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When you refine input files or pages you can reduce spot colors by converting them to process color or mapping them to other spot colors.
If you preserve or reduce spot colors during refine, it permanently affects the resulting PDF, which is often called the digital master. If you reduce spot colors, they are no longer present when you generate proofs or final output. The original input files remain unchanged.


Preserving spot colors during refine



Reducing spot colors during refine


When to preserve or reduce spot colors during refine

Preserve a spot color during refine in these situations:

  • The spot color will be used in the final output. For example, if a customer expects the logo on marketing materials to be displayed in a specific PANTONE color.
  • You use a late-binding workflow. Some printers prefer to preserve color information as long as possible. This means that they delay color conversion and color reduction until the proofing or final output stages. This is called a late-binding workflow, because the job files are not tied to a specific output device until necessary.

CAUTION: It is better to reduce spot colors during refine—not during proofing and final output—because it ensures consistency between proofs and final output and because color conversion is better in the refine process than in the proofing and final output processes.

Reduce a spot color during refine if the spot color will not be used in final output—for example if a customer mistakenly added a spot color to the files.

How to preserve spot colors during refine

To preserve all spot colors during refine, change a setting in the Spot Color Handling section of the refine process template.

If you preserve spot colors, you also need to manage the definitions of the spot colors:

  • Make sure the spot colors in the files are defined in the Prinergy color database. You can do this while refining or separately. For instructions on adding colors independent of any process, see Managing color definitions.
  • Make sure the spot colors in the files have the same name that the color has in Prinergy. If a customer uses a different spelling or name for a color, you can point the customer's color to the Prinergy color during the refine process.


How to reduce spot colors during refine

You can reduce spot colors during two types of refine processes:

  • By refining the input files. If you know in advance that the input files have unnecessary spot colors, you can eliminate them immediately when you refine the input files.
  • By refining the pages. If you do not know what the files contain, you run two refine processes. This is the most common situation. You refine the input files without handling color in any way. After looking at the resulting pages, you then refine the pages and handle any color issues in them. Typically, you create a refine process template specifically for this purpose with a name such as 2ndRefine-MapColors.

You can reduce spot colors during refine in two ways:

To Reduce

Use This Method

Consider This

All or some spot colors automatically during refine

Change settings in the refine process template (in the Spot Color Handling section).

This is possible during any refine whether you are refining input files or pages.
With this method, you can choose to automatically convert all or some of the spot colors globally in the file, by choosing All or Customize Spot Color Mapping to select colors in Factory or User libraries as exceptions that will continue to output as spot colors, while all others will be converted to process.
This method works only with composite files, not with separated files.

Individual spot colors during refine

Use the Color Mapping dialog box when running the refine process.

This is possible only when refining pages not when refining input files.
With this method, you can convert, omit, or map spot colors.
If the file is separated, you cannot convert spot colors to process color. You can map a spot color to another spot color, but only using existing separations.
If you use the Color Mapping dialog box and edit the process template during the same refine process, the most recently-applied settings take precedence.

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