Preserving spot color information in linked files, esp. when exporting as .pdf/.eps

New Here ,
Sep 01, 2022 Sep 01, 2022

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I'm working with a client file that was built in InDesign, and uses linked graphics from Illustrator. The Illustrator graphics are built with spot colors. It seems like placing the image in InDesign is converting the graphic to process colors, rather than preserving the spot color information. When I export the graphic to somethng that my RIP can recognize that should also preserve spot colors (.pdf. .eps), it's a process color. Compounding this, the specific spot colors are not available in InDesign as swatches, but are avilable in Illustrator.

So, can anyone tell me what's going on, and how to keep the spot color information in the linked graphics?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 01, 2022 Sep 01, 2022

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What version of PDF format are you exporting to? X1-A, etc?

Not all PDF formats support spot color.

What spot colors are you using? Pantone?

Kevin Stohlmeyer
Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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New Here ,
Sep 01, 2022 Sep 01, 2022

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Standard is PDF/X-4:2010, compatibility is Acrobat 7 (pdf 1.6). Compression is turned off. Marks and bleeds are turned off. Color conversion is No Color Conversion, profile inclusion policy is include all RGB and tagged source CMYK profiles (option is greyed out though; cna't change it without changing other things). PDF/X is US Web Coated (SWOP) v2.

I've had no issues with similar option sets in Illustrator preserving spot color information; usually using a preset of "High Quality Print" or "Press Quality" preserves spot colors in Illustrator. (I am much more proficient in Illustrator, but that's really not saying a lot.)

Spot colors are PANTONE Plus Series coated. The specific spot color in this instance is PANTONE 2126 C; it's in my Illustrator color library as a standard color, but is not available in the same color library in InDesign. I have not tested this out to see if spot colors on linked Illustrator files that are available in InDesign also convert to process colors..

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Community Expert ,
Sep 01, 2022 Sep 01, 2022

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Have you checked the Ink Manager in InDesign (and Acrobat, for that matter), to be sure it isn't set to convert all spots to process?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 01, 2022 Sep 01, 2022

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Preferences > General > When Placing or Pasting is on or off?

What is Ink Manager doing?

Are you carefully avoiding EPS graphics? Choose .AI instead. EPS cannot color manage nor cooperate with X-4. Sure it had great music and hair, but leave the 1980s in the past!

Mike Witherell

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Community Expert ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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Hi @AnotherOffensiveMeme ,

can you show a screenshot of the Illustrator file with the Swatches panel open?

 

Also:

Do a duplicate of the Illustrator file and rename it to PDF.

Open that in Acrobat Pro DC and check if there are any spot colors.

 

Make a sample of one of the Illustrator files available so that we can have a look.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender
( Adobe Community Professional )

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