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Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Hello all,

My problem is as follows:

I am intending to do a two colour print job using InDesign. The InDesign file includes lots of embedded files from Photoshop and Illustrator. The Illustrator files are using the same spot colours as the InDesign document.

My problem is that when I print the separations, one of the spot colours (the one that isn't black!) doesn't come through onto the plate from the embedded Illustrator and Photoshop files.

Can't find any information on handling spot colours from embedded files in Indesign.



RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

What version of InDesign are you using?  2.0.2 is the current.  I believe there was some spot color import problem in previous versions.

How many spot colors appear in your color palette?

Are you using the exact/same spot colors between programs?  Pantone coated 318 is different than Pantone uncoated 318.

Are you certain your bitmaps are not RGB or CMYK?

RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Dear Jimoblak,

Thank you for answering my query.

I am using InDesign 2.0 but I tried product update but it couldn't find any.

I have three colours in my palette, Black, Registration and the Pantone colour i was using. I experimented this morning, and realised that Photoshop (6) doesn't seem to have exactly the same pantone colours as InDesign (at least, it doesn't call them the same thing. So I experimented by adding an extra spot colour (which does appear in both apps), in the linked file (which I put in as photoshop pdf) and also put a square of the same colour into the Indesign document.

The extra separation showed the square in the indesign document but not the one from the linked photoshop pdf.

I checked that they are cmyk etc.


Aside, are there any good books for this sort of thing? I have been looking but I haven't seen any.

Thank you for your help,



RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Dear Jimoblak,

I found the 2.0.2 update on the Adobe site. I must have missed it earlier. I will try the process again and see if it works.



RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

...(which I put in as photoshop pdf)...

Try a native PSD file.  InDesign supports these effortlessly.  The PDF may be the culprit.

RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Dear Jimoblak,

Thanks for your hint. Actually I was initially doing it using .psd and .ai files but still had the problem. A very interesting tutorial I found at http://www.nickhodge.com/mne.php?mcid=711 suggested the method I was using above.

Updates haven't made a difference to the problem.

I have a workaround of making all the imported files greyscale and then laying a spot colour on top in InDesign.  Of course having those drawing tools is invaluable!

Thanks very much for your help.

all the best


RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems


I found the quickest way to deal w/ spot colors was to assign C, Y, or M as your spot colors. There will be no problems between programs.

The film that page layout programs produce are all black & transparent. The only thing that matters is that the printer knows which print which color.

I have also heard that some imagestters have problems ripping psd and ai files. Better to use eps or tiff.

RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Dear hoodyB,

Cutting straight to the heart of the problem! Very good idea. I think I will do that next time.

Will also use your advice on the psd and ai files. By the way, I have noticed that when I produce an eps, if one looks at it again, one sees lots of little white lines and it all seems to have been cut up. I am no expert so I wondered what this all meant!
Thank you for your help

All the best


RE: Separations for a Two Colour Job - Problems

Are all your Pantone Colors spelled the same way in all 3 programs? (Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign) Also make sure that all your Photoshop files are not native photshop files be sure to save them as tiffs or eps files, the same with your .ai files save them as eps files as well.

You could use process colors in place of your PMS colors, but depending on your printer or prepress provider, but you have to remember film is starting to be a thing of the past. Alot of printers do not use film like the one I work for.
I would contact your printer your using, and ask them to look at your file and have them help you with setting up your files. We do it all the time for out clients. We have been doing it quite a bit lately since Indesign is now the big Rage.  If you need anymore help or info contact me, I'm a Desktop Operator.


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