How do I export separations for Lithographic printing?

Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Hello,

 

I work at printers where we use a two-colour litho machine for printing larger jobs. I use InDesign print options to export to a postscript file with separations but recently have come across an error after recent updates. I have tried installing an older version to no avail. I should add that the problem only occurs when trying to export with trapping.

 

The error is: "Export Error: The Adobe Print Engine has failed to output your data due to an unknown problem."

 

I came across another thread where someone had the same issue but their troubleshooting did not help in my case. 

 

This raises the question: what is the most common way people export files for printing in this method? I have always used this method as it is what I was taught when I started working here, but it seems out-dated.

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How to , Import and export , Print

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Explorer , Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022
It would appear that the problem is existing within ID. I have managed to produce the postscript using my usual workflow on an old Mac using ID 2018.  I didn't notice this issue directly after updating to the latest version of ID which I find odd. I have also tried a previous version available on CC to no avail.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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You can print PDF/postscript to achieve separations, but there is no way to "Export" separations from Indesign. The more common workflow is to export composite PDF, and allow the RIP to perform the separations, trapping, output compensation, etc.

And this depends on the capability of your RIP, can you provide the name of RIP you are using?

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Believe it is RipMate.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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Could you recommend some RIP software? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Best is not to use the print option in InDesign. It never worked great for me. I export any file to PDF and then print the PDF file.

 

Also: Separation should be done "at the very last moment". I never felt the need for doing that myself…

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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Okay. I'm realising that maybe a PDF will be readable on the Rip software which I had not realised... I always print to postscript. Will try this on Monday. Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022

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The PDF print experts usually recommend PDF/X-4.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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So I'm still having the same problem. If I export as a PDF and place it into our RIP software, we are left with one single plate with all colours. We need each plate to be separately made. I'm thinking that the RIP software we use is dated and won't read the PDF file correctly.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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 If I export as a PDF and place it into our RIP software

 

Can you print to the RIP from Acrobat? Here I’m selecting my software RIP as the printer and under Advanced I get the RIP’s Separation options:

 

Screen Shot 35.png

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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Thanks for the suggestion.

 

I can print to the RIP software through Acrobat, then select the two spot colours needed, but it still produces a Postscript with both colours combined on one page. 

 

By the sounds of it - I should be able to export my PDF and place it straight into the RIP software. Unfortunately, the RIP software is very, very old and doesn't seem to read the PDF to separate it.

 

I had been using Print to RIP through InDesign for the past few years and only this week have come across this error..!

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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Are you printing Separations or In-RIP Separations—I think In-RIP would be composite.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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Ah - I could have sworn I tried both of these methods with the same outcome but obviously not! Separations did work this time!

 

The only thing is I was actually able to do this using my usual method through InDesign. The issue was with selecting trapping options, which causes the error message. It appears that I still cannot select trapping options through this method.  

 

I knew our methods were old, but I'm now realising just how old it is:

 

I'm actually printing TO the platemaker itself (ECRM DPX System) to create the postscript file, through InDesign. I'm looking for RIPMate Drivers (the RIP software that is on the PC connected to the platemaker) but can't seem to find any online... The PC connected to the platemaker is running on windows 98. 

 

I'm probably asking a bit much to solve all of the above out... but I still don't understand why the method of printing through InDesign with trapping options is suddenly not working for me.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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I even found the original CD with the RIP software on it but it isn't compatible with windows after 2002. Nightmare!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

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I’m seeing the same with my RIP—I use it to drive my large format printer for composite printing and never print separations, so I’m not sure why trapping is not available.

 

The error is: "Export Error: The Adobe Print Engine has failed to output your data due to an unknown problem."

 

Have you tried using the Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD when Printing postscript? That‘s working for me with both Separations and In-RIP Separations:

 

Screen Shot 40.png

 

Here is In-RIP Separations, which output a composite PDF with traps

 

Screen Shot 41.png

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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I didn't have that PPD driver but after installing and trying it still causes the same error.

 

Thanks again for the help though.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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It would appear that the problem is existing within ID. I have managed to produce the postscript using my usual workflow on an old Mac using ID 2018. 

 

I didn't notice this issue directly after updating to the latest version of ID which I find odd. I have also tried a previous version available on CC to no avail.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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The Adobe PDF 9.0 PPD is working for me with CC2021. My OS is Mojave so maybe it‘s an OS problem?

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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I'm using Windows 11. Just happened to have an old Macbook to test it on.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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Can you share a packaged ID sample that is failing?

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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I've even tried on a brand new document with just two blocks of colour. Doesn't seem to be document dependent. The only time there is an issue is when trapping is selected. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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Hi AMORE,

I see the same issue on my Windows 10 machine.

With InDesign 2021 and 2022.

 

PPD is Adobe PDF9.0.

Two process colors should be written, Cyan and Magenta.

Also tested with all process colors.

 

Tested with the [Standard] trapping set, tested with a custom trapping set.

Always the same result, an error message like you see.

 

ErrorWithTrapping-17.1.0.50.PNG

 

Will test with other versions of InDesign down to CS6.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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Ok. InDesign CS6 version 8.1.0 is working as expected.

InDesign CC 2019 as well. All ok.

 

Errors with:

InDesign 2020

InDesign 2021

InDesign 2022

 

All tests done on the same Windows 10 machine.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022

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What I'm finding particularly strange is that this error has only happened in the last month or so.

 

I'm struggling to understand why the problem has suddenly popped up but it's reassuring to see that you can recreate this error.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2022 Feb 04, 2022

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AMORE said: "What I'm finding particularly strange is that this error has only happened in the last month or so."

 

What version of InDesign did you use the last time when all was working good for you?
On what operating system? I think that bug is about three years old now with InDesign versions 2020 to 2022.

 

Rob, do you have the chance to test custom trapping from InDesign when printing to separations with InDesign CC 2019 and 2020 on a Mac? ( No In-RIP-Trapping. )

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2022 Feb 04, 2022

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I've used this workflow for the past year and a half at least. Both on Windows 10 and 11. Always used the latest version of ID. 

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