For creating certified PDFs, I use multiple settings like PDF standard, as well as colour conversion into FOGRA profiles. When working in a strict identity, I use 'preserve numbers' to keep the exact CMYK percentages of my swatches.

Is it possible to review these choices I make in the 'Export PDF' dialog box in the completed cPDF? I've been reviewing the file's metadata in Acrobat professional under File > Properties..., but couldn't find any information about ink management settings beyond the names of the ink plates.

What I'm looking for is information about the ink profile (FOGRA29 or 39, or US web coated etc.), and whether ink management preserved swatch numbers or not.

  • 1
    What further information are you looking for specifically? Isn't the names of the plates and the percentages used all there is?
    – Wolff
    May 8, 2020 at 17:41
  • @Wolff edited for clarity
    – Vincent
    May 9, 2020 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


If your document has an Output Intent it should be shown in Output Preview > Simulation Profile like this:

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think a PDF contains information about whether or not swatch numbers were preserved or not. To me it seems a bit like images containing information about whether or not they have previously been converted from another profile. I believe the numbers are changed for good and no longer remembers their previous state.

(Remember, a print PDF in CMYK basically just contains vector objects and pixels with CMYK numbers. The Output Intent color profile and any color profiles on individual objects are merely a "label" of sorts telling what the intent is. Useful to check if everything is in order and for the rare case when you need to convert to another CMYK profile. All the print houses I work with (including my own) mainly use the CMYK numbers as they are and expect the designer to have converted to the correct profile. We don't treat a set of CMYK numbers with one profile any differently from the same numbers with another profile.)

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