_Esko Trapping Issues?


We've just started using Esko 9.x (after using Prinergy for years) - we're having trouble with the Automated Trapping (trapX plugin as part of the Esko suite for Illustrator CS4)... Prinergy works automatically for about 95% of our files, but with Esko, there is a lot of manual trapping (as in revising what trapX gives us), and at first glance, it appears to be a step backwards compared to Prinergy.

Simple things like having (100%) black overprint automatically, or the cyan under a black (ie. when doing a 'rich black' of 30% cyan under black) pull back automatically seem to be beyond the ability of trapX.

The settings in Backstage (tasks) seem rather limited, and there doesn't appear to be a way to trap according to neutral density, which is what I'm used to...

There have also been some issues with the trap going the wrong way... has any one else experienced issues, or are you happy with it? - What are your experiences?
Esko Trapping Issues

Esko Trapping Issues

TrapX as an Adobe Illustrator trap solution is pretty good, but far from perfect. There are a number of settings that can affect the final trap result, for instance, the black margin value (and a bunch of other settings). I don't know how much you have played with the settings to see if you can find the right result without editing.

Regarding trap editing with Esko's TrapX, it is very difficult to edit a specific trap area for one trap object without other optional (and expensive) DeskPack tools. You can change the overall trap amount for the color pair in which the problem trap occurs and see if a different trap size fixes the issue, but it is unlikely that will work and will affect ALL the traps where that color pair exists. You can also change the miter for the entire color pair set of traps to see if that works.

The real solution is an expensive one. With Esko's TrapX-i ("i" for interactive), about $3500 I think, you have an additional tool that allows you to apply traps to specific trap objects in any direction you choose, with different miters, etc. It's a nice tool if you can afford it, but does not change the fact that you will be doing a lot of interactive work to get your file trapped just right.

By the way, there is some capability in DeskPack for creating rich blacks in linework, although you my find it doesn't give you the control you need or the precise rich black values you are looking for. But it does exist.

Esko's other sales solutions is to offer you either their "high end" prepress applications such as PackEdge or ArtPro (about 30 grand each). or try to move you to their "automated" workflow, Suite 7 or 10 or whatever they're calling it this week. I would not go there!
Thanks Talking Tech.

Well, we've jumped in with both feet and bought the whole Enchilada (with the exception of the 'manual' trapping tool), and I guess I'm dissatisfied with the amount of 'tweaking' involved compared to what we're used to...

Prinergy sets traps based on a color's neutral density, but with Esko the settings seem so limited...

Now I'm worried that it won't get any better...:confused:
Esko Trapping Issues!

Esko Trapping Issues!

I think the TrapX automated traps are extremely difficult to edit using standard Adobe Illustrator tools. The easiest and more costly solution is to use the TrapX-i optional interactive trap tool, remove the bad trap and re-trap with the interactive tool. In most cases this works well (but not all).

Good luck, though. I suggest you play with the automated TrapX settings in there to see if you can improve the results. I also suggest you call Esko's tech support people often if you are unhappy and let them know what's happening (send them files if you need to!). You paid a lot, so you should expect a lot!
TrapX (now called PowerTrapper) has always contained a Color Pair window where you can modify distance, direction and other behaviour specifically for one trap instance. It is true that in the past, you would indeed modify all similar traps when doing this, but in the latest version, the best way to modify traps using PowerTrapper is using the Trap Select tool. As soon as you install PowerTrapper, this extra tool appears in the Illustrator toolbar. You select the trap you want to modify with that tool and in the Color Pair window this trap is selected (you can even choose to hide all other trap instances). By then modifying the Color Pair and relaunching, only this instance is modified, all other remain untouched.

Pullback of Cyan under Black should go automatically. PowerTrapper is very advanced in that. If you have difficulty getting it right, I suggest you send a small example file to Customer Service, because this should work fine.
So as you can see, there is very limited trap editing you can do, as clearly indicated by this manufacturer's representative. You can affect the trap size, direction and miter only. The Trap Select tool does little more than allow you to select the trap. Due to the multi-point segmented traps the TrapX tool creates, it is very difficult to edit these traps in most cases. Your only choice is to re-trap the color pair instance and hope the new trap looks correct. As I pointed out, the reality is you will need the optional "TrapX-i" tool if you want to re-trap with more control. Also, due to using a different trap calculation, the traps created by the TrapX-i tool are easier to edit with standard Illustrator tools than the traps created by TrapX.

If I were in your situation, I would let Esko know that they need to improve their TrapX functionality by adding another (included/free) tool in illustrator that makes it easier to actually edit a trap shape created by TrapX. They have one of these tools in ArtPro, why can't they add it to Illustrator?
I guess what I'm concerned with isn't that I don't have enough 'control' over traps (I definitely feel that I do, so that's not the issue). However, I am disappointed that there isn't a standard litho Ticket (in Backstage) that would do a good job of trapping for the majority of jobs. Add to this the fact that Esko doesn't deal well with raster effects (I have to hide them). I've done some trial and error testing with Tickets in Backstage Pilot, and I think I'm getting closer to what should have been provided by Esko as almost a default.


Well-known member
That (gaps & missing areas) is unacceptable. Period.

I would have a major problem with those kind of results...
There is a 'small gap detector' in the trapping settings. Often, objects have tiny gaps and by default, TrapX/PowerTrapper will not trap them (which is logical, as they don't touch). But you can activate the option 'detect small gaps' to automatically add these instances to the trapping. No need to do this manually.
I am interested if this "Detect Ssmall Gaps" fix works for you

I am interested if this "Detect Ssmall Gaps" fix works for you

Hugh Betcha, let the forum know if you can find a fix for your trap problems. I believe this is a bug and not a simple fix, but I am interested to hear what you come back to us with!
Right, so the answer I have is to go back to Esko and complain about the traps. Send them the file, send them the screen shot of the gaps the trapper is leaving and ask them how this file should be trapped using the expensive tool you purchased from them. With Esko as with most companies, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!


Active member
Well with regards to Trapx i, it works with the simple stuff like vector objects, but handling images its poor, and for the more complex situations its just not up to scratch. My company uses Esko for all prepress needs(DONT GET ME WRONG ITS A WONDERFUL PRODUCT FOR PREPRESS and COLOR MANAGEMENT) but some of the deskpack plugins needs some work. Just my 2 cents.

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