open the spot color measurement file to be exported as a CxF/X-4 file (e.g., spectral measurement data of a test chart or any other measurement data with spot colors).
        Note: The file must contain device data (DCS data) and CIE spectral data. Neither Lab data nor pure spot color measurements without any percentage values are sufficient.
      2. Select File > Export CxF/X-4 to open the CxF/X-4 export dialog.
      3. Specify all relevant data such as Substrate Name, Substrate Type, Print Process and Surface Finishing.
        Note: These metadata are optional, but can be advantageous when using the CxF/X-4 file in other programs.
      4. Click on Start to export the file in CxF/X-4 format.

      Notes:

      • CxF/X-4 only refers to the characterization of spot colors. Therefore, only the full tones of each primary color (except black), overprint information of the corresponding color on black and hues are considered. So, when exporting a complete IT8-4 CMYK test chart, it will result in 102 color patches for CMY.
      • Redundancies are automatically removed when the data is exported.

      Include black gradient in export: By activating the checkbox, the black gradient is also exported.
      Typically, when exporting CxF/X-4 data from a complete test chart, only 100% black and overprinting spot colors with 100% black are included, but not the black gradient. However, adding the black gradient can be convenient if the black information from the CxF/X-4 data is to be used in other tools (e.g., in Edit Primaries).

      Note: Although the CxF/X-4 specification does not explicitly prohibit including the black gradient, the original idea is to specify spot colors, not black. Therefore, activating the checkbox can lead to incompatibilities with programs from other manufacturers.

      CxF/X-4 relates to spot color characterisation only, the full tone of each primary color except black, tints and overprints of the respective color with black are saved.

      As a result, if you export a complete iT8-4 CMYK test chart it ends up with 102 patches for CMY.

      Remove redundant patches: A feature to automatically optimize and remove redundant color patches is available with the Export CxF/X-4 (to save CxF/X-4 compatible measurement values). If the checkbox Remove redundant patches is activated all required color patches will be saved only once in the exported CxF/X-4 file, avoiding duplicates.
      Note: Color patches within a gradient are automatically sorted according to their measurement values. This correction of “wrong” primary gradients is intentional since wrong primaries can lead to various other problems.

      Include black gradient in export: Also exports the black gradient. Typically, when exporting CxF/X-4 data from a complete test chart, only 100 % black and overprinting spot colors with 100 % black are included, but not the black gradient. However, including the black gradient can be convenient if you want to use the black information from the CxF/X-4 data in other tools (for example, under Edit Primaries).

      Note: The CxF/X-4 specification does not explicitly prohibit saving the black gradient, but the original idea is to specify spot colors, not black. Therefore, activating the checkbox can lead to incompatibilities with programs from other manufacturers.