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  1. #1
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    Spot colours (2000sr3)

    Is it possible to define PMS spot colours (or colors) in word so that useful output can be produced for a print shop? I have a word document with black and one spot colour. The printing will be via offset press. That is, they will need to make one plate up with the black and one plate with the spot colour. I would like to avoid using a specialised layout program if at all possible.

    I have a vague recollection of seeing a word add-in product that did this - but now I can't find it anywhere.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spot colours (2000sr3)

    Hi,

    I think you'll find that colour offset printing is all done from grey-scale masters. That being the case, you'd need up to four masters (CMYK) for full colour or, if the printer can supply the necessary PMS colour, two masters - one for black and one with the appropriate screen density for your PMS colour.

    The black master is the easy bit - just delete all the colour info from the document. The master for a solid PMS colour is just as easy. The master for a screened PMS colour is difficult to do in Word (especially if the screen density varies) because, although you can delete the black easily enough, getting a correctly shaded master would require your monitor and printer to be calibrated for this. If your PMS colour is all the one density, you'd probably be just as well off producing a 'solid' PMS master and getting your printer to adjust the screening to suit your requirements.

    Cheers
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  3. #3
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    Re: Spot colours (2000sr3)

    Are you sure you need this? There are lots of direct to print machines around now so the old-fashioned colour plates print method is being superceded everywhere. Certainly if quality is not the primary consideration (and it aint going to be if you do it in Word) then a direct-to-print vendor should be easy enough to find.

    If you still have your heart set on making plates...

    This is going to be a big ask as Word won't save any colours with anything except RGB or HSL defined colours. This makes it a difficult task even from Acrobat although it might be possible if you give it a try. Software exists that makes separations from unseparated Acrobat files - you don't need this software but your print shop may have it. The colours won't be defined in CMYK but the software RIP might be able to convert it happily enough.

    Word really isn't the program you should use to do this but you can get close enough if your colours don't need accurate registration ie the two colours don't actually touch each other. If I was writing an add-in to achieve this task then I would make the macro do this (assuming I had a red and black document):
    1. Search the text and replace anything red (text, borders, fill) with the colour white
    2. Print the black only plate
    3. Replace anything black with blue
    4. Replace anything white with black
    5. Replace anything blue with white
    6. Print the spot red plate
    7. Send the output to the printers
    8. Now close the file without saving
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  4. #4
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    Re: Spot colours (2000sr3)

    This seems to be feasible for my job. I just have some solid colour headings that don't touch any black areas. I will talk to my printer.

    I guess I will also need to print off-page registration marks so they can line everything up. Any tips on how to do this? (I presume it could be done by telling word the paper is larger than it really is, but it does seem a bit messy).

    On a related issue, does anyone know what the "Pantone officecolor assistant" does (available from www.pantone.com). There is very little information available on their website, but I'm guessing that it just selects RGB values that give results similar to the pantone colours (rather than actually putting pantone colour instructions in the print file).

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