PageStream in Color/DTP/CommercialFrom: Marc A. Lombardo (aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/03/91-11:14:44 PM Z
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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. COLOR DEFINITION 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 colors. 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. ADDING COLOR TO YOUR DOCUMENT 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. COLOR PRINTING Once you've created your color document, it's time to get it printed. If you're using a color printer, printing is very simple...in 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. FOUR COLOR SEPARATION 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. ANGLES AND FREQUENCIES 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 output. 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 DPI. 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 above. SERVICE BUREAUS 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. COMMERCIAL PRINTING 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 palette. -- Marc A. Lombardo User Address:email@example.com ~ ~ ~ /-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/--/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\- ~ ~ ~ Atari ST, MIDI, Music ~~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~~
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