Tech Tips: Right on Spot

Right on Spot: Maximizing Spot Color Value in Adobe InDesign

We love color, and we know you do, too. While budgets don't always allow for four-color work, two-color printing projects don't have to look drab or dull. Adobe InDesign allows you to define a whole range of swatches based on any two ink colors, providing you with the options you need to make your project look great.

So how do you go about using this feature? Here are the steps to take:

  1. Open the Swatches palate and bring up its flyout menu. (Click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner to do this.)

  1. Select New Color Swatch.

  2. Create a color swatch for each of the colors you will be using in your design. (Choose Spot from the Color Type menu.)

  3. Once both swatches are created, go to the Swatches flyout menu again, and select New Mixed Ink Group.

  1. Click in the gray boxes to the left of your two swatches.

  2. Give each color an initial value (we recommend starting with 0%), a repeat value (equal to the number of steps you'd like the program to take to reach 100%), and the increment you'd like the value to rise with each of those steps.

    Keep in mind that the final percentage cannot exceed 100%. That means if you start with 0% and choose a repeat value of 10, your increments would have to be 10% or less. Or, if you start with 0% and choose a repeat value of 4, your increments could go as high as 25%.

  3. Once you've set your values for both ink colors, hit Preview Swatches. A list of swatch colors using varying percentages of each ink will then appear. Use these in your layout to add variations of color without worrying about adding another color of ink to the project.

InDesign CS Killer Tips

by Scott Kelby and Terry White

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InDesign CS Killer Tips is packed cover-to-cover, wall-to-wall with nothing but those cool little inside tips that can make you faster, better, and have more fun using Adobe InDesign CS. Best of all, you'll have a blast doing it.