Colour Chameleon gives you the power to create high quality, colour matching
PDF files for prepress from virtually any software application, incl. MS
Office, Adobe Framemaker on Windows, GIS applications like MapInfo and
ArcView and, of course, any 'true' dtp application.
What's different about
Colour Chameleon is that unlike "Post PDF" repair kits, Colour Chameleon intervenes in the "Pre PDF" phase and cleans the incoming bad Postscript BEFORE it hits Acrobat
4.05 or 5.0.
new functionality, incl.
RGB -> CMYK or grey
conversion of images.
Chameleon does its job DURING creation of the press-ready PDF documents
rather than afterwards. Hence, additional in-PDF editing of PDF documents
created by Colour Chameleon shouldn't be needed at all.
basic Colour Chameleon work flow
Colour Chameleon take EPS
documents or documents printed to a PostScript file as input. It cannot
output anything else than CMYK or spot coloured Acrobat 4 compatible PDF
documents (except when you set-up user-defined job options for Acrobat
Distiller, in which case you – not Colour Chameleon – are responsible
for the output quality).
Colour Chameleon is
extremely easy to use. You simply drag your EPS or PostScript documents from
Windows Explorer to the Colour Chameleon interface, edit the colours as
needs be and then press the Create Output Now button. End of story. How it
works is discussed below.
When a EPS or PostScript
document arrive in Colour Chameleon, an analysis of your documents is
started and an initial Colour Table for each document is created according
to a default set of CMYK conversion rules. These colour tables display any
colour used in your documents and can be edited individually, copied to
other documents, merged into other colour tables or edited globally by the
'Change colours' function. Here is an example:
All editing is controlled
within this simple dialog. All colours are sorted by input type and can be
edited or re-mapped as you please.
Colour Chameleon group
vector based input colours and colours from spot colour images for editing
Grey colours, incl.
RGB colours, incl.
CMYK colours, incl.
Spot colours, incl.
RGB based spot colours, calibrated spot colours and spot colours from
monotone and duotone images.
Overprint can be
enabled/disabled for each colour from the above mentioned groups. As
sub-groups to the above mentioned groups are
CMYK colours from
Spot colours from
Any process colorant
from duotone images
identified as background colours from bitmap pattern fills created by
some PostScript drivers.
Grey, RGB and CMYK
colours can be edited in CMYK as you please, or re-mapped to any existing
CMYK colour, spot colour or spot colour tint.
Spot colours can not be
edited. Instead, spot colours can be re-mapped to other existing spot
plates, their tint value can be changed and new spot colours can be created
and mapped to.
Monotone images will
not be stored in DeviceN colour space. Instead, Colour Chameleon
will convert such images to Separation colour space and this way allow for
proper separation with older equipment. Duotone images will be
stored in DeviceN colour space, however. Colour Chameleon support monotone
and duotone images from Adobe Photoshop 5.0 or later and fix the 'inverted
rendering' bug with such images from Photoshop 5.0 (Adobe fixed this bug
with Photoshop 5.02).
Colour Chameleon preserve
spot colours in gradients from QuarkXpress 3.32 or later and CorelDraw! 9.0
or later. It can apply spot colours to all other gradient types as long as
they are recognized as gradients (most are, and in case of CorelDraw! Colour
Chameleon support gradients created even with CorelDraw! 3.0).
Colour Chameleon image conversion features
Even though Colour
Chameleon provide very good RGB image to CMYK conversion defaults for
printing on coated stock, a flexible conversion set-up is both required and
offered in the Create output part of Colour Chameleon:
Besides conversion to
greyscale rather than CMYK, the settings offered for conversion of RGB
GCR/UCA. These settings define how black printing ink is generated
to make RGB images commercially printable with good contrast.
Compensation, individually for C, M and Y or an average for the grey
balance. These settings compensate for the darkening of midtones that
occur during a commercial printing process, but can additionally be used
to remove unwanted colour cast and/or to neutralise and lighten the grey
balance in midtones.
Compensation, individually for six different colorant relationships.
These settings ensure that you will get bright colours.
Compensation, individually for C, M, Y and K and each colorant with
individual settings for highlight burn-away and shadow increase. These
settings are very useful for adding contrast, removing colour cast in
highlight or shadow image areas and for adding shadow strength.
The built-in MiniGuide,
which also follow the free demo version of Colour Chameleon, provide
detailed information on how you administer these settings.
Colour Chameleon removes
all calibration information that one or the other way have sneaked into your
EPS or PostScript documents. In other words, Colour Chameleon ignore any
embedded ICC profiles. This behaviour is by design.
Colour Chameleon output features
Colour Chameleon offer a
lot more than converting colours:
control. This feature is extremely useful with art from GIS systems
or documents created by applications that create their PostScript via
Besides setting a minimum line width for strokes,
i.e. 'true' lines, this function also calculate the smallest size of
filled rectangles (which Windows GDI may use instead of strokes), and
add additional width until the minimum is reached. This is extremely
relevant with e.g. table borders created by Office like systems and
Optionally, this function also can control line
endings, how lines are joined in a composite path and how miter joins
are performed. This is extremely useful with GIS maps drawn with
'hairlines', which almost always will produce unwanted, visible 'spikes'
when such 'hairlines' are thickened.
to smooth shadings. This is a by design feature that cannot be
controlled by the user. It's very useful for drawing gradients
completely without 'banding'. All known gradients will be converted to
smooth shadings. One exception is gradients created with the
XyEnterprise XPP system, which explicitly are passed on as usual
'blends', but with spot colour information preserved.
TrimBox and BleedBox. This feature is optional and allow for
on-the-fly definition of a cropping region, a trimming region and a
With Quark Xpress 3.32 or later Colour Chameleon can
detect where the cropmarks are positioned and optionally define these
regions without any user action.
With Colour Chameleon follow a free copy of the very
useful Prinergy Page Geometry plug-in for Acrobat, which kindly is
provided by CreoScitex to the Colour Chameleon users.
pattern fills. This feature is optional and allow for on-the-fly
removal of the moiré causing part of pattern tiles created by some
During analysis Colour Chameleon detect when a moiré
causing pattern tile is used for filling a vector based element from
e.g. a MS Office application. Each time such a fill is identified it
will be added to the colour table as a spot colour named 'Pattern 1 on
Page 4', 'Pattern 2 on Page 12', 'Pattern 3 on Page 37' and so on, and
this way allow you to substitute each pattern with either a 'true' spot
colour or a CMYK colour.
During PDF creation Colour Chameleon then will remove
the bitmap part of the pattern tiles and insert the colour you applied
as a new fill colour.
pages. This feature is optional and offer you the option of letting
the created PDF document be split into single page PDF documents on the
Delete all images
on the fly. This feature is optional and is really useful for
creating language plates for catalogues or brochures already pre-printed
as CMYK 'blanks'.
The feature makes it easy to produce a image-less
language 'roll-over' draft for each language, or simply the final
separation for the language add-on plates.
error reporting. This feature is by design and will force creation
of a PDF document even though a PostScript error occur. The last page in
the created PDF document will be incomplete, but it may help you hunting
down the error source.
In addition to the PDF document, a log window will
display extended PostScript error information, the byte position for the
error, the offending command and the reason for it. Finally it display a
dump of the operand stack, the dictionary stack and the execution stack.
This information may not help you much, but it's
extremely useful for a technician.
'post-flight' information. This feature is by design and will apply
an Acrobat annotation to page 1 in any created PDF document.
Useful information on conversion results and
different kinds of warnings are provided instantly when the PDF document
is opened in Acrobat.
Besides the above
mentioned output options you of course can preview the effect of your
editing at any time before you create the final press-ready PDF document:
Any application that can
print through a PostScript printer driver or export documents in EPS format.
PostScript Level 1 and 2 is fully supported. EPS or PostScript documents
created on Macintosh or Unix systems are also supported, but these must be
made available to Colour Chameleon via a network connection, since Colour
Chameleon only run on Microsoft Windows..
PostScript 3 is partly
supported. Tritone and quadtone images from Adobe PhotoShop are currently
Spot colours from a
duotone image can not be re-mapped to CMYK. They can be re-mapped to other
spot colours, however, or to a named process colorant. This limitation does
not apply to monotone images.
Colour Chameleon version
2.0 require the following software to be installed:
Microsoft Windows. Colour
Chameleon should run on any 32 bit version of Microsoft Windows.
It has only been tested on Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98,
Adobe Acrobat 4.05
and/or 5.0, the full products. If both
versions are installed, Acrobat Distiller 5.0 will be used as PostScript
interpreter, but a prompt will ask which version of the viewer to use.
The recommended choice is the Acrobat 5.0 viewer with 'Overprint
preview' switched on.
Acrobat Reader is not supported. Colour Chameleon may
run with Adobe Acrobat 4.00, but this is neither recommended nor
supported by Colour Chameleon Tech. Support.
Access Components, version 2.5 Service Pack 2 or newer (MDAC).
MDAC is not included with the installer, but is available
Microsoft Jet 4.0,
Service Pack 3 or newer. Jet 4.0 is not included with the
installer, but is available
A fast computer.
Conversion of images from RGB to CMYK require extra horse power when
it's performed in PostScript as with Colour Chameleon.
Besides the above
mentioned a properly configured PostScript driver is required. The
recommended thing to do is to install a copy of the Acrobat Distiller
printer driver and then assign the FILE: port to this driver. The latest
version of this driver can be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com.
OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.