PageStream in Color/DTP/Commercial

From: Marc A. Lombardo (aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/03/91-11:14:44 PM Z

From: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marc A. Lombardo)
Subject: PageStream in Color/DTP/Commercial
Date: Fri May  3 23:14:44 1991

PageStream in Color
AIM Magazine - December, 1990
Written by Bill Rayl

     Recently, we've taken a good overall look at Soft-Logik's 
PageStream (see June/July and November '90 issues of AIM).  This 
article focuses in on one of PageStream's finest qualities - its 
four color process capabilities.
     PageStream is the first package to bring full color desktop 
publishing to the Atari ST.  and it, does so with a flexibility 
and ease of use that outshines most other desktop publishing (DTP) 
packages on any computer.


     The PageStream manual gives a pretty good overview of color 
and the various color definition systems the program uses.  You 
use these systems to define your own colors and add them to 
PageStream's list.  PageStream can recognize over 282 trillion 
     Although you can define more colors than you'd ever possibly 
need, PageStream can only display four colors in medium 
resolution.  Of course, on a monochrome monitor, you only get 
black or white.  This is due to the ST's own limitations.  Because 
of this, PageStream allows you to tag a screen color to the actual 
color you've defined.
     For example, the predefined color Dark SL Blue appears black 
on a monochrome monitor.  That's because Dark SL Blue is tagged as 
black, so all objects in this color are displayed in black.
     Using a color monitor, you can tag Dark SL Blue with, for 
instance, blue.  This doesn't give you exact color representation, 
but it does allow you to get an idea of the balance of color on 
the page.
     Because Soft-Logik thoughtfully predeined several colors, you 
may never need to add your own at all.


     The actual process of adding color to your PageStream 
document is quite easy.  First, PageStream will mantain the color 
palette of any artwork you import, such as DEGAS or Amiga IFF 
pictures.  The picture appears on your screen as only black and 
white, even on a color monitor.  Don't worry, though.  The colors 
are still there.
     Adding color text is nearly as simple.  Once you've entered 
your text, select it by dragging the mouse over the text while 
holding down the left button.  This highlighting allows you to 
perform most of PageStream's attribute setting options on the 
text. This includes setting text color.  From the Object menu, 
choose Color.  If you're into using keyboard equivalents, use the 
Alt-K sequence instead.
     Once at the Color menu, click on the color you want from the 
presented list.  Use the scroll bar/arrows to move up or down the 
list as needed.  Clicking OK sets the highlighted text to the 
selected color.
     Don't worry if text no longer apprears on your screen.  
Remember the above discussion of tagging actual colors to screen 
colors?  Well, some actual colors are tagged with a screen color 
of white.  If your text was originally on a white backround, it 
will look as if it disappeared.  In fact, it's just displayed in 
white on a white background.
     As with text, you can add color to columns, lines and graphic 
objects like circles, arcs and boxes.


     Once you've created your color document, it's time to get it 
printed.  If you're using a color printer, printing is very fact, it's the same as printing to any other printer.  
You just load in the proper printer driver and print.
     Some print and copy centers have a color printer and they 
charge a per page fee.  If you plan to use one of these, you can 
rint your file to disk, using the proper printer driver.  Then, 
you can take in the disk or possibly even upload the file to the 
copy center.
     If you're planning on having your work printed on an offset 
press, there's a little more to printing your master pages.  
First, you need to determine if you're doing spot color or if a 
four color separation is necessary.
     If you have no full color pictures on your pages, and you're 
only using one or two colors for text, spot-color separations are 
probably all you'll need.  They're also usually more cost 
effective than full color separations for one or two colors.
     In PageStream, you can print spot-color separations by 
selecting "Mechanical" on the Print Document dialog box.  This 
will print a separate page for each color used in your document.


     When using full color pictures or color backgrounds beneath 
color text, four color separation is the only way to go, both from 
a cost and quality of print standpoint.
     In a four color separation, each page is split into four 
pages - one each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  Printers 
call this process color separation and often abbreviate the 
process as CMYK.  When printing a four color separation, 
PageStream prints the cyan page first, followed by magenta, yellow 
and black.  The black page gives contrast to the full-color page 
when printed on an offset press.
     When doing full color work, you should realize that 300DPI 
just isn't good enough for your master pages.  The dots on the 
page are too large to blend adequately on the final printed page.  
That means you'll need to output to a Linotron or other high-end 
pagesetter.  These are Postscript devices that can output from 
1,270 to 3,000 DPI or even higher.  You should load the Lino 
printer driver supplied with PageStream to take full advantage of 
these devices.


     When doing full color separations to Linotrons, you should 
also use PageStream's ability to set screen angles and screen 
frequencies.  Screen angles help to smooth out the color blending 
to avoid moire patterns.  Screen frequencies determine the number 
of lines per inch (LPI) output.
     You can, and should, set screen angles and frequencies for 
your document.  Although the PageStream manual mentions how to set 
screen angles and frequencies, it doesn't tell you what to set 
them to and why.
     The traditional angle settings, along with the newer settings 
recommended by Adobe, are presented in the following table:
               Cyan      Magenta   Yellow    Black

Traditional     15         75        0         45
New            105         75       90         45

     You can use either set of angles.  Both are fairly effective, 
with the newer angles possibly gaining a slight edge on 1,270 DPI 
     As for screen frequencies, quality improves as the number of 
lines per inch increases.  Newspapers ten to use 85 LPI for their 
color work.  Magazines, which require higher quality, use 133 LPI 
or higher.
     If you plan to output at 1,270 DPI, you should be aware that 
you will not get true 133 LPI output.  You'll get 127 LPI, which 
is generally acceptable.
     If you're a purist, though, you;ll need to output at a higher 
     You set the screen frequency and angles in PageStream via the 
Pritner Configuration dialog.  Just below the area for setting 
page dimensions, there's an unobtrusive thin line.  Clicking above 
this line will give you a text cursor.
     You enter the screen commands here in the following format, 
assuming you wanted a full color separation at 133 LPI.
     f[133,133,133,133], a[105,75,90,45]

     The PageStream manual states that you can enter these 
commands in any order.  Some pagesetting hardware, however, seems 
to work only if you enter the frequency command first, as shown 


     Now you're ready to print your master pages!  Chances are you 
don't happen to have a $40,000 Linotron in your basement.  That's 
where a service bureau comes in.  And, choosing one may be the 
most important decision you make in the whole printing process.
     Most problems you're going to meet in this whole color 
printing process are now about to begin!  First, printing 
Postscript color separations to disk can easily eat up 500-900K of 
disk space.  That means they won't fit on a floppy disk.  Since 
most service bureaus use Machintosh computers, the only 
compression they allow is Stuffit.  There is no compatible 
compression utility on the ST.  Unless you own a Mac emulator like 
Spectre, you could be in serious trouble.
     Most service bureaus have bulletin boards to receive files 
via mdoem.  Unfortunately, most of these systems have only one 
upload protocol - straight Xmodem Checksum.  A lot of errors creep 
into ploads to service bureaus.  Having to reupload your large 
file two, or even three, times is not unlikely.
     Luckily, there's a way for PageStream users to avoid this 
headache.  There is at least one service bureau that accepts 
PageStream files... and they speak Atari!  Sonata Typographers of 
Fairfield, Connecticut is a truly great service bureau.  With a 
toll-free BBS, very reasonable rates and excellent techinal help, 
Sontat lives up to the name service bureau. [Ed.: Sonata 
Typographers, 2490 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT  06430m 
Voice: (203) 368-4559, BBS: (800) 365-5745, FAX: (203) 374-2917]
     NOTE:  You cannot use PageStream's Registration Marks feature 
without turning on the Tiling feature.  You should not use the 
Registration Marks feature of PageStream unless you're aware of 
what Tiling will do to your document.  After countless tries, and 
many calls to Soft-Logik's Customer Service, I gave up and created 
my own process.


     There are many printers who can do full color work, some at 
very reasonable prices.  You should decide which printer you're 
going to deal with before printing your master pages.  Your 
printer will have specific recommendations and requirements for 
what you submit.  For example, some printers prefer "positive" 
pages, while others charge less if you supply the negatives.  
(Linotrons can output to photographic file or paper.)  Also, your 
printer may require "right read, emulsion side down" or "emulsion 
side up" if using negatives.  You'll need to give this information 
to your service bureau so they print your master pages correctly.  
Always remember to have your printer explain an terminology they 
use you don't understand.
     Conquering the world of color desktop publishing is well 
worth the effort and pitfalls.  Like an artist moving from 
charcoal sketches to oil painting, a desktop publisher opens a 
whole new world of possibilities by adding color to the DTP 

Marc A. Lombardo           User   ~ ~ ~
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Atari ST, MIDI, Music                                                ~~ ~ ~~
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