Convert colors to PSO Coated v3 (ECI)

The most common color conversion is the one with ICC profiles; given a source and destination ICC profile, the color engine converts all colors from source to destination.

pdfToolbox provides predefined Fixups for color conversion, for example:

-  Convert color to PSO coated V3 (ECI)
-  Convert color to ISO Coated v2 (ECI)
-  Convert color to Japan Color Coated 2001

Since "Convert Colors" is a very powerful Fixup in pdfToolbox, this article explains all relevant settings used for color conversion to PSO Coated V3 (ECI).  The attached sample file contains CMYK objects, RGB images and spot colors.

"Convert colors to PSO Coated v3 (ECI) (convert spot colors to CMYK)" Fixup

  1. In the search field search for "PSO".
  2. Select the Fixup "Convert color to PSO Coated v3 (ECI) (convert spot colors to CMYK)".
  3. Click "Edit" to review the Fixup.

NOTE: pdfToolbox provides two Fixups for the color conversion to PSO Coated v3. The first Fixup transforms the spot colors to CMYK, the second keeps the spot colors.

Inspect the Fixup – The "Destination" tab

  1. The target profile "PSO Coated v3" must be selected.
  2. The check box must be disabled. If it is enabled, the Output Intent of the PDF document will be used as the target profile.
  3. The target profile should be embedded in the document as Output Intent.
  4. If the document has no Output Intent, you have to assume the source profile of the document. sRGB, Dot Gain 15% and PSO coated v3 are very common in the European area, so they are a good choice.
  5. If an Output Intent is present in the document, it will be used as the source profile instead of the assumed profile.
  6. Black point compensation should be used.
  7. During color conversion pure black objects remain completely black.

The "Conversion settings" tab

This tab defines a list of different settings. The reason for this is that different types of color spaces should be handled in different ways. If you want to convert to PSO Coated V3 (ECI), the following settings are recommended:

Uncalibrated objects (no ICC Profile attached) should remain the same:

  • Uncalibrated CMYK and Gray should use the conversion setting: Do not convert

To remove an associated ICC Profile from a calibrated CMYK or Gray objects:

  • Calibrated CMYK and Gray should use the conversion setting:  Decalibrate

RGB or Lab objects should be converted to CMYK:

  • Uncalibrated RGB, calibrated RGB and LAB should use the conversion setting:  Convert to destination

We want to convert all spot colors to CMYK as well:

  • Spot color(s) should use the Conversion setting: Convert to destination

The "Advanced settings" tab

Additional parameters for color conversion have been defined here. Since these are very specific, they are not explained further here. If you want to learn more about the advanced settings, read this article: Convert colors: Advanced settings.

If you want to create your own "Convert Colors" Fixup, it is recommended to duplicate an existing "Convert to …" Fixup. This will apply the predefined set of settings for the "Advanced settings" area.

Apply the Fixup and inspect the result

  1. A green check mark is shown in the result window, refers to a successful color conversion. All spot color and RGB elements in the PDF file were converted to CMYK "PSO Coated v3".
  2. The Document has now an embedded Output Intent "PSO Coated v3".