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Images with ICC convert to DeviceCMYK

Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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I exported a PDF with CMYK images (Euroscale Coated v2) with the High Quality Print preset (No color conversion, Include Tagged Source Profiles).

 

But Output Preview>Object Inspector in Acrobat indentifies these images as DeviceCMYK. I also inspected the document with the Pitstop plugin and it sees no ICC profiles, as if they were striped.

 

Then I checked Image Properties (by right clicking the images in Acrobat) and under Advanced>Photoshop Properties it says: ICCProfile Euroscale Coated v2.

 

Then I opened some of the images from the PDF for external editing in Photoshop and there it says: Euroscale Coated v2.

 

So why is this happening and what can be the consequences if this is sent to print?

 

Visually (on the screen), the colors in the PDF look right.

 

Thanks.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021
Hi @Stavre0D4C , Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) ignores all embedded CMYK profiles, and the InDesign document’s assigned profile is assigned to the images (Document CMYK). Your document’s CMYK Policy would have to be Preserve Embedded Profiles for CMYK embedded profiles to be honored by ID and show in the Links panel. The default [High Quality Print] preset’s Include Tagged Source Profiles will include an image’s embedded profile in the PDF, but only if it conflicts with the InDesig...

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Adobe Community Professional , Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021
If the settings read "Include Tagged Source Profiles", I naively expected that this will actually include them. The setting’s full meaning is really Only Include Tagged Source Profiles that Conflict with the Document’s CMYK Profile, but that would obviously be a problem in the UI. I just tried to make a tidy document where things are clearly defined, like: this object is "John" and that object is "Paul". But I got an undefined situation. Right, the PDF/X standards solve that problem—[High ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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When you select the image in Indesign and check the Link Info panel what profile is listed?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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When you select the image in Indesign and check the Link Info panel what profile is listed?

 

It says: Document CMYK.

 

Plz note that if I export with "Include all profiles", the ICC profiles are included in the PDF. But the "Include Tagged Source Profiles" does not include them.

 

If it's important, my color settings (Edit>Color Settings) currently are:

RGB: sRGB

CMYK: Euroscale Coated v2

 

RGB: Preserve embedded profiles

CMYK: Preserve numbers (ignore linked profiles)

 

Under Edit>Assign profiles is the same: sRGB and Euroscale Coated v2.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Hi @Stavre0D4C , Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) ignores all embedded CMYK profiles, and the InDesign document’s assigned profile is assigned to the images (Document CMYK). Your document’s CMYK Policy would have to be Preserve Embedded Profiles for CMYK embedded profiles to be honored by ID and show in the Links panel.

 

The default [High Quality Print] preset’s Include Tagged Source Profiles will include an image’s embedded profile in the PDF, but only if it conflicts with the InDesign document’s assigned profile. So if your InDesign document and the CMYK images all have Euroscale Coated assigned, the images and native InDesign CMYK colors would export as DeviceCMYK. If you Include All Profiles, everything gets a profile assignment incuding Document CMYK objects.

 

You might consider using a PDF/X preset, in that case document CMYK objects also export as DeviceCMYK, but the PDF includes an Output Intent Profile, which would usually be the same as the InDesign CMYK document profile. The idea is that if the PDF is output to the intended destination, CMYK objects not longer need an assigned profile (DeviceCMYK) because the CMYK values should be output unchanged with no further color managed conversions. That makes unintended CMYK-to-CMYK conversions less likely at output.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Thank you very much, rob day. Great answer as always.

 

But there is a problem. I changed the color settings to: Preserve embedded profiles for CMYK and it still shows "Document CMYK" in the Links panel. Maybe I'm missing something. Plz note that the linked CMYK images all have embedded profiles, I doublechecked that.

 

So if your InDesign document and the CMYK images all have Euroscale Coated assigned, the images and native InDesign CMYK colors would export as DeviceCMYK.

 

Yes, all the images in this case have the same color profile assigned (Euroscale), so does that mean that one should not worry that it was all exported as DeviceCMYK?

 

You might consider using a PDF/X preset....

 

Thanks for the suggestion and for the explanation, I understand it. But in this particular case, they didn't require PDF/X from me, they just mentioned the "HQ Print setting".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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But there is a problem. I changed the color settings to: Preserve embedded profiles for CMYK and it still shows "Document CMYK" in the Links panel.

 

The Profile assignments and Policies are saved with the document on creation, so changing Color Settings Policies wouldn’t affect an existing document. To change an existing document’s policy, close the document, open Color Settings, set the new policy, and check Ask When Opening. Now when you open the document you will be prompted to change the policy.

 

But you don’t have to do that, if you think the document CMYK objects need an embedded profile just set your Profile Inclusion Policy to Include All Profiles. 

 

If you are embedding the Euroscale profile with all document CMYK color, does that mean you expect the final output destination to be something other than Euroscale? If the output is to Euroscale you don’t need the profile because the PDF’s CMYK values are for Euroscale—nothing needs to be converted, the correct output values are in the PDF.

 

If the output is going to be to some other CMYK destination, why did you make the CMYK conversions? You would be better off leaving your images as profiled RGB, which would avoid the extra CMYK-to-CMYK conversion at output.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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But unfortunatelly, this time I noticed that the colors are changed. I don't know why, but in the previous case, the colors were not changed, at least not to my untrained eye.

 

Also, the appearance of DeviceCMYK in Acrobat depends on your Acrobat Color Management Preferences Working CMYK space or, in AcrobatPro the Simulation Profile you choose in Output Preview. Make sure the Simulation Profile is set to Euroscale Document CMYK space:

 

Screen Shot 22.png

 

 

The only thing I can do now is to export the book cover with "Include all profiles" on.This way I will be sure that I will get what I need without any surprises.

 

If you include all profiles and the printer outputs to some other conflicting CMYK destination you could have problems with black text—unless they protect black it will get converted to 4-color.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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Thank you very much, @rob day, I followed your advices and I did this experiment:


- Color Settings: CMYK:Preserve embeded profiles
- Profile mismatch: Ask when opening
- When opening, in the prompt I choosed "Adjust the doc to match current settings"
- Assign profiles: Euroscale and sRGB
- The link panel began to correctly show the ICC profiles

- The document was saved and closed

 

Later I opened it again and I exported a test page with CMYK (Euroscale) content on it with the High Quality Print Preset (default settings: No Color Conversion, Include Tagged Source Profiles).

 

The result is again: DeviceCMYK. No ICC profiles were attached. The colors look fine, but maybe only for my untrained eye.

 

I repeated the same experiment with the book cover file. Again, HQ Print Preset (No Color Conversion, Include Tagged Source Profiles). And again, I got DeviceCMYK with no profiles attached and the color in Acrobat is incorrect. Then I exported with "Include All Profiles" and the difference between the two files is obvious.

 

In short, I expected ID to include the profiles and not to convert anything, but I got something else. Maybe it's good, maybe it's not. I already sent the book (the inner pages) for printing. Maybe the results will not be bad, but this is very confusing and worrying, esp for non-experts like me.

 

Also, the appearance of DeviceCMYK in Acrobat depends on your Acrobat Color Management Preferences Working CMYK space or, in AcrobatPro the Simulation Profile you choose in Output Preview. Make sure the Simulation Profile is set to Euroscale Document CMYK space:

 

In Acrobat, under Edit>Preferences>General>Color Management, I have set Euroscale CMYK long before this discussion. It doesn't help.

 

When I normally open the two different versions ("Include Tagged Source Profiles" vs "Include All Profiles"), there's an obvious difference in the colors between them.

 

However, in Print Production>Output Preview with Euroscale simulation, the image with the wrong colors looks like the correct image or at least it seems so. It gets the "warmth" that it lacks in normal view.

 

I have no clue what they will do at the printshop and whether they really needed the ICC profiles. I just wanted to have a tidy made document, where things are clearly defined. I didn't know that ID will not actually attach the profiles. This is not ok in my humble, non-expert opinion.


If you include all profiles and the printer outputs to some other conflicting CMYK destination you could have problems with black text—unless they protect black it will get converted to 4-color.

 

Thank you for this warning and for all the help as well.

 

You would be better off leaving your images as profiled RGB, which would avoid the extra CMYK-to-CMYK conversion at output.

 

In this particular case I was asked to place CMYK images and export with the HQ Print preset (unmodified, so no color conversion), so I didn't want to experiment.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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In this particular case I was asked to place CMYK images and export with the HQ Print preset (unmodified, so no color conversion), so I didn't want to experiment.

 

Right, the printer wants DeviceCMYK—they are trying to avoid accidental CMYK-to-CMYK conversions. All of the PDF/X standards work the same way—all Document CMYK color exports as DeviceCMYK with the added benefit of the Output Intent Profile, which by default is the Simulation profile.

 

If I include all profiles Acrobat’s Object Inspector shows the embedded profile. Here the fill value with no conversion is 0|0|0|100:

 

Screen Shot 24.png

 

The Separations Preview confirms the black only fill as long as the Simulation Profile is Euroscale:

 

 

Screen Shot 26.png

 

If the output is to some other CMYK profile the output CMYK values will be converted—for example Coated FOGRA39

 

Screen Shot 27.png

 

This would be a much bigger problem on press than the subtle color differences between Euroscale and FOGRA39

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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@rob day, thank you for your answer, very informative as always, but I think that some things here are not good.

 

If the settings read "Include Tagged Source Profiles", I naively expected that this will actually include them.

 

I just tried to make a tidy document where things are clearly defined, like: this object is "John" and that object is "Paul". But I got an undefined situation.

 

I don't know if they specifically wanted a document like this. They said 'Euroscale' and that's what I expected to get in the end, not this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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If the settings read "Include Tagged Source Profiles", I naively expected that this will actually include them.

 

The setting’s full meaning is really Only Include Tagged Source Profiles that Conflict with the Document’s CMYK Profile, but that would obviously be a problem in the UI.

 

I just tried to make a tidy document where things are clearly defined, like: this object is "John" and that object is "Paul". But I got an undefined situation.

 

Right, the PDF/X standards solve that problem—[High Quality Print] is an outdated preset. The PDF/X Output Intent clarifies what’s meant by DeviceCMYK.

 

Also, how are you calibrating and profiling your monitor? The display of profiled CMYK is a managed conversion from CMYK to Lab to your monitor profile, so the accuracy of the CMYK display depends on both the system’s monitor profile and the CMYK profile assignment.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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The setting’s full meaning is really Only Include Tagged Source Profiles that Conflict with the Document’s CMYK Profile, but that would obviously be a problem in the UI.

 

Thank you, @rob day , you mentioned this before, but I tested it now and it makes sense (I added a FOGRA image to an Euroscale doc and indeed, this image was exported with it's profile, while the others converted to DeviceCMYK).

 

I wish these things were explained in the description (under Export>Output). The term "Include Tagged Source Profiles" is very confusing/misleading without the part you added: "...that conflict with the document’s CMYK Profile".

 

But then why the description says: "Native colors and placed objects that don't have an embedded profile are left uncalibrated"? In my case, the images have embedded profiles, so are they calibrated? If so, why they become DeviceCMYK? I thought that's an uncalibrated color space. Or maybe I'm confusing things.

 

What I expected to happen was this:


- Objects that have ICC profiles to retain them in the exported document

 

- Object that do not have ICC profiles not to get them and not to be affected in any way

 

That's why I was surprised by this DeviceCMYK thing.

 

Now I have no clue how this thing will be interpreted by the printer's equipment. Now it's too late for changes, I've already sent the inner pages of the book to the printer. I still work on the book cover however. I think that I will use "Include ALL profiles" this time, but I'm not sure.

 

Btw my monitor is not calibrated. I compare the DeviceCMYK and the ICC-Based version of the book cover and I notice some differences. I doubt that these differences would be gone if the monitor is calibrated. Note however that I didn't notice any difference between the DeviceCMYK and the ICC versions of the inner pages of the book. Why is that, who knows.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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Btw my monitor is not calibrated. I compare the DeviceCMYK and the ICC-Based version of the book cover and I notice some differences. I doubt that these differences would be gone if the monitor is calibrated.

 

In AcrobatPro DeviceCMYK is displayed in the chosen Simulation Profile space when Output Preview is open, or if it’s closed, in the CMYK space chosen in Preferences>Color Mangement>CMYK. InDesign works the same way, if an image and the document have no profile assignments—the profile falls back to whatever the Color Settings’ CMYK Working Space happens to be.

 

But without an accurate calibration and corresponding monitor profile (calibration creates a monitor profile for the system), there is no point in obsessing over the output profile, because they work together.

 

If the monitor profile does not accurately describe your monitor’s properties, the CMYK display will not be accurate. Unless you are sure both the monitor and output profiles accurately describe the respective devices, you would want to get a printed contract proof before going to press.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2021 Oct 28, 2021

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@rob day 

 

Thanks for explaining me all these processes, not only in this thread, but in others as well.

 

As I've told you in another thread, I don't have the knowledge/budget/equipment to expect 100% color accuracy. But I am obsessed with making a tidy document, where things are clearly defined, so I won't blame myself that I messed up something.

 

Indesign is a great application, but in my humble (non-expert) opinion, this particular thing "Include Tagged Source Profiles" is not good, it's misleading. Thanks for explaining me how it actually works, but I see no logic in why it works like that. It converted my hard work to something else, something undefined. I already explained what I expected it to do and I don't think that my expectations were so illogical. I wanted to get "X", but Indesign decided to turn that into "Y" (sort to speak).

 

When I sent my work to the printer, I wrote them that the CMYK content was made in Euroscale and I just hope that this info might help them to set things there correctly. I hope that when this undefined DeviceCMYK thing is placed into a Euroscale setup, it will show it's "true colors", sort to speak.

 

For the book cover I will choose "Include ALL profiles" (though the printer requested 'HQ Quality Print' and this would be a modification of that preset, cause it is set to "Include Tagged Source Profiles" by default).

 

I want "John" to be "John", not some "no name guy". Now, I don't even know whether the printer will honor the profiles or maybe it will strip them at some point, it's their thing, but my thing is to define everything properly. I'm very sad that I learned about these things too late.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2021 Oct 28, 2021

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Why don’t you ask the printer if they want all of the CMYK color tagged? It’s very common for printers to ask for CMYK with no profile—they might want to output provided CMYK values unchanged and not be responsible for any color managed conversions.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2021 Oct 28, 2021

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Why don’t you ask the printer if they want all of the CMYK color tagged? It’s very common for printers to ask for CMYK with no profile—they might want to output provided CMYK values unchanged and not be responsible for any color managed conversions.

 

Unfortunately, it's futile to ask them now. The book is already sent to the printer and maybe it's printed as we speak.

 

I haven't sent them the book cover yet, but I will certainly export it with all the profiles included, even without consulting the printer. I will not allow the program to mislead me again and to make decisions for me that might jeopardize my hard work.

 

Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe everything will be OK in the end, but how should I know, I'm not an expert.

 

Now I would like to illustrate what I see on my screen. I apologize to the authors of the images below. I'll delete them later if necesary, this is just for educational purposes.

 

I choosed the images randomly, I converted them to CMYK (Euroscale), I placed them in Indesign and I exported that as:


- ICC-Based CMYK (Include All Profiles)

 

- DeviceCMYK (Include Tagged Source Profiles)

 

When taking these screenshots in Acrobat, it's color management was set to Euroscale.

 

001 cat icc.jpg

ICC-Based CMYK (Acrobat, normal view)

 

002 cat devicecmyk.jpg

DeviceCMYK (Acrobat, normal view)

 

003 cat simulation.jpg

DeviceCMYK in Output Preview with Euroscale simulation (Acrobat)

 

The cat photo: The DeviceCMYK version looks 'colder' than the ICC version and it lacks the yellowish green tone below the center. If I'm not wrong, this happens because the DeviceCMYK version lacks an ICC profile. How this will affect the printing process, I don't know.

 

If I open the DeviceCMYK version in Output Preview with Euroscale simulation, it looks the same as the ICC version, i.e. it looks fine (at least to my untrained eye). But I don't know will I get this on paper in the end.

 

And if for some reason, the printer has to convert this to something else, I don't know what the consequences might be.

 

 

004 cupboard icc.jpg

ICC-Based CMYK

 

005 cupboard devicecmyk.jpg

DeviceCMYK

 

The cupboard photo: I see no difference between the ICC and the DeviceCMYK version and I don't understand why is that. I find this strange. Note that unlike the previous images, this one has transparency (if that's important, maybe it's not). There might be an optical illusion here that one of the images is darker or lighter than the other, but trust me, they're identical. Download the images, open them with some image viewer and switch between them, you won't notice any difference.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 29, 2021 Oct 29, 2021

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If I open the DeviceCMYK version in Output Preview with Euroscale simulation, it looks the same as the ICC version, i.e. it looks fine (at least to my untrained eye). But I don't know will I get this on paper in the end.

 

Both versions will have the same CMYK output numbers as long as the printer’s output destination is Euroscale. If you mouse over the images you can compare the output numbers displayed in the Separations pane. 

 

In any case, I doubt you will get the color appearance you are seeing on screen in print because you are on an uncalibrated display, and your monitor profile probably is not accurate, but you might get lucky.

 

If your AcrobatPro Color Management CMYK Working space is also set to Euroscale you shouldn’t be getting the soft proof difference you are showing. Are you using the latest version of AcrobatPro DC? Can you share the two cat PDFs?

 

And if for some reason, the printer has to convert this to something else, I don't know what the consequences might be.

 

Add some black only text to the page you are exporting with all profiles, set the Simulation Profile to something other than Euroscale, and check the text’s Separation values—they will be 4-color.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 29, 2021 Oct 29, 2021

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Thank you, @rob day 

 

Yes, I have an old version of Acrobat (XI), because it's the last one that can host a 3rd party plugin that I sometimes use (Quite A Box Of Tricks).

 

That's why, I copied the PDFs with the cat to someone else's PC, where Acrobat Pro DC 2021 is installed. The ICC and the DeviceCMYK versions were displayed there correctly, provided that the Color Management was set to Euroscale.

 

But something weird happened then. I tried to find a solution for another problem (explained here: https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/cmyk-blend-space-changes-to-rgb-in-acrobat/m-p/12... so I played with the settings a bit (under Preferences>Page Display). Suddenly, the newer Acrobat version began to misbehave in the same way as the old one. The colors went wrong, as if the program began to ignore the Color Management settings.

 

I tried to "wake" it up by opening and closing the PDF or by zooming in and out, and the crazy thing is that at some point this worked!

 

Please note that my machine is quite old and the other one used in these tests is no better, so who knows, maybe they "struggle" to "chew" this content properly. But is that really the problem, I don't know.

 

What I surely know is that none of this would happen if I exported the content with all profiles included and not with this misleading "Include Tagged Source Profiles" setting.

 

The ICC versions are always displayed with no problem, while this 'DeviceCMYK' thing just creates confusion. It's like some kind of a undefined beer that you have to put in a right bottle (green or brown, depending on the case), so it can show it's true colors and taste. Like you said: "Both versions will have the same CMYK output numbers as long as the printer’s output destination is Euroscale". So I don't think that you need to analyze the PDFs, it's just the printer has to put this "beer" into the right "bottle". Let's hope that they'll do that, we'll see.

 

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 30, 2021 Oct 30, 2021

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If you ever have a print job where text that should be 0|0|0|100 black convert to 4-color black halftone, you’ll appreciate that Document CMYK exporting as DeviceCMYK (the current PDF/X standard) is a feature not a bug. A printer could still force a CMYK-to-CMYK conversion, but it is less likely with DeviceCMYK color.

 

 

Screen Shot 46.png

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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Update:

 

@rob day,

 

After making this book, I also made a  book cover for it in Indesign. I exported it with the same settings as the ones mentioned above and the Euroscale CMYK again turned into DeviceCMYK.

 

But unfortunatelly, this time I noticed that the colors are changed. I don't know why, but in the previous case, the colors were not changed, at least not to my untrained eye.

 

I'm not an expert (obviously) and I'm NOT a competent person to judge about software, but in my humble opinion, it is not good when an app makes such unexpected changes. Logically, my expectations were that the profiles will be included in the PDF if I export it with "Include Tagged Source Profiles" on.

 

I think that the program was supposed to keep the profiles and not to convert the images into something else. Unfortunately, the PDF with the book's inner content is already sent to the printer. The only thing I can do now is to export the book cover with "Include all profiles" on.This way I will be sure that I will get what I need without any surprises.

 

I admit that it's partially my fault that I didn't notice this problem on time, but maybe this is also a fault on the part of the software. I trusted it and it made unwanted changes. I think that this is not good and it's worrying.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm missing something, but my impression about this is not good.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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@rob dayPlz excuse me for one more clarification:

 

I experimented with the book cover, but the color changes anyway when exported to DeviceCMYK (with "Include Tagged Source Profiles" on, which actually doesn't preserve any ICC profiles in my case).

 

When I say: "The color changes", I simply mean that the color appears differently when I look at the PDFs in Acrobat (in the ussual view). I open two different versions and I switch between them:

 

- one exported with "Include Tagged Source Profiles"

- the other exported with "Include All Profiles"

 

I also changed Edit>Color Settings>Preserve embedded profiles, but it doesn't help when exporting with "Include Tagged Source Profiles" on. The result is DeviceCMYK anyway and the color is changed. In my humble and non-expert opinion, this is not good.

 

Now I'm very sad that I didn't notice this problem on time.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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DeviceCMYK is -supposed- to change appearance. I'm not sure you have embraced what it really is. By tagging and embedding profiles instead, you stop it being DeviceCMYK, you fix the colour, and so a mismatch with real DeviceCMYK is expected and desirable. 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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@Test Screen Name, thank you, I understand, but I never wanted DeviceCMYK, Indesign decided that on it's own. As I said before to forum member Rob Day, I wanted to export a document where things are clearly defined. Like: this image is John and that image is Paul, with embedded profiles and all that. I thought that exporting with "Include Tagged Source Profiles" will give me that, but it didn't include the profiles and it left me with this undefined DeviceCMYK.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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To avoid these problems, you should place RGB images and convert upon PDF export.

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