Changing to Pantone Spot Colours in PDFs

BigSi

Well-known member
Ok this is a very basic problem (hopefully has a basic answer).

Bare with me (I have an offset printing background! not prepress).

What is the bestway of changing CMYK colours to named Pantone spot colours so I can edit in Command workstation.

Customer's supplied PDFs, as you can imagine they are almost never spot colours. I don't like opening in illustrator (with all the associated risks) but don't seem to have any choice. Is there a cheap programme for doing this? Can I actually change in Adobe acobat it's self. I do have pitstop but only on the server for my V2100. (Came from Xerox, not really suitable to use as a workstation but if this is the only option?). I'd much prefer to be able to something on one of my macs.

Your input is much appreciated. Thanks Simon (pre press beginner)
 

Glenn McDowall

Well-known member
The best way I think is Prinergy Workstation or similar where you can Map any Separation colours to any other.
You can Map spot inks in Pitstop but its not as intuative and I'm not sure about cmyk.
You can Map spot inks InDesign.
Mapping will retain the tint weight but when you have artwork in composite cmyk rather than 4 separations that you want to change to a solid spot colour the best way is Pitstop's "Change Specific Colour" Global Change, you can grab the input colour from the document then choose your output color (or even grab it from another pdf).
If you are trying to match Pantones using (EFI ?) Command workstation you are starting down a rabbit hole with a lot of dead ends. Overprinting spot colours often are very different on screen to actually printing them. More so if your final printing device is an inkjet or toner.
 

BigSi

Well-known member
Thanks Glen. yes I have heard of this feature in Pitstop "Change Specific Colour" Global Change. Will give it a go. ta Simon
 

Ulrich

Well-known member
You can Map spot inks in Pitstop but its not as intuative and I'm not sure about cmyk.
If you want to map e.g. the Cyan Channel completly to a spotcolor Pantone, you have to change first the mode in PitStop with an action list "prozess/CMYK-color (mode) into DeviceN (mode)"... (after that Prozess Cyan is now DeviceN-Cyan and now you can change from DeviceN-Cyan into a Pantone spotcolor)
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Two methods:

This first one doesn't require changing to a spot color, you just use the "Substitute Color" feature in Command Workstation:
  1. Identify the current CMYK values. You can do this by opening the PDF in Acrobat Pro. Click on the Advanced Menu>Print Production>Output Preview then over over the object to get it's CMYK values
  2. In Command Workstation (CWS) go to Server>Device Center>Resources>Spot Colors
  3. Click on the "New" (plus button) in the top left, select "Substitute Group" then give it any name for your reference
  4. Then highlight the name of the new group and click on the new button again, this time select "Substitute Color"
  5. Input the current CMYK values
  6. Click Edit and input the desired CMYK values. Click ok and exit out back to CWS main screen.
  7. Select the job and go to properties
  8. In Properties go to Color>Color Settings then check the box for "Substitute Colors". Then reprint the job. You can go back and edit the substitute color as needed.
The 2nd method does require Illustrator, but not opening the whole file in illustrator:
  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat Pro
  2. Go to the Tools menu>Advanced Editing>Touch Up Object Tool
  3. Click the object(s) you wish to change the color of, right click and select "edit object". This will open just that object in Illustrator if it is a vector object. Change the color to anything you wish in Illustrator then just close the document and click ok. Don't change the name or location when it asks you to save it. It will automatically update in the PDF.
  4. Now you can import the new PDF in to CWS and process as desired.
 
Last edited:

ColorMonkey

Well-known member
Unless things have changed I believe Substitute Color will only work with vector objects.

I agree with jwheeler though, SC is something that does work very well if you are able to find the values to replace.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
Pitstop Pro, vector objects are a breeze using global change, if you have colour images, you would need to first convert to grayscale then map to spot colour.
 

BigSi

Well-known member
Hi Guys, all good stuff. this one might be the easiest-
The 2nd method does require Illustrator, but not opening the whole file in illustrator:
  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat Pro
  2. Go to the Tools menu>Advanced Editing>Touch Up Object Tool
  3. Click the object(s) you wish to change the color of, right click and select "edit object". This will open just that object in Illustrator if it is a vector object. Change the color to anything you wish in Illustrator then just close the document and click ok. Don't change the name or location when it asks you to save it. It will automatically update in the PDF.
  4. Now you can import the new PDF in to CWS and process as desired.
but will try the others. ta Simon
 

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