Output preview showing 1 color black as 4 color

New Here ,
May 13, 2022 May 13, 2022

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I have a file using 1 color black text, but Acrobat output preview is displaying as 4 color.  Wasn't doing this yesterday.  Same files appear correct on my coworker's computers. Double checked old PDFs I KNOW are correct, and it still displays as 4 color.  I've uninstalled, restarted, reinstalled.  Trashed profiles.  Nothing is fixing it. So what happened? Did I goof up a setting? Is Acrobat DC just trash?  I've wasted far to much time troubleshooting this issue already. I need some help. Thanks.

 

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Community Expert , May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

Hi Luke,

just looked into the Object Inspector when Accessibility > Replace Document Colors is turned on.

Then the Object Inspector will show the color values of all the Black Ink objects of the OPs PDF as DeviceRGB:

 

Accessibility-in-Acrobat-Pro-ENABLED-ObjectInspectorTellsDeviceRGB.png

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

 

 

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Community Expert ,
May 13, 2022 May 13, 2022

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Hi @Bradley24443433v7hx Try exporting to a PDF/X preset—the PDF/X standards include an Output Intent Profile, which should be your document’s assigned CMYK profile. AcrobatPro’s Separation numbers are the conversion into the chosen Simulation Profile. PDF/X files automatically set the Simulation Profile to the PDF/X’s Output Intent, so there would be no conversion

 

Screen Shot 18.png

 

Also, if you choose Object Inspector and click on the text, it will show the actual color values with no conversions

 

 

Screen Shot 19.png

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New Here ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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The Object Inspector displays the color correctly.  Using a PDF/X preset did not make a difference.  I have found and am using a work around in which, I turn "simulate overprinting" off and then back on and it displays correctly, or I can change the "Simulation Profile" and then it will display correctly.  I've checked with coworkers, we are on the same version; 22.0

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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or I can change the "Simulation Profile" and then it will display correctly

 

What are you changing the Simulation Profile to? With PDF/X Exports the Simulation Profile should default to the Output Intent—the Simulation Profile will begin with the prefix Output Intent:

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New Here ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Document CMYK - U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, with Profile Inclusion Policy set to "Don't Include Profiles"

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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or I can change the "Simulation Profile" and then it will display correctly

 

I meant what are you setting the AcrobatPro Output Preview Simulation Profile to? If the Export was to a valid PDF/X Standard then AcrobatPro’s Simulation Profile should start with Output Intent:

 

Screen Shot 46.png

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Document CMYK - U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, with Profile Inclusion Policy set to "Don't Include Profiles"

 

Also, it sounds like you are Exporting to PDF/X-1a? Does your Output tab show the Standard as PDF/X-1a:2001, and is there an Output Intent Profile Name included?

 

Screen Shot 47.png

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New Here ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Acrobat Pro Output Preview Simulation Profile opens with the file set to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, as this is the Destination set in InDesign Export.  "None" Set for Stanadard. See attached.Settings.jpg

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Right, if you set the Standard to None it’s not a PDF/X export.

 

In order to get the Simulation Profile in AcrobatPro to default to the Output Intent it has to be a valid PDF/X file

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New Here ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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I fail to see the relevence, if my coworkers are seeing true output preview separations on the same PDF that I am not.  It seems to be some sort of glitch in Acrobat that's been triggered on my machine. Again, if I simply turn simulated overprinting off and back on, the issue corrects itself and wont appear again, until I close the file, and reopen it. 

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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It could be a problem with your AcrobatPro install. In some versions of Acrobat if the color is DeviceCMYK (no profile) and no Output Intent is included, you will get 4-color simulations if your AcrobatPro Preferences>Color Management working CMYK space conflicts with the Output Preview Simulation Profile. If you can "fix" the problem by toggling Overprint, it sounds like there is a problem with your Acrobat.

 

One of benefits of the PDF/X standards is an Output Intent is always included, but Document CMYK colors Export as DeviceCMYK with no profile. With PDF/X the Simulation profile defaults to the Output Intent and you shouldn’t be seeing simulated conversions of DeviceCMYK colors on any machine.

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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What System? I literally had this very same issue recently with an Acrobat (32-bit) in Windows 10, while every other install worked correctly. Mine was solved with a reinstall, which actually upgraded it to 64-bit version.

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New Here ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Interesting... I'm on Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit.  Perhaps the reinstall solved it and was unrelated to version. I've tried uninstalling, restarting and reinstalling, with no luck.  Can't hurt to try again, when I have some time. 

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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Is your current install 64-bit? (see the top of your Acrobat window)

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 11.25.59 AM.png

Acrobat 64-bit for Windows has only recently been rolling out to certain geographies.

Even here (link below) it doesn't even mention North America yet, but when I reinstalled recently (I'm in Canada), I definitely got the 64-bit edition where I used to have the 32-bit edition.

https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/acrobat/kb/download-64-bit-installer.html

There's a note here also about the Enterprise edition. This might apply to you.

All I know is the issue I was having, which was the same as yours exacly, was resolved. I can't say it was the bit version that did it, though.

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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In any case, your PDF is properly constructed and would RIP and render properly.

This is what I get now, correctly, in Win 10 Acrobat 64-bit Edition:

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 11.33.31 AM.png

In my older 32-bit Acrobat, this same text was identified as DeviceRGB erroneously, and consequently rendered a 4-colour black ... This appears only as a screen display issue, and as far as I am concerned is a bug.

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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Hi Brad,

this may be all true. But the real test is the presence of the technical term "Output Intent: " after Simulation Profile: in Output Preview. Without that you can try any of the listed profiles Acrobat Pro is seeing and you still can go wrong. With PDF/X exported from InDesign you always have to see the term "Output Intent: " followed by the name of a profile as value for Simulation Profile.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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Uwe.

I know all of this. When I was having this issue before, rob and I tested several PDFs, all of which were properly built and had the proper Output / Smulation Profile. It did not matter. ONLY my Windows 10 32-bit install (with all the same settings and preferences to my Mac version and a Win 8 install I used for testing, and ANY other version of Acrobat I had on hand for that matter) displayed the text incorrectly. However, once I reinstalled the new 64-bit version (EXACT same vertsion number, btw)... the situation corrected itself.

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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Hi Brad,

thank you for that insight.

It's really interesting to see what boldly can go wrong!

Vaguely I remember a bug with Acrobat Pro on Mac OSX some years ago with a similar side effect.

 

I have no idea what caused the issue on your machine. I suspect something's in Windows' color management.

Something that was overwritten and therefore updated with the installation of 64-bit Acrobat Pro perhaps.

 

I assume your PDF was a PDF/X and Acrobat Pro's output Preview was:

Simulation Profile: [  Output Intent: Name of the profile  ]

And a preflight on the file did not show any issues at all.

 

Thanks,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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The problem is found in your color policy settings.

You should convert RGB into the destination profile and with CMYK keep values. 

If you convert CMYK to destination CMYK profile your colors will convert like CMYK > Lab > CMYK. This causes a shift of CMYK colors and a 4c-K.

Therefore it is good to use RGB images and CMYK vectors and text and convert images not in Photoshop and not convert before PDF export.

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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Willi said: "The problem is found in your color policy settings."

 

Hi Willi,

I think, you are wrong on that. The screenshot of our OP Bradley is showing:

Color Conversion: Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers).

 

Rob has a point. As you can see from Bradley's screenshot, Standard is set to None. Should be one of the PDF/X presets. That's why Acrobat Pro is showing something not fitting as default with Simulation Profile. In effect on the screen you are seeing the wrong numbers. The object inspector of Acrobat's Output Preview gets it right.

 

Bradley,

to reliably communicate color for prepress purposes you have to use one of the PDF/X standard settings.

That's why PDF/X was invented more than 20 years ago.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

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Community Expert ,
May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022

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You are right, I was wrong in that point.

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New Here ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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As beneficial as that may be, it does not account for the fact that the file displays correctly for the rest of the team, or that they use the same settings without issue and have been for years, or that fact that simply switching "simulate overprinting" on and off eliminates the issue until the file is closed and reopened.  At this point, I'm ready to chalk it up to a programming bug, and may try reinstalling AGAIN when my schedule allows it. 

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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 it does not account for the fact that the file displays correctly for the rest of the team, or that they use the same settings without issue and have been for years,

 

It does look like it is specific to your install or OS. The reason we are suggesting you at least try a valid PDF/X-1a is that it might solve the problem that’s specific to your install. PDF/X-1a would export the black text as DeviceCMYK, which is what your current preset is doing—the only difference would be an Output Intent is included

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Community Expert ,
May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022

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Hi Bradley,

just opened your attached PDF from your initial post in Acrobat Pro. I wasn't aware that your "problem" file was attached.

 

Opened Output Preview and of course Acrobat Pro is showing my default profile as simulation profile which is ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI). No issue with Acrobat Pro on my side; when I turn off "Process Black" nothing is visible inside the trimmed area of both pages.

 

SamplePDFopenedInAcrobatPro-Uwe-Ouput Preview CMY.PNG

 

The exact version of my Acrobat Pro is:

Continuous Release Version 2022.001.20117

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (32-bit)

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Community Expert ,
May 25, 2022 May 25, 2022

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Check your Acrobat Accessibility preference, if Replace Document Colors is on, that might explain your Output preview results.

Accessibility replace document colors.png

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