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Configure Ink options for trapping

Adobe Employee ,
Apr 13, 2023 Apr 13, 2023

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Hi Everyone,


Ink Trapping is defined as the ability of the printed ink to adhere to a previously printed ink. It plays an important role in the final print output. In this post, we will discuss how to adjust Ink options for trapping in InDesign.


One can precisely position traps by modifying the ink neutral density (ND) values that the chosen trapping engine employs. The neutral density readings of process ink swatch that adhere to regional industry standards are used to determine the default ND values for process inks. Which standard it complies with is determined by the language version. 
Ask your business printer for the neutral density value that corresponds to a particular ink. The most precise way to determine an ink's ND value is to measure a sample of the ink using a densitometer that is available for purchase. (Don't use process filters.) Check the ink's "V" or visual density. In the ND text box, enter the new value if the value is different from the default option.


Guidelines to adjust ND values

Metallic and opaque inks: The ND values for metallic and opaque spot colors should typically be set far higher than their default values to prevent these spot colors from spreading.

Pastel inks: These inks are typically lighter than their equivalents for other processes. To ensure that these inks spread into nearby darker hues, you might want to lower the default ND value for these inks.


Customize trapping for specialty inks

There are unique trapping considerations when using some inks. You would not want the varnish, for instance, to affect trapping if you were applying it to your manuscript. Instead of setting up traps for objects underneath, you can just overprint some sections with fully opaque ink. For such scenarios, ink alternatives are available. Unless your prepress service provider specifically advises doing so, it's often preferable to leave the default settings alone.


Select the special-treatment ink by launching the Ink Manager and choosing it. Choose one of the options listed below for Type, then click OK:

Normal: Use for most spot inks and conventional process inks.

Transparent: To ensure that underneath things trap, use clear inks. Varnishes and dieline inks should use this option.

Opaque: Usage with opaque, thick inks to prevent trapping of underlying colors while allowing trapping along the ink's edges. For metallic inks, select this option.

Opaque Ignore: Use opaque, thick inks to prevent trapping of underlying colors and at the margins of the ink. Employ this option if the ink has unfavorable interactions with other inks, such as metallic and varnish inks.


Adjust the trapping sequence


  1. Get the Ink Manager open. In the inks list's Sequence column, the current trapping sequence is visible.
  2. After choosing ink and entering a new Trapping Sequence value, press Tab. The other sequence numbers adjust to match the new sequence number of the chosen ink.
  3. Click OK after completing the previous step with all the inks required.


Please feel free to create a new post for any assistance. We would be happy to help you. 




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