Tutorial: InDesign and it’s Ink Manager

I’m using InDesign fairly often to design newsletters for example. For work I had to send a PDF fail of a freshly made newsletter. However the PDF showed some strange artifacts around certain graphics. I printed it out and saw that the artifacts didn’t show up on the printed version.  I decided to send the document anyway and asked the printer for some tips. And what a nice tip they gave me! In my 4 years of working with the program I never used this tool!

You are probably wondering, what is he talking about. Well, I’m talking about the InDesign Ink Manager! It’s a really neat little tool that converts all spot colors into full color equivalents. So if you design full color documents keep in mind to convert every color into full color mode! Below you’ll find an example of the Ink Manager with the right settings for a full color print.

You can find the Ink Manager in the print and export dialogs, Separations Preview panel and Swatches panel.  It doesn’t matter how you reach it,  they are all one and the same. With this manager it’s (like stated earlier) possible to change spot colors to process colors. You can recognize spot colors to the round grey ball icon in front of it. The process colors are marked with a CMYK icon.

You have to keep in mind a few things. One, the Swatches panel doesn’t change colors when using the Ink Manager. The colors stay the same. Ink Manager only comes in when exporting the document or printing. Two, this is the Ink Manager that comes with InDesign. Acrobat has an Ink Manager to, but the option to “Use Standard Lab Values for Spots” isn’t there.

Hope this tutorial explains the Ink Manager in a simple and understandable way. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.