[Scribus] some qs about exporting pdfs
Fri Dec 14 20:33:47 CET 2007
> I have a scribus document and it will be exported as a PDF and send to a
> printing company (they actually prefer pdfs). They also have their own icc
> profiles which I use in Scribus.
Wow. There had to be one of them.
As a side note, today I did some testing on my work's print shop's ICC
profiles, and found that the profiles supplied by the company my work
used to use are actually a better match for the new current print shop's
press than the ones that print shop supplies. Sad, really. When I
configure Acrobat to treat untagged CMYK data as being in the new print
shop's colour space, then preview the PDFs (untagged CMYK data) in
Acrobat, everything looks good and looks how it was designed. Totally
unlike how it prints. If I then set Acrobat to treat untagged CMYK as
being in the old print shop's colour space and preview the PDFs, the
on-screen appearance closely matches how it actually prints.
In other words, the print shop's supplied colour profile is so bad that
the results from their press are vastly better simulated by the ICC
profile of a another printing company.
My point? Just because the print shop has a profile, doesn't mean it's
any good. Print shops sometimes supply generic profiles from the press
manufacturer or even just a renamed SWOP or Euroscale profile. After
all, proper press calibration requires expensive gear and some knowledge
about colour (or the money to pay someone who has it). Sending the user
a generic profile is OK (but not ideal due to gamut issues) if your RIP
does a CMYK->CMYK conversion to the press's real colour space ... but my
work's printer won't be the only one who doesn't do so.
If you're beginning to think you can't win and should just go back to
demanding dummies from the print shop before approving any work, you're
probably not wrong. One day maybe most print shops (rather than just the
_good_ ones) will have a good enough grasp of ICC colour to get it
right, but knowing the usual rate of progress I give it ten years plus.
> I want to get it as right as possible from the beginning and my question is:
> How reliable is print preview and the document I see in Acrobate reader when
> it comes to colour accuracy?
What OS are you using?
On Mac OS X and on Windows, if you have profiled your monitor & loaded
that profile into the OS, it should provide a pretty accurate preview
for PDFs that contain embedded colour profile information. If the PDF
doesn't contain colour profiles it can still do a good job, you just
need to have the profiles used in the PDF and to do a little more setup.
You have to set Acrobat / Acrobat Reader's colour preferences up so that
the CMYK and RGB working spaces match those you have used in your PDF.
For example, if Scribus is set up to use SWOP Uncoated as the CMYK
working space (which you do not override during PDF export) and you want
to preview a PDF from Scribus then Adobe Reader should be set to use
SWOP Uncoated for the working space too.
On Linux, Adobe Reader offers limited or no colour management. It is
unlikely to provide reliable previews. I've never been happy with the
results under Linux for PDFs that use anything but the RGB monitor
colour space .
> I tried all the PDF standards (I don't know yet
> if they accept all of them) and they all look really good on screen and so
> does the printing preview.
Ask your printer what they want.
If they have supplied a colour profile, they probably want pre-converted
CMYK colour, in which case the usual "Printer" export target in Scribus
should be fine so long as your CMYK working space is set to their colour
profile. Ask them to make sure.
Most printers want PDF 1.3 or PDF 1.4 . Your printer can tell you which,
so ask them instead of guessing. If they want PDF 1.3 then, due to
scribus's lack of a transparency flattener, you will have to avoid using
transparency in your design or use one of several somewhat cumbersome
workarounds. If they will accept PDF 1.4, that's much nicer.
Few printers accept PDF/X-3 , the only other significant option. As
Scribus currently handles it, PDF/X-3 quite often (always?) contains
tagged RGB data. If your images are tagged with correct profiles or are
in the same space as the working space set up in Scribus, the print
shop's RIP should be able to convert the PDF to CMYK (or whatever they
need) as well as or better than you can. Many print shops, however, do
not accept PDF/X-3, either because their RIPs cannot handle it or
because they do not know they can. They'll often reject it just because
it contains RGB data (even though tagged RGB is *perfectly* *fine* for
> I also wonder about the ?solid colours? option under ?color management?. The
> icc profile from the printing company is not available there, is this how it
> should be?
I'm really not sure about that. I've never been clear on why Scribus
separate this from the normal working spaces.
> I am also not sure what to do with ?solid colours? when exporting pdfs
> (colour tab).
> I assume ?Colour? --> ?Images:? --> ?Use ICC Profile?, means that
> Scribus uses the profile I chose in CMYK pictures. Is that correct?
If I recall correctly that option name is very badly misleading. I
cannot remember exactly what it actually does, only that I was very
surprised by the results. The tooltips might explain in more detail, so
try moving your mouse over the option and waiting a few seconds.
(I can't check now since the machine I'm at doesn't have Scribus and
can't have it quickly & easily added).
> profile is also embedded in the image from the beginning. If not what is the
> difference here between an image and a picture?
In general the two words can be treated as equivalent when dealing with
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