Quark, separations, PDFs, Pantone Black and Quark Black.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by MacBoobsPro, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    We use a 3 colour print process using Pantone 286 (Blue), Pantone Warm Red and Process Black.

    Occasionally we receive PDFs that have used Pantone Process Black instead of pure Process Black so in Quark when you separate the colours you get 2 black plates.

    Is there a quick way to change the Pantone Process Black to Quarks Process Black? Because it's in a PDF you can't delete the colour and replace it with Process black (essentially 'Find and Replace'). You get a message saying it won't separate correctly then just deletes the colour giving no option to replace.

    Any ideas?

    I can separate the whole thing myself using Photoshop but it is going to take ages as its a complicated advert.

  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    You know what I'd do if I had a deadline?

    Instead of faffing around with the PDF, especially one that's externally supplied, I'd change the Quark Black across the entire document to match the faulty PDF, so you have just the one black separation and then instruct my repro people just to run that plate as Process Black. I'd leave a note on the first page of the Quark file in magenta on the pasteboard for anyone coming back to the file so it's easily visible.

    Of course, that's only a time-saver if it's a one-off and if you're not dealing with templates and further work from this file. Some more info about the kind of work it is may help.

    Without seeing your problem file and depending on the complexity of the PDF, in the past, after running out a laser print of the problem sep, I've tended to open the PDF in Illustrator rather than Photoshop. It's easier to isolate elements that way and swap colours around.
  3. MacBoobsPro thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I was thinking exactly that. We print in-house so it's no big deal to tell them what to print. :D

    Thanks BV I was hoping you would show up. :)
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Fab. Inhouse print is a luxury to work with in terms of time and getting good lines of comms, instead of messing around with external suppliers.

    No probs, Boobs. :D
  5. flrazor macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2004
    Saint Paul, MN
    Just to offer something for other folks who might not have the in-house luxuries or who have to deal with this repeatedly from a variety of clients.

    If you have the money to invest in it, I highly recommend the Enfocus PitStop plug-in for Acrobat Pro. You can do individual item and global document-level color changes like MacBoobsPro was asking about and also reorder layers, expand vector objects, even edit type right in the PDF without having to jump to Illustrator and risk things moving around on you. I know skilled folks like Blue Velvet take care to make sure stuff doesn't get out of place, but the one time a font gets replaced or something doesn't end up where it's supposed to is when you'll have to tell your customer why you changed their "ready to go" PDF file on them.

    It's pricey for small operations, but it's been invaluable to our shop catching and correcting PDF problems without extra hassles going back and forth.

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