Color Adjustments for Digital Printers

In addition to ICC color management, there are two other tools for adjusting colors on a digital printer in the Navigator Workflow.  

Namely: the Spot Color Adjustment tool and the Global Color Adjustment tool.  (If you want the video, scroll to the end.)

Spot Color Adjustment

Spot Color adjustments takes the form of a workflow action. This Navigator Workflow Action is called the Ink Remapping Action.  The ink remapping action performs two functions.  For separation devices such as film or plate imagesetters, it merges spot color plates together.  For CMYK output devices such as inkjet or toner devices it allows changes to the CMYK recipe for a particular spot color. It is this function which we are interested in with this document.  

At the Server, the configuration looks like this:

The spot color adjustment tool may be dropped into any workflow. The function requires PDF files with identified spot colors to operate.

Below is a workflow with spot color adjustment enabled.

If you only wish to adjust colors after having first printed a copy, put no pause. (As shown above)

If you wish to adjust the colors for each job, put a pause after the spot color adjustment in the workflow editor.

You can also cause the ‘pause’ to only affect jobs which actually have spot colors inside them.  Jobs which are only CMYK can be passed straight through the pause with this configuration.  This means that only jobs which can be edited by the Ink Remapping Action will be stopped.  Others will simply pass through to the next stage.

After outputting one copy, right-click the job and choose “spot colors” from the contextual menu.

(or click this button at the top of the screen)

This will allow you to enter the spot color adjustment dialog box.

If the user is comfortable editing the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black values directly, they may do so here. 

However, most users will prefer some help from the system in getting the right color. 

Click “Swatch Sheet” in order to get that help.

The swatch sheet window has controls allowing the user to vary the color from swatch to swatch and print out a letter-sized sheet or a #10 envelope with a swatch sample resembling the swatch window. 

Choose colors to change and choose a step amount to control how much the change will be. 

Choose a paper size and click Print Swatch Sheet.

Your swatch sheet will print.

If you chose the letter size page you will get this:

If you chose an envelope sized output you will get two sheets; like these:



You may fold it, tear it, use it however you like.  Compare it to acceptable printed output, compare it to a printed swatchbook, compare it to a t-shirt, or anything at all that you would like to get closer to.  You can read the patches with a measurement tool or do a comparison by eye.

Click the patchyou think is closest and it will become the center patch.  Then, you can output again and try to get closer with smaller Color Step increments, or commit the changes and output your job.

Once you adjust a color, you are free to use it again and again as long as you save it in a database.  Spot Color Adjustment databases are kept in their own file.  You can have as many of these as you need.  

Scenario 1. You may want one for a special customer.  Perhaps they have been printing their logo color "wrong" for the past twenty years.  It is the correct color for them.  You may want to do an adjustment once and then make a workflow which automatically fixes their logo from now on.  So you create and use a database named for that customer.

Scenario 2.  You want to improve spot colors on a particular substrate.  You create and name a database after that substrate.

Instead of leaving the color edits to affect “Current Job Only”, choose a database from the drop down menu to save them to.  Or click the + sign to the right to create a new database.

Clicking the + button will give you this dialog box:

Pick a name that will help you to know when to use this database in the future.

Add notes that help to describe the proper use of the database.

You can then choose this database in a workflow so that it automatically processes incoming  jobs with the color edits in that database.  No user intervention required.  As I mentioned in the 2 example scenarios above, you might name a database after a particular customer, or a paper stock.

Create a workflow that has Ink Remapping in it.  You can then choose to automatically apply the spot color edits in a library to any job that comes through that workflow.

Global Color Adjustment

Global color adjustment works on any file format the system accepts.  (e.g. postscript, PDF, EPS, TIFF.  This list depends upon your particular product. When in doubt, go with PDF!)  It works on every color in a job.  Whether the job contains RGB, CMYK, spot colors, or a combination of all of these, the global color adjustment tool will adjust the color of the entire job.

Its function is simple. 

When you wish to use it, right-click a job and choose “edit workflow for this job”.

 On the RIP tab click “color adjustment”

When you click color adjustment the window pops up


Simply click to the right or to the left.

The color wheel is provided as a reference to color relationships.  When you add cyan ink, it has the effect of removing red from a job.  When you remove yellow it has the effect of increasing blue. 

The color adjustment below will make the job darker.

This color adjustment will make the job print with more magenta ink (which has the effect of reducing green).

You can mix and add adjustments together.  This color adjustment will lighten the job and also remove magenta.