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Printer Marks set as black

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Ketraar posted on Thu, Dec 13 2012 11:24


I'm trying to sort out an issue with the printer marks beeing set as black (K) in the print separations dialog.

What I'm trying to do is to print separations to pdf to send out to be printed in plates, for this to work I have to set the option "print separations in color" to true, so that the screen angle does not get screwed when the plates are printed. Now my issue here is that all works well just the printermarks are not iin the color respective to their plate, they all are black. This will result in the plates other than the black one to not have any printermarks.

Now if there is a way to say set them to registration color or something so they are then printed right it would be great, otherwise I would need to se printermarks by hand which is a bit of a pain.

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.



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Top 25 Contributor
Georgetown, Guyana. South America.

Set the registration marks to C:100 M:100 Y:100 K:100

Hope that's what you mean.

Top 10 Contributor
London UK

I believe the "proper" colour for crop marks is "registration" which is a special colour that should appear on all separations no matter whether they are spot or process and no matter whether you output as separations or as composite.

I've not tested, but there probably isn't a way to "set" them to registration colour, because they would not normally need to be any other colour. Normally, you would not want registration marks to appear on only some of the plates.

But as I understand it, "print separations in colour" is purely a diagnostic option. A platemaker generally expects each separation to be black. If you send 100% yellow to the platemaker instead of 100% black, I suspect it will put somewhat less than 100% black on the plate.

Are you unable to get the screen angles you require on the separations tab by selecting "use advanced settings" and editing the angles?


Guess I did not explain myself right. Lets use images to clarify.

Preview of the 4 plates in Corel Print preview dialog, note that all looks as it should and plates are printed in colour.

And here is the result

See how the marks in the PDF are black instead of the respective colour they looked they'd be in the preview? The reason for why send the separations in colours is that if they go as black, the plate maker will print plates based on the black screen angle for all and that will screw things up for CMYK based images and the like. With coloured plates the screen angle is correct for each plate but the marks wont be printed on the plate 'cause they are set as black rather than registration colour, or the respective plate colour like in preview.

Hope that was more clear and someone can make sense of it. A solution which does not include me having to set colour manually would be great.



Top 10 Contributor
London UK

the plate maker will print plates based on the black screen angle for all

Your platemaker should definitely not be using the black angle for all four separations.

You can prove it should not do that, if you follow these steps:

  • Create a simple design -- four squares each as 50% tint of C, M, Y and K.
  • Go to the print screen, setting Device Independent Postscript File as the output device.
  • In the colour tab, select print as separations
  • In the separations tab, set screen frequency to 20 lpi
  • Click on advanced and verify that screen angles are correct
  • Print

Now open the postscript file in a text editor and search for %%Page: 1 1 which will be quite near the bottom.

A few lines further down, you will see:

/SeparationPlateName (Cyan) def
20 15 /@dot @D

That final line is the important one.

  • 20 defines the screen frequency. 
  • 15 defines the screen angle.
  • /@dpt @D is a postcript procedure to go ahead and create the screen using those two definitions.

Similarly, you will find after %%Page: 1 2 the screen definitions for the Magenta separation and, further down, for Yellow and Black, all of which will define the correct screen angles as you saw in the separations tab.

If your platemaker is not obeying the screen angles, despite them being stated clearly and unambigously in the postscript print file, then there is something very seriously wrong with your platemaker. Or, maybe the platemaker has been configured to ignore screen definitions and just needs reconfiguring to obey them.

Either way, the proper way forward is to find out why the platemaker is disobeying the screen settings, and ensure that it does.

Thanks for the info, will try this out.



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