Use the Visualizer to create various rasterized separations

Using the Visualizer action with the CLI module offers a large number of varieties to create different and in addition separated views of a PDF file.
The full documentation of available options can be found here:
CLI manual: Actions - Reports: The Visualizer

This article will illustrate some fine possibilities to create different, rasterized separation of a PDF.
To create pre-separated, unrasterized pages from a PDF for each existing colorant, please refer to the Action "Create pre-separated pages".

It is important to know that all objects which are not using CMYK or spot color will be converted to CMYK internally during the rasterization.

Create individual CMYK separations

To create individual separations in C, M, Y and K, the CLI call is rather simple:

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process

The single page PDF shown above will result in 4 indiviual JPEG files, each named with the page number and the name of the separation, e.g.: "Anzeige_callas_v3_final_0001_sep_Black.jpg"
The image below shows the 4 separations assembled to one page, the order (top to bottom, left to right) is CMYK.

You'll find the sample file used for this example below.

To create PDFs instead of JPEG files as output, just add "--imgformat=PDF" to the CLI call. This will convert the created images to PDF on the fly:

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process --imgformat=PDF

When analyzing the resulting images or PDF files, you'll notice the resultion is 72 ppi. This can be easily increased by another parameter: "--resolution=<value>", e.g.:

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process --imgformat=PDF --resolution=300 

Create colored separation views

To visualize the separations in a more user-friendly way, the views can be colored in their respective colorant using the "--sep_colors" option:

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process --sep_colors

Again, the resulting output files have been arranged in the following screenshot:

Create images in grayscale

By default, the separated views are created as RGB images.
Using the parameter "--colorspace=gray", the created images will be in grayscale.

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process --colorspace=gray

This option should not be used with the "--sep_colors" parameter.

Create process and spot color separations

It is of course possible to also create separation views for spot colors contained in the PDF. They can be requested from the engine with the parameter "--sep_spot" (either together with --sep_process or separately):

pdfToolbox --visualizer --format=images --part=sep_process,sep_spot

The PDF, which can be used for this example is a variant of the one used above, but has been prepared for printing on a 7C digital printing machine.

This will result in 7 separations:

  • 4 for CMYK
  • 3 for separations (Orange, Violet and Green).

You'll find the result in a combined view below:

This can be combined with the "--sep_colors" option of course, to visualize the colorants in a more user-friendly way.