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Total ink coverage on CMYK digital printing


Question

Is there a simple way to calculate ink coverage when printing from *.pdf ?

I work at a digital printing studio and just got a new machine. With the machine came some cost tables which provides info about prices with 20,40,60 ... % coverage of paper.

When using CMYK palette, there is the possibility that ink coverage goes up to 400% (100% of C,M,Y,K) so I am looking for some fast and reliable way of getting to know how much ink is used before printing so I can modify prices. It should work with selected area or whole document.

2016/06/09
1
7
6/9/2016 11:54:00 AM

Adobe Acrobat has a number of tools to analyze PDF documents.

You can use the Preflight tool (Edit → Preflight...) to analyze for any pre-print issues, including ink coverage, image resolution etc. and correct some issues. There are a number of preset profiles that you can use, I believe some contain ink coverage checks. You can create your own custom profiles and add your own checks, including ink coverage.

Preflight custom checks

You can read more about the Preflight tool here:

If you just want to see the values you can use the Output Preview (Tool → Print Production → Output Preview). Set the preview to "Seperations" and you can hover over your pdf with your cursor and get live values for all inks and total coverage. You can also set a color to highlight any areas over a threshold of total coverage.

Output preview

Note, this is using Acrobat Pro CS6, the newer Acrobat Pro DC (CC) may differ.

2016/06/09
3
6/9/2016 1:27:00 PM