problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Discuss QuarkXPress color management functionality including DeviceN workflows

problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Postby iain robinson » 11 Nov 2015, 08:33

Hi all

I'm running QXP 10.52 on OSX 10.10.5. We process a job containing multiple adverts that come from various clients and some contain RGB elements and/or transparency. I want to insert the advert PDFs into Quark and create a PDF/X-1a file colour managed to our CMYK profile. This is what we normally do and it works well, albeit we don't usually have RGB PDFs on the document.

What happens in most cases is what I would expect - providing "Color Manage Vector EPS/PDF" and "Include Existing Vector EPS/PDF in Layout" are ticked on in the Color Manager in Preferences the PDF/X-1a file is created and is obviously all CMYK. If those two options are not ticked on I get an error saying "The PDF was created successfully, but it failed the PDF/X1a evaluation", which is correct as the RGB PDF is not being colour managed to CMYK and so can't be a PDF/X-1a file.

However at least one advert PDF gives the same warning even when the two colour management options are turned on. The resulting PDF is still RGB. This is a problem. The advert is a PDF 1.5 file with transparency. I get the same result even if I use a flattened PDF 1.3 version of it in Quark. The log file says "Error- Uses color other than 4c or spot (14 matches on 1 page)"

Does anyone know why is Quark not able to convert the PDF to CMYK? It's driving me mad :? !

Thanks,
Iain
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Re: problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Postby max.peter » 12 Nov 2015, 06:39

Open the resulting PDF file in Acrobat Pro, launch the Preflight utility, then run a compatibility check for whatever standard you need. The Preflight can save a report with the problems it found within your document and clicking on each "problem" makes the document to jump to the page with that problem and marks it with red selections.
Using the same Preflight utility you can make a PDF to conform with a certain standard.
See the attached picture.

This tip can save some time for you.

I usually check every piece of graphic files received from my client. In a print layout you'd not insert any RGB graphic.
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Re: problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Postby iain robinson » 12 Nov 2015, 15:41

Thanks for your reply Max.

I know I could convert the resulting PDF to CMYK a number of ways but I really want Quark to do it. Seems like it should (does normally) but just not for this one PDF. I want to be able to trust Quark doing this so I don't need to worry about it.

Has anyone else seen this behaviour before?

thanks,
Iain
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Re: problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Postby UtahLlama » 12 Nov 2015, 15:51

Would probably be best to use Acrobat Pro to convert the offending PDF to cmyk PDFX/-1a and then place into quark.

I'm eagerly awaiting Quark's December Webinar on Color Management and PDFX-4, hopefully all will become clear ;)
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Re: problem with converting RGB PDFs to CMYK on output

Postby iain robinson » 12 Nov 2015, 16:04

UtahLlama - I think that is probably what I'm going to have to do but I was hoping I wouldn't need to.

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