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Exporting spot color channels as separate pdf's in Acrobat DC

Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2019 May 03, 2019

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Hi,

Are you able to generate separate pdf files for each spot color channel using Acrobat DC?

I am trying to use photoshop dcs files to print on risograph, normally I would create a separate greyscale pdf file for each color being printed, but when using dcs files I'm pretty sure you are unable to convert channels into layers and still save as a dcs, but I cant see what to do from here in Acrobat!

Thank you!

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Edit and convert PDFs

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LEGEND ,
May 04, 2019 May 04, 2019

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No, Acrobat does not colour separate PDFs.

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Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2019 May 04, 2019

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Is Acrobat able to print only selected spot colors?

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May 04, 2019 May 04, 2019

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Yes, for PostScript printers via the Advanced Print  Setup / Output pane. Color must be specified as Separations and then you will get one page output per separation and you can selection which of the process and spot colors you will get separations for from that dialog.

Note that if you are using print to PostScript as a cheap way of getting a separated PDF, be advised that this is anything but a recommended workflow!

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2019 May 05, 2019

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HI Dov, Thank you. That's all perfect, but I don't understand your final point - Once I have my final spot color file in indesign, I print to postscript pdf then drop that into distiller and it perfectly creates a separate greyscale page for each color layer in a pdf. Is this an incorrect cheap way of doing things? I have spent hours upon hours and this seems to be the only way I have discovered.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 29, 2020 Oct 29, 2020

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Hi b7ad,
b7ad Have you done this from InDesign 2020 as I have done this in older versions but I cannot choose the Adobe PPD so the separations is now greyed out. Really stumped as to what to do. The printer that is printing the job appears unfamiliar with seps for spot colours in Acrobat.

 

Dov Is there a PPD that I can download that will resolve this.

Kind regards

 

Russ

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 16, 2021 May 16, 2021

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Dov has the correct answer.

Sometimes we need the dirty workaround. So this is NOT the correct answer but rather the hack that some of us need to use at times.


If you are on the Mac or Windows you will need to install a PostScript printer, to be able to generate separations. Normally you can create an IP printer by supplying a legitimate (but non existent) IP address (e.g. 1.1.1.1). Make it a Generic PostScript device. If you need a specific paper size you may need an additional ".PPD" to a printer that has that size paper. 

 

You can then "Export to…" a PostScript file from Acrobat (Check the Settings… where yo can find Separations along with a number of options that make or break your work) or print to a PostScript file from InDesign. If you Print Device Independant you cannot get the separations, you must have a Generic Postscript PPD (The PPD is the file that says what printer features are available).

 

The PostScript file must then be "refried" or Distilled to a PDF. You can also open a Postscript from Acrobat DC, but I prefer to use the Acrobat Distiller so that I can have a little more control. 

 

Note that hairlines may occur due to tiling, these are most likely if there is transparency used in the document. The separations do not have propper screening but are the greyscale of each colour. (This is unfortunately the only way for students etc to create the separated files needed for Riso-printing and Screen printing workshops )

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