Black Crop Marks

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2020 Feb 05, 2020

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When exporting out of InDesign is there a way to make crop marks only 100% Black. Mine come out 100% of all colors and if I am running a 4 over Black job it sees page two a full color becasue of the crop marks? Thanks for any advise.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2020 Feb 05, 2020

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Moved to the InDesign forum

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2020 Feb 05, 2020

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No. The PDF cropmarks’ Color Space in Acrobat is Separation, All

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2020 Feb 05, 2020

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If you're running in an automated-read black-only-or-color click-charge environment, and you need those marks, and they must be K only, you'll have to set them manually.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2020 Feb 05, 2020

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What stops you to add your own "only black" marks on master-page?

Remember, never say you can't do something in InDesign, it's always just a question of finding the right workaround to get the job done. © David Blatner

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Really wish this was an option to select 100% K crop marks when exporting. Work arounds are not really good in this as you lose all the simplicity of what should be a very simple check box. I have a variable job, I could export and literally just drop it in a hot folder for our digital press but because it will see the crop marks as colour and does not convert to grayscale. Keeping it registration colour is no issue for offset as you only plate the colours you want. Hopefully someone from Adobe finds this request and looks at implimenting, would be a worth while feature that I am sure many people would want. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Crop marks typically must appear on all color plates. To want them only on one plate/color is a specialized use, and thus needs special attention at the design level.

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Yes, which I did mention in my post. This is a digital age and many if not all print shops are both Offset and Digital. I would say most print shops running digital are on some sort of "pay per click" plan. This means they have a price for CMYK prints and a price for 1 colour black prints. The black prints are much cheaper, sometimes under a penny per click. Colour prints (again plans will vary) will be around 6 cents or more. So if sending a job direct with crop marks from Indesign you are triggering the CMYK in the printer and getting dinged for a CMYK print despite using virtually no CMYK toner. Yes there are work arounds, but how hard would it be to simply throw in an option to select 100% K for crop marks for digital jobs? It would be super helpful to a huge number of people in the print world. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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If you want and are paying for black pages, export to Grayscale as suggested in this thread. No chance of any stray misinterpretation of the file triggering a color-page cost.

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Try @rudo123’s PDF Preflight fix—looks like it could be scripted:

 

 

Screen Shot 20.png

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New Here ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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I agree with this- as a printer priofessional, it would be so much less work if there was an option- check mark or whatever- that you could choose 100% black only. Or for plating, even an option for a spot color for crop marks! There should be an option for a check box- pop-up swatch panel in the export PDF crops and bleeds section. If some don't want to use it, they could uncheck the box!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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The printers I've worked with in the last few years don't even want crop marks. With the bleed information included in the PDF they prefer to create them themselves.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Digitally-based printing has pretty much eliminated the need to do a big sloppy press layout and then cut it down with manual processes. But crops are still useful for small production stuff. I can't see why 4C/K-only/RegBlack matters much for this, though.

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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New Here ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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You are correct, but some of us are small businesses and do not have the latest and greatest platemaker/printers that do all of that for you.

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Participant ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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You can fix it in Acrobat / Print production / Preflight / Fix / Convert registration color to CMYK black only (but, probably this is your not really good workaround):

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2022 Jul 27, 2022

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LATEST

You are a lifesaver. I've been looking for exactly this function for so long! Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Hi seanmmccormack,

did you consider to export to PDF with the conversion of colors to a grayscale color profile?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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Hi,

 

The trouble you are having seems simple but it has no simple solution inside Adobe Suite. As it has been pointed, print marks are created as "Separation All" color, that is more like a command ("Print every plate") than a real color.

 

You might try what Uwe points to by making two different PDF: One grayscale and the other CMYK and then tell the printer which set of pages is grayscale and which one is CMYK.

 

But, if you have to assemble both in one PDF, you revert to the initial trouble as the whole PDF will be considered CMYK and so the print marks will print in every plate.

 

What rudo123 points to would be an excellent solution (the easiest one, you can even change a whole page to grayscale if you tweak it a bit) . However, the trouble is that Acrobat fixes, at least up to now, do not work for page ranges (see this thread). So, back to the start if you have to send one PDF with all the pages assembled.

 

So, couldn't you just tell the printer which pages print as grayscale and which ones print as CMYK and send them the two sets, (applying the Acrobat fix to the grayscale PDF)?

 

Just my two cents

 

PS. Well. I correct myself. You might apply the grayscale fix in acrobat to the grayscale pages and then (afterwards), merge both PDF to expor the whole set as a PDF/X.

 

That should do the trick if you have to send one PDF.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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However, the trouble is that Acrobat fixes, at least up to now, do not work for page ranges (see this thread). So, back to the start if you have to send one PDF with all the pages assembled.

 

Hi @Gusgsm , Why would you need to apply the fix to a page range? Seems like there would be no problem with having the crop marks black only even when there is color on the page.

 

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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 @rob day

I think that having print marks (crop and registration) just in one plate in a CMYK would defeat their purpose, wouldn't it? Just my guess. But they might be asking for them just out of tradition and then it would be no trouble even not having them.

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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In any case, he can make it workable for the printer, that's the good news.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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The only reason for having crop marks on a digital print is to align the cutter, and there is no way to adjust the registration between colors on the fly as there is on a press, so having only black marks should not be a problem. The point is to not incur a color click charge on K-only pages just becasue you've included marks, and not having full color marks on color pages won't affect the cost at all.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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Yes, I was assuming the output is composite, and the problem is the printer charging for the cost of toner or ink when the page is color.

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Community Beginner ,
May 22, 2022 May 22, 2022

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I have exactly the same issue. When I send a job to a press, the cmyk crops are not a problem, but my digital press in-hoiuse bills wayyyyyyy more for a colour page vs greyscale, and 'colour' might be just the crops so i get dinged for each otherwise greyscale page.

 

You _would_ think there'd be a toggle somewhere in InDesign offering that, but I am not sure Adobe is even listening to users much any more (see Pantone issues for example).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Hi RMDufour,

did you try the solution rudo123 suggested a few replies before?

 

Open the exported PDF in Acrobat Pro. Go to Print Production > Preflight and run this fix on the PDF:

Convert registration color to CMYK black only

Acrobat Pro-Convert registration color to CMYK black only.png

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

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