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I have created a design in CorelDraw. While publishing it to PDF, it gets washed out. That might be due to some color management issue.

Now, when I'm create the same design in InDesign the PDF generates exact color and quality.

How can I be sure that this PDF generated from InDesign will print to paper as it is shown on screen in PDF ?

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Please be aware that pdf viewers, all of them, are positively horrible at properly displaying a print-ready pdf. Don't trust what you see on-screen, trust what you made and trust the export settings in your lay-out program. –  Vincent Jul 16 at 11:30
    
Thanks for making the title more proper. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 11:42
    
I created a new document with CMYK color and did the design, while publishing to pdf if I use Corel's predefined 'Prepress' i.e. output as CMYK, the colors looks washed out. Whilist in InDesign I did the same thing and the pdf output was perfect. Please note that I'm very new to color management. Currently I have published the PDF with RGB color profile from Corel and the colors look quite perfect on pdf. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 11:43
    
"can I be sure that this PDF generated from InDesign will print to paper as it is shown on screen in PDF ?" You can't. You have to calibrate everything, use proper profiles, export to a press-ready PDF format and then get a chroma key/color proof from the printer. Once you do this a few times you'll begin to trust your settings. –  Scott Jul 16 at 12:15
    
@Scott make that an answer. –  joojaa Jul 16 at 12:21

2 Answers 2

[How] can I be sure that this PDF generated from InDesign will print to paper as it is shown on screen in PDF ?

You can't.

There at least a dozen variables in the path from screen to press. You can not control all of them and it's entirely possible ones you can control are incorrect.

You have to calibrate everything - monitors, scanners - use proper profiles for all application and images - export to a press-ready (PDF) format and then get a chroma key/color proof from the printer.

Once you do this a few times you'll begin to trust your settings. However, there's never an absolute way to know that everything is perfectly correct until you see the file off the press compared to your screen.

I am not a Corel user. But I am a long time InDesign user. If you've got your monitor properly calibrated, your InDesign color settings correct, and exported to PDF/X format, chances are you're pretty close with the PDF generated from InDesign. However, only a chroma key or press proof will verify that.

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+1 yeah you could add some links to calibration equipment so readers understand those are physical pieces of equipment not something you do with software or if you know a good link or so... anyway yeh what i would have said. –  joojaa Jul 16 at 12:29
    
Then what will be the print output if I export the pdf with RGB color profile ? Another thing is what is 'Black overprint' ? This term has been mentioned by our press. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 13:25
    
@hypheni Something random, unless your calibrated and know the cmyk profile of the printer and have a sane profile intent. If you care about your colors you calibrate and do the proofs, no way around that. –  joojaa Jul 17 at 4:41

Your problem probably lies with the fact that Corel Draw only allows CMYK formats and InDesign uses both RGB and CMYK.

When you export a file in a CMYK format and view it on a screen which is essentially an RGB screen everything looks dull or washed out.

If you're exporting the PDF to print, you shouldn't worry about the colors you see there, but if you're exporting a PDF just for digital usage, it would be better to use InDesign since you can export an RGB PDF too and the colours wouldn't look washed out.

Hope that helps.

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So you mean, though my PDF looking washed out on screen it will be print on paper as shown on Corel ? Actually I'm a bit concern as the printing press is totally 3rd party. I will pass the PDF to some guy and he will take the printout. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 14:58
    
Yeah. That's right. You can always ask for a test page from the document to see how it looks. Essentially, colours can never be as saturated or bright as that observed on a digital screen. Eg. RGB Black appears blacker than CMYK Black as black on the screen is just absence of light, but on print, it doesn't function that way and is dependent on the K (Key Plate which is usually Black) part of CMYK. Hope that helps. –  Noel Braganza Jul 16 at 15:05
    
So, I should provide them a pre-press PDF whatever it looks. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 15:08
    
Yes absolutely. Especially if this is the first time you're printing this document and are worried about how the colours turn out. Just remember RGB can produce more colours than CMYK can which is why CMYK colours look a little muddy. But while printing, CMYK is the format that the printing machine understands. –  Noel Braganza Jul 16 at 15:08
    
Yes, that I understand. CMYK for Print and RGB for Web. My point is, I created the doc in Corel with CMYK color profile and applied all the colors from CMYK palette only, then why color is changing after converting it to PDF. –  hypheni Jul 16 at 15:18

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