Can't get color back to how I used to print

Explorer ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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I am so frustrated right now. I used to be able to open my file, print 500 envelopes, and DONE!! Ever since I played with my color settings to make them match where I worked, I can't figure out how to get back to where I was with my printing. I haven't changed my links in my documents, the only thing I have changes is color settings through Bridge so that everything would sync. I can't remember what the setting was before. I have tried so many different things, but I'm not 100% sure of what I'm doing. I did try changing the color setting back to North America General Purpose 2, and the color is closer, but still muddy looking. For example, the color in Photoshop is 100% yellow, but when it prints, it looks like dull mustard.  When I look in the linked palette, it says the links are document cmyk.

 

I also have another job with the same problem. I have a nice bright, green that now prints dull moss green. All this because I thought I would get consistency between all the Adobe Apps. Maybe it is consistent, but it's consistently ugly colors. I just want it to print the colors that I made in my files. I've tried changing a gazillion settings in my print menus, etc. to no avail.

 

I'm running MacOS Big Sur, latest InDesign, printing to an HP Officejet Pro 8620 (I know it's RGB, but it used to print the colors just fine).

 

I do NOT want to change my linked image colors because they printed correctly before, I should be able to get them to print correctly again, with the right settings, of course.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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You may want to try changing your CMYK: color settings profile options box from GRACOL Coated to SWOP Coated 20%. SWOP coated has traditionally been the default color setting for InDesign color display onscreen.

 

Hopefully that will get you the results you're looking for.

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

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Explorer ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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That gives me the exact same results. Thanks for the try though.

Is there a setting that will just print the colors defined instead of trying to manage the color?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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You can create a custom profile that completely removes any color correction, but I'd suggest that once you use it you would immediately regret it. Laying down 400% ink coverage for an uncorrected CMYK black would soak and shred most any paper substrate or create a smeared mess on any plastic that didn't absorb the ink.

 

You have us shooting blind because we don't know — because you don't know — what color corrections you made to get you into this color output mess. The only way I can suggest you get back to a baseline that worked is to uninstall your Creative Cloud applications using the CCCleaner tool, starting from scratch and crossing your fingers.

 

Wish I had better news for you,

 

Randy

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Explorer ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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So there's no way to only trash the color settings files/preferences?

 

to get in this scenario, I went to Bridge and synced all my adobe apps with the new profile that I made. It seemed to work okay until I got to certain jobs. 

I always work in cmyk and try to use Lab or cmyk spot colors

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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Depending on what you did, there may be. Or not. It depends on what settings have been changed. But neither one of us is sure what got changed, exactly where, to put you in your current predicament.

 

The only thing we know for sure is that changes have caused a problem. So the best recommendation I can make for you, shooting blind as we are, is that completely uninstalling Creative Cloud from your system and reinstalling fresh with the old baseline is your best shot. Unless color settings have been changed at the printer directly as well, which in that case would also have to be reset to the original baseline.

 

I know this is not the answer you'd like to hear, but it's the best one I can come up to try and help you out.

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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Do you get the same resulst if you export a PDF and print from that?

There's a possibility you are applying double-color-management through ID (it happens).

Can you show a screen shot of the color management tab in your Print dialog?

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Explorer ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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Yes, I get the same thing when I print from a PDF.

I have attached the color management image from the print dialog.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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What settings did you use for your PDF?. Make sure you try the PDF/X-4 with No Color Conversion, so you're sending the colours as they currently exist to your printer. If the PDF is producing the same poor results, then it's your printer that is affecting the results.

Might be time to check your printer settings. In particular, check the settings for Color Matching.

Normally you can go with what the printer itself will do... in your case it would say "Vendor Matching" or "In Printer" ; this uses the printer's default built-in conversion from sRGB.

Alternatively, you can select ColorSync and choose either Automatic (which will use an appropriate Profile if it exists: this can be problematic) OR select a predefined Profile that gets installed for your printer. I test installed a driver for your printer and it installed two, as shown. If you DO use ColorSync, make sure you DO NOT also set a conversion in InDesign. This is the double-converting I was mentioning. From you're screenshot, you're letting InDesign send Document sRGB data, which is appropriate.

Also make sure you've selected the appropriate paper configuration. Your printer will have built in fine tuning for each paper type.

Screen Shot 2022-05-04 at 11.07.13 AM.png

Attached is a test PDF I use to gauge my printer's accuracy. Feel free.

 

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Explorer ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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I tried my document exported as a PDF/X-4 and got the same muddy color.

 

I downloaded the most recent HP Easy Start.app which included the 2 profiles that I didn't have before. Apparently, that's something new since last time I downloaded the app. I printed your sample pdf before and after the new app, and get the same muddy colors. I tried with colorsync (with 1 of the new printer profiles), and I tried Vendor Matching, and got the same muddy colors. I thought that was worth a try before uninstalling all the adobe apps. I guess that's my only choice now?

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Explorer ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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I even went to the notes.app and applied 100% yellow to some text and it comes out a muddy yellow

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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I don't think there's anything wrong with your Adobe apps. If you are getting the same muddy results from other apps, this points more to the printer being the issue in your workflow.

There WAS an issue with Big Sur breaking ColorSync, especially with Printer profiles, but that has since been resolved in 11.6.5. If you are sending RGB from InDesign and/or selecting Vendor Matching, ColorSync isn't involved anyway, so that shouldn't have affected anything

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Explorer ,
May 03, 2022 May 03, 2022

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Isn't there a way to print the colors that are in the photoshop tif files? No color management? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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Regardless of any profiles, etc, if you are trying to send bright out-of-gamut colors to ANY toner based printer, you WILL lose fidelity. This is the facts of life trying to translate a large gamut color space to an smaller one.

Can you upload a sample PDF with the colours you are having issue with?

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