Colors synced but InDesign colors not matching Photoshop files

New Here ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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I'm hoping someone can please help me get my InDesign/Photoshop colors to match. I am  on Adobe CS5 and am noticing a big color change (especially with red hues) on my computer monitor between my Photoshop and InDesign files.

My colors are all synced to North America General Purpose 2  through Bridge but the color in my Indesign files never match my  Photoshop files on my computer screen. (I'm honestly not sure how they compare in print.)  The color profiles match in both Photoshop and InDesign and I've also tried changing my color profiles on both programs but that doesn't fix the issue either.  I've noticed my red/pink/purple hues seem to be off quite a bit - much more than the other colors. Any ideas on how I can fix it so my colors match from Photoshop to InDesign?  I'd really like to get the issue fixed because when I produce a PDF from the InDesign file the PDF matches InDesign but I want it to match the original Photoshop file.  If it helps, I'm on Mac OS 10.5.8 and running Creative Suite 5 (InDesign CS5 Version 7.0.4,  Photoshop CS5 Version 12.0.4 x64,  Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro version 9.4.5,  and Adobe Bridge CS5 Version 4.0.4.2).

Also, I probably should mention I have 2 computer monitors hooked up (one mac, one pc). When I compare the two files on the mac screen, the colors (especially the reds) are way off. When I compare them on the PC/Dell monitor the colors are off, but not nearly as much. (However, the color of the Dell monitor in general isn't good.. or true to print). I'm assuming the Mac monitor probably produces a greater range of color and that could be the reason for seeing a greater contrast in color on the Mac monitor vs. the Dell monitor but I'm not sure.


I have CS3 on another computer and the file colors match from  Photoshop to InDesign on my computer with Adobe CS3 so I know it's not a file issue. I even took screen shots of my  color settings on my computer with CS3 and made my color settings on my computer with CS5 all match, but the colors  still do not match up.  I also tried resetting my preferences for  InDesign, Photoshop and Bridge but it still doesn't match!

I've attached a screen shot that compares the same file in Photoshop vs. InDesign on a Mac monitor. Anyone have any ideas? I use reds a lot in print so I'd really like them to match!

Picture 1.png

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jun 23, 2011 Jun 23, 2011

I don't think this is a setting onthe monitor, but rather something you need to adjust in the sytem prefs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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Those screen comparisons mean absolutely squat

In InDesign, you need to go to Window>Output>Separations Preview (or Shift+F6)

Then get a reading from there.

If the values are the same in both apps then you're good to go.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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At this point, I don't see an obvious answer, but let's delve a bit deeper. Is the image in question RGB or CMYK? Is there any transparency involved, and if so, what transparency blend space is set in ID?

Does it look different in Overprint Preview mode? Are you embedding the profiles in the Photoshop files?

Do you have a colorimeter, such as an iOne, and is your monitor calibrated and profiled?

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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The files are CMYK.  There's no transparencies in these files. (I do use transparencies occassionally but I've also tried flattening the file and using a JPEG and the color is still off w/ a flattened file). It looks the same in Overprint Preview mode.

Yes when I saved the PSD file I embedded the color profile - US Web Coated (SWOP) v. 2

I do not have a colorimeter. I'm not sure if my mac monitor has been calibrated before as I recently inherited the computer from another graphic designer. The color has been pretty true from Photoshop to press so I've been a bit afraid to try to calibrate it and mess it up. Even if I did calibrate it, wouldn't it change the screen color overall and not the color in just one of the programs?

If it helps to determine the issue, my Acrobat color is way off too (reds especially). I can save a file w/ a red background as a high resolution pdf from InDesign or Photoshop and end up with a PDF that looks reddish-brown in Acrobat... however if I open the PDF in Photoshop, the color looks correct.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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You say the colors are synched, but it sure doesn't sound that way. It wouldn't hurt to verify.

Also, when you view the separations preview in ID, do the numbers match the numbers in Photoshop, as Eugene asked?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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All you're seeing in the screenshot is a preview of the colours, only the separations panel can give you the true value.

Trust the values from the panels, not what you see on screen.

On my home computer 20 M 20 Y and 100K looks brown on screen. But placed in InDesign it's pure black.

The Colour values in photoshop let me know it is rich black, I don't trust the monitor for a second to display the colours accurately.

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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Yes the colors all match according to the separations preview in ID.  And I double checked, it's definitely synced.

Picture 2.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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Could be a display issue only, but if there is a profile mismatch using the North America General Purpose settings, you'd never know unless you dig. The mismatch policy says ignore embedded profiles and preserve numbers, so the separations preview numbers will always match unless you go into the image color settings and assign a new profile.

Just humor me for a few more minutes and check the color settings directly in Photoshop and ID, and verify that the profile is waht you think it is in Photoshop by going to Edit > Convert to Profile... and looking at what the current profile is. Then in ID go to Object > Image Color Settings...  and see if it is reporting correctly.

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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Ok, in Photoshop I converted the profile to US Web Coated (SWOP) v. 2 even though the color settings said it was already there. Then went into ID Image color settings and it was on document default, I changed to US Web Coated (SWOP) v 2 but the colors still aren't matching. I took a few screen shots of Photoshop and InDesign below...

By the way, I appreciate all your efforts to help me figure this out!

Photoshop:

Picture 4.png

Picture 5.png

InDesign:

Picture 6.png

Picture 7.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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I have to run out  for a while, but I'm going to continue to ponder this. In the meantime, would you mind telling us what the numbers for the top three and bottom stipes ar ein Photoshop? I want to see what they look like here.

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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Reds (top 3 colors, from top to bottom):

  • C=25 M=100 Y=100 K=28
  • C=0 M=100 Y=100 K=16
  • C=0 M=99 Y=100 K=0

Blue/Purple/Pink (bottom 3 colors, from top to bottom):

  • Blue: C=100 M=98 Y=5 K=6
  • Purple: C=20 M=83 Y=0 K=0
  • Pink: C=1 M=91 Y=0 K=0

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2011 Jun 20, 2011

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I made a test image here and placed it in ID CS5. Photoshop is on the left, ID on the right, all one screen capture, both .psd and .indd assigned Swop 2:

Untitled-1.png

My monitor hasn't been recalibrated in a couple of months, but what I'm seeing in ID looks pretty darn close to what I see in Photoshop (and a good bit redder than what I see in the browser, which is not color managed), and is what I would expect for SWOP color. I think your ID preview is actually more accurate than the Photoshop preview, if  the screen caps are at all realistic.

I am not familiar with color mangement on Mac, but I recall that in CS3 the monitor profile was introduced into the print stream in either ID or Photoshop, and it made matching difficult, This may have nothing at all to do with your problem. I suspect, though, that if you try to view both docs on a system that has been calibrated and profiled using an instrument, you are going to see something much closer to what I'm seeing.

At this point it might be interesting to try placing your file in a document here, if you want to post a link to it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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And What does the Separations Panel tell you the colour is.

And what does the CMYK reading in Photoshop tell you it is.

If you put both down in InDesign and make a PDF and choose no colour conversion - what does the Output Preview tell you the colours are in Acrobat Pro?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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Eugene,

In this particular case, I think viewing the numbers MIGHT be misleading, depending on the expectations. NA Gen Purpose 2 sets the CMYK policy to preserve numbers and ignore profiles (bad policy, in my opinion), and turns off any warnings. Given that numbers will be preserved, you would expect to see the same numbers listed in Photoshop and the ID seps, and possibly also in Acrobat, depending on the particular export settings, but if there is an actual profile mismatch those color numbers would have a different appearance. I'm not yet convinced there is a profile mismatch, so the difference is certainly perplexing.

@KM9988,

If you PRINT from Photoshop, and Print from ID, what do you see?

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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Unfortunately I don't have access to a color printer so I can't check it. But, I do think it's InDesign/Acrobat that is showing the wrong color and not the files themselves. I've emailed the Indesign, Photoshop and PDF files to others for comparison and the color shows up correctly on their Mac monitors and the PDF and InDesign colors match the original Photoshop file. I think it's a setting somewhere that is making the color show up wrong on my monitor but I can't figure out which setting.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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I only ever trust the values I see in the separations or output preview.

If I make an image in photoshop - I insert that in Indesign. I compare the CMYK reading from Indesign to Photoshop.

I then make a PDF with my settings or printers settings that I have to use.

Then I compare the CMYK values in the PDF to that of the InDesign and Photoshop files.

Usually correct. But with all 3 open in InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat the colours look slightly different.

But I trust the CMYk values readings.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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Eugene Tyson wrote:

I only ever trust the values I see in the separations or output preview.

And well you should, since those are the numbers that will print.

BUT are they the numbers you really want? To my mind, if you're picky about color, and you've gone to the trouble to calibrate and profile your monitor, and to do color correction in Photoshop so that what you are seeing on screen there is what you want (and if you haven't calibrated and profiled the monitor, color correcting based on the screen is an inaccurate waste of your time and will not give reliable results), then you don't want to preserve numbers at the expense of appearance when you change profiles, either between the image and the ID document working space, or between the ID document working space and the output space.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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I only go by Pantone swatches or by what the printer provides.

What I see on screen is no valuation of what will be printed. I probably rely to heavily on the pantone swatches.

But if I say to the printers the colour is "85% Cyan and 19% Magenta" - closest Pantone Formula guide match is Pantone 299

Then I can be sure. If i was that picky about colour.

And if I am being picky about colour I'll ask for printed samples. Say if I want to a tint of that colour above.

I don't want the Cyan to drop so low that the magenta tinge shows through. So I'd need to see that off the printers press before I commit to it.

Usually I know what colour I'm aiming to replicate. I use 20 30 70 for gold in CMYK and thes drastically look different from photoshop and illustrator and even more so when mixed on top of the same colour in InDesign.

But I know in my heart of hearts it's accurate and to ignore what is shown to me here. When I make the PDF the colours all have the same value so that's what should be printed.

A quick note to the printers "gold colour on pages x,y,z are 20 30 70"

As for why the colour is different on monitor, I haven't given it much thought or concern.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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In saying that

I created a 400px image in illustrator and photoshop using the CMYK values of 20 30 70

First both came in to InDesign with slightly different values in the CMYK.

Setting the profile in both Illustrator and Photoshop to the same as InDesign it corrected the problem and I got the same CMYK value reading from inDesign then.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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OK, I think you and I have quite different workflows and view color and imagery quite differently. Most of my color work involves photographs, not Pantone colors (and for the record, I would be a lot more upset about the colors shifting in a photo than in a solid area with some Pantone CMYK fill). I ALWAYS embed a profile in anything saved from Photoshop so the appearance will be preserved, even at the expense of color numbers.

Logos and other Illustrator work, however, unless the absolute appearance of the clor is critical (in which case I think spot color is more appropriate), I typically DON'T embed profiles so ID will presume a match to whatever curretn working space and numbers will be preserved. This is particularly heplful for black.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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The only time I'd be critical of photos in layout is if I scanned them myself from originals or transparencies.

If I get stock images or images from photographers they are inserted as is.

I would rarely alter an image that is sent to me. If the client wants to pay for colour correction then fine. But rarely happens for me.

Unless the image is too dark or whatever, I can still go by the Info panel to check highlight, midtone and shadow areas.

I can set up a page of the photos and send to the printer to get a colour proof. That way I can use that as a guide to what will be printed.

But the OP is dealing with solid colours, and that's what I was trying to address.

You can see the CMYK breakdown, get a close Pantone Formula match is what I'd normally do.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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The examples are solids, but I had the feeling that this is a test file, and not necessarily typical of the workflow. If the problem manifests in the test, it would be a problem in a real photo, as well.

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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Yes this is just a test file. I do a lot of photo color correction and design work with images. I just created the test file to show how the warm colors change more than the cool colors.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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Double check your InDesign Color Setting's Conversion Options (check Advanced Mode). It looks from your screen capture that Black Point Compensation might be unchecked. InDesign and Photoshop appear to handle conversion options differently when converting CMYK back to RGB for display.

Here are your swatches as SWOP in ID and PS with ID's Black Point off and a Perceptual rending intent:

bpoff.png

And with BP on and a Relative Colormetric rendering:

bpon.png

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011

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I had advanced mode unchecked in ID but when I checked it, it showed BP Compensation already on. I compared the files again leaving the advanced mode checked and the color is still off on my mac monitor.

The screen show below shows my current color settings with the test image in the background (Photoshop is on the left, ID on the right)

Picture 1.png

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