InDesign tip : #35

sometimes your InDesign files may get a little feral and tracking down rogue colours can be a bit tedious. obviously deleting unused swatches is pretty easy, but this doesn’t always get rid of all ‘unexpected’ colours.

here’s the easy way to find those buggers …

first change that random colour into a spot swatch :
screen grab of swatch panel with random colour
changing swatch to spot colour
screen grab of swatches panel showing spot

then set up a preflight profile that treats spot colours as ‘not allowed’ :
setting up spot colour preflight check

this will pinpoint exactly where the problem swatch is being used in your document. then you can decide how to proceed with those elements :
screen grab of preflight panel

if the preflight check doesn’t show anything up, then the swatch is probably being used by a style (paragraph, character or object). delete all your unused styles, and if that swatch still won’t budge then the style attached to the swatch is probably the base for another style — get it?

you can go ahead and delete the swatch, replacing it with whatever other swatch you choose — or not bother, if it’s not being used, it’s not being a problem.

keep grunting.

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InDesign tip : #24

InDesign’s preflight panel is a great tool. as mentioned previously, live preflight is a dog, but the preflight panel is pretty much a compulsory tool for anyone sending stuff to print.

however, there’s still no substitute for doing your own manual and visual checks of a document before sending it out into the world. just as spell checking and grammar checking are no substitute for a proper proof read.

one invaluable feature which you should take a look at before sending EVERY job to print is the separations preview panel — if only to check your black plate. here’s a simple job about to go to press — boring design, yes, but looks fine to go :
screen grab showing simple page layout

now let’s take a look at it with the separations preview panel (click to enlarge). here we can see three common problems :
screen grab showing simple page layout with separations preview panel activated

the first is the spot colour (this is supposed to be a process job). whether or not that would be picked up by your preflight panel depends on how you’ve set it up. but this is a problem easily spotted in your swatches panel too.

the other two problems are highlighted by turning off the black plate in the separations preview panel (click on the eye to turn it off). you’ll notice all the black text has disappeared — this is how it should be.

that graphic is going to be a bitch to print — especially those fine diagonal lines — you’re just about guaranteed to get coloured halos around those lines when the heavy CMY plates hit the sheet (note: you can get readings of ink coverage by hovering your mouse over part of your artwork. the readings in the screen grab are from that graphic). BEWARE — images downloaded from online sources will not necessarily be well prepared.

ok, the last problem is that first bit of black type knocking out the coloured background. again, you’re creating a potential registration problem on-press with this fine type knocking out — it should overprint. in this case the problem is due to the type being inadvertently set to 99% black (as soon as type is anything but 100% black, it will knock out by default).

so there you have it — two common black plate issues which will not be picked up by your preflight panel but which could still compromise the quality of your printed job. remember — when sending a job to print — ALWAYS check your black plate in the separations preview panel.

… and keep grunting

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