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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to - proofing colors in Adobe Photoshop ready for print

Daniel Walter Scott

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It's time to proof our colors, getting ready for, let's say print. So it's really common to work in RGB when you're doing a graphic. There's more color space to work with, more richer, more vibrant colors, but there's still lots of times where you need to send it out to physical printing. So it's going to be converted to CMYK. So an easy way to check what it’s going to look like in CMYK. It's just a representation to give you kind of an idea. Go to 'View' and there's this one here. It's 'Command Y' on a Mac, 'Ctrl Y' on a PC, and just make sure, under 'Proof Setup', it's set to 'Working CMYK', like a generic CMYK printing process. So 'Command Y', on, off, on, off. It might be hard to see in the video. The main problem for me is my Color Splash in the background. It's changing color considerably. It's losing its color, it's got a little bit of green. Probably had a green tinge in it to start with. So it's just temporary, it's not like going to File, Mode, and CMYK, and converting it. Just giving you a little preview. 

Another visual way, rather than just turning on and off and splashing about, is go to 'View' and turn on the 'Gamut Warning', and it will just give you a gray representation of colors that it feels are probably going to smoosh together when going through printing. And by smooshing it, means it can't be represented very well in CMYK. The yellows here in the banana are perfect, because one of the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, one of them is yellow. Does well. Cyans do well, greens don't do well. That's what's affecting this image, a lot of the grass here, you've done it before, you've printed something else, and it just looks great on screen, and the greens come all kind of muddy brown. 

What I can do here now is I can work on this layer here. I've already got some levels and color adjustments. So I'm going to click on Hue & Saturation. Just kind of push it a little bit more towards the yellows. You can see, just kind of flies back into action, because it had a green tinge to it already, so that's one way of fixing it. You might work on the levels of an image, and all you're doing is trying to make some adjustments to see, A, are you happy with the look, and B, has a lot of this Gamut Warning disappeared? So I'm going to mess about, lightening this kind of Mid Tones here, so that the CMYK printer can kind of deal with it. But there's never going to be perfect, there's always going to be a change, when going from RGB to CMYK, but it is handy to check it. So turn 'off' Gamut Warning, and have a look at, say you want to go a bit more pro. 

At the moment you're just using the proof setup for a generic CMYK printing process. What you should do is go to 'Custom', and depending on where you're printing, say I'm printing here in my kind of home office, I've got like an Oki Laser printer here, it's okay, wasn't expensive. What I can do is, I can say, I'd like you to simulate, and what it will do is, if you have something installed on your machine, way down the bottom here, it's an Epsom I have at a different desk, and this is the Oki that I have installed. So if you've got a printer installed on your machine already, it should appear in this list here. So I know mine's the-- I think it's this one here. Multi, it says 342 Multi, that's the one here. 

What I also might do to give myself a realistic representation, is go to 'Simulate Paper Color'. What it does, it will dull down the white to kind of try and match paper more than the screen version here which is quite bright. But even still it is so much easier to get a proof done, because this is still a simulation, so 'Preview On', 'Preview Off'. This is what my-- there's a big change in the color here, which wasn't in the CMYK, kind of generic one. So my Oki printer is saying, I'm going to probably richen this up quite a bit. 

So what I can do now is, I've set it all up, I clicked 'OK'. Now I can make adjustment to try and mitigate that by maybe changing the color of this text to get it close to what I want. If you're dealing with a commercial printer, you can ask them for something called an ICC Profile. You can go and load it in here. So you can go to 'View', 'Proof Set Up', go to 'Custom'. You can go to 'Load', so if you're dealing with a small mull-and-pop kind of place, they're probably not going to know how to send you this color profile. If you're dealing with a larger commercial place, they're going to be able to send it to you easy. Let's click 'OK'. That's the first step for getting our document ready for commercial print. Let's get into the next video.