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I have created an application that produces CMYK documents. They print well in "Microsoft Xps document writer" and are still in CMYK and carry the exact color values I've designed in my application. When I repeat the printing into Adobe Pdf, the CMYK values change. This is unwanted behavior, I want my exact color values retained. I've tried setting the "color management policies" to "leave color unchanged" with no success.

Any help will be appreciated

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closed as off-topic by Scott, e-sushi, ckpepper02, Dom, Darth_Vader Sep 11 '13 at 20:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This appears to be a tech support question about fixing technology to work as advertised. Please edit the question so that it pertains to using technology to solve a design problem. You may want to check if it hasn't already been asked in Super User. In many cases, contacting the manufacturer is the quickest option." – Scott, e-sushi, ckpepper02, Dom, Darth_Vader
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please explain "print to PDF" what OS are you on? How do you check the CMYK values of the PDF? – Kris Van Bael Sep 9 '13 at 22:32
Windows 8, I check CMYK values using Adobe illustrator. – Alireza Sep 10 '13 at 10:57

Microsoft XPS has a different colour engine from Adobe PDF. It is unlikely that a document produced in one will play nice with the other. The XPS is non-standard. Adobe PDF X/1a has become the de facto standard for Press-ready PDF formats.

Edit: Here are your options:

  • Accept the difference in colour due to using your software combination.
  • Stick with XPS (using Microsoft Xps document writer) to preserve your design integrity.
  • Redo the artwork to avoid the inherent problem in different colour rendering.
  • Locate a suitable XPF to PDF Converter to ease one into the other. There are several that come up with a search.

Good luck.

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for the fourth option, can you point me to a few samples? – Alireza Sep 10 '13 at 10:57
Also, we don't care about color reproduction accuracy. Other factors are important, and when we ask for c:0,m:1,y:0,k:0 we mean it, no matter what the exact color will look like. Some options in the adobe pdf printer seem to address this problem, but it seems to me that anything we print to it is first converted to RGB, and then processed. I know that old printer drivers in windows were limited to RGB, but no information about most recent versions of Adobe acrobat and new versions of windows. As for the output, it still messes the colors. – Alireza Sep 10 '13 at 11:13
@Alireza Search the web using the wording that I set in bold face. You'll get at least ten different utilities that claim to do what you wish. – Stan Sep 10 '13 at 16:51
@Alireza Your comment about not caring about color reproduction accuracy along with your necessity for retaining colour values is baffling. Values generated in one application for one purpose is of little use in a different application, AFAIK. – Stan Sep 10 '13 at 17:00
@Alireza It is understandable that the fourth option is problematic due to the answer I gave. You cannot turn lead into gold. Microsoft came up with a proprietary process to circumvent convenient work with competitors. They're known for avoiding standards established by others in favour of their own brands. They run a closed shop. So does Adobe; but, Postscript and PDF has been given away to the public domaine. XPS remains proprietary. Now, come up with a utility that works between the two seamlessly and you've got a product. Good luck. – Stan Sep 11 '13 at 16:23
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As it turns out, the following is a solution to this problem:

  1. edit adobe pdf printer color settings to "do not change colors" and then save these settings to a .joboptions file.
  2. Go to acrobat settings, in "Convert to Pdf" select "Xps" and then click "edit settings".
  3. Select the settings you've saved in step 1.
  4. 4-Print your Wpf content to "Microsoft Xps document writer" to get an Xps file
  5. open the Xps file directly in acrobat and save it as pdf


You can use acrobat sdk which is freely available from adobe website, to automate this process (unfortunately acrobat has vary limited command prompt options, so using the sdk seems to be the only option)

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Cool. How can the graphic design group members take advantage of the procedure you outline here? – Stan Sep 12 '13 at 2:07
Aside from the initial configurations, the procedure can be automated in our application, I've already tested automating the conversion using acrobat sdk. The only question is if we can set the xps printing process to not show the save dialogue and save the file to a programmaticaly determined location? My experience from the past week says this should be a simple problem with an unnecessarily difficult solution. Let me do some test, I'll let you know. – Alireza Sep 12 '13 at 6:01

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