Feels like I'm back in the year 2004

New Here ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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I'm being asked to supply a separated PDF to our client. I know this was done back in the day but I haven't needed to do this in ages. Is this still a thing? Is it still possible and with transparency as it is now, is it even possible to get a reliable separated PDF from a distilled postscript file?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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Separations are separations, with or without transparency, so I'm not sure what you're specifically asking. You'd simply use AI's separations preview or check the file in Acrobat based on what you created. The only real caveat is to have the color management set up correctly as per the client's requirements. I'm also not sure why you would even want to distill a EPS/ PS file when most RIPs these days natively support PDFs and/ or they get converted to the native printer language via the driver. In that regard PostScript is pretty much dead as a delivery format and only used for intermediate workflows in the print facilities themselves, at least in reasonably modern ones.

 

Mylenium

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Community Expert ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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Do you mean the client wants separate CMYK files with the individual channels as a separate document?

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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New Here ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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Our client is looking to get a PDF file that contains separate pages for each separation. The way this was done back in the day was to print the file from your application of choice to a postscript file (using print as separations), then distill it using Acrobat Distiller to convert that to a PDF. It's been ages since I've needed to do this and I just wonder why anyone would even want this as an option.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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That would be my question to the client and perhaps its just a chance to educate them on modern techniques. PDFs do not need separate plates provided.

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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Most printers will do their own prepress, and they have to trap that anyhow so just doing separations is not enough. Often this kind of request comes from a Communist country where the culture is different, and you must comply and use them as there is no choice, or an older small shop is not concerned about service and tryin to make their job easier.

 

The only printer requests nowadays are to outline fonts, or suply pdf embedded ofnts, so they printer does not have to purchase. Most printers will take care of rich blacks, mindot, dinmax and ofcourse separations.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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That doesn't really make much sense and even in 2004 would have been one heck of a non-ideal workflow. It's really not advisable to provide separations outside the facility's internal loop where they have tweaked settings and color profiles to their printing machines. I haven't seen anyone request PS files or individual separations in over a decade (except for specialized spot color like processes like textile printing).

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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So just to put some background on this, we are a pre-press house and adjust client supplied graphics for correct color separations as well as trapping etc. It's only this one client that is requesting this separated pdf for whatever reason as we've done business with them for years without issue. I get the feeling he doesn't have the ability to view separations from a PDF and wants to make sure of correct color seps. Was just posing these thoughts as I wasn't sure if I had missed something out there where this can be easily done. Thanks for all the responses guys.

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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You can create separations by printing to a PostScript file and use the Distiller PPD that can be found here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/save-as-pdf-options-not.html

In the Illustrator Print dialog choose: Printer > Adobe PostScript File.

For PPD select: Other and choose the Distiller PPD: ADPDF9.PPD

Then you are able to select: Mode > Separations (Host Based) in the Output tab.

You can save the PostScript file and use the Acrobat Distiller to create the separated PDF.

 

But...

It will be a grayscale document that does not contain halftone dots, your printer needs to support printing halftone dots if you want to print anything else than flat solid colors.

The direct download for the PPD:

https://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/kb/en/852/cpsid_85257/attachments/ADPDF9.zip

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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A similar method, if on Windows, is to use the Adobe PDF print driver. 

David Creamer: Community Expert, Adobe Certified Instructor, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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@Ton Frederiks hit the nail on the head. Creating separations will not create a halftone pattern. I would still reach out to the client and see if this is just a misunderstanding.

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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Maybe they want "final film".

BTW, I think the year "2004" is generous. I would say more like "1994". 😁

David Creamer: Community Expert, Adobe Certified Instructor, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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