InDesignSecrets Podcast 098

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  • News: InDesign CS4 ACE (Adobe Certified Expert) tests are now available; Test Prep e-book coming soon
  • Is magenta a color? A trippy trip into rods, cones, spectra, and process inks
  • How to update files created from the same template when it’s modified
  • Three interesting special characters
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Share My Screen

26 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 098

  1. Hah, I already knew ALL about the magenta stuff! :-)

    But hey, it’s still a lively, interesting, useful episode — even the eek-eeks weren’t so bad. And I’m certainly in the market, alas, for Mike Rankin’s ACE Test Prep e-book, so please keep us posted about that.

  2. Another great one! The Magenta info makes perfect sense?that really scares me for some reason.

    I’m with Klaus on the ACE Test Prep e-book.

    Anne-Marie, I love Zoe’s statements on so many issues. I just grin ;-)

  3. The colors of the spectrum are special because they’re monochromatic — each one is the equivalent of a single musical note rather than a three-note (RGB) chord. Colors are three-dimensional, not one-dimensional like wavelengths.

    I wouldn’t say magenta is the only “extra-spectral” color. I mean, where the heck’s beige? It isn’t there in the spectrum either!

    So how do you like the sound of “extra-spectral” colors now? — Now you know beige is right there too, sitting next to you on the spacecraft, taking up more room than you’d like, asking you if you’re going to eat those peanuts?

  4. @Jeremy: I don’t really agree with you on your first point. We see color because we have cones in our retinas. Our cones come in three flavors, which more or less map to red, green, and blue. When you see “orange” you are receiving 3 different stimuli.

    I didn’t mean that magenta is the only color that we see that is not on the spectrum. Most of the colors we see are not pure spectral colors (like tints or shades of colors). Beige is a shade of orange/red/yellow.

  5. I’d call pink a color as well…

    Whether or not a color is comprised of a single wavelength, is really a very academic point.

    The truth of the matter is that just about all the colors we see are not comprised of a single wavelength either way — even if they correspond to a base spectral color. You’ll never come across an object in real life which has only one pigment, or light which is a single wavelength.

  6. It’s really simple about pink.

    The em spectrum is classified wavelengths ofradio wave, microwave, infrared, the visible spectrum, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays.

    You have in the EM spectrum of visible colours that human brain can distingush Violet (380 – 450), blue (450?495 ), green 495?570 ), yellow (570?590 ), orange (590?620 ), red (620?750 )

    The unsaturated colors like pink and magenta that are not in the visible electromagentic spectrum and can only be made by mixing wavelenghts.

    Pink isn’t there it’s a mixture of Red 245, Green, 220 and blue 208, according to the 1931 CIE Colour System.

    Clearly it’s a colour, it’s just not a colour in the EM spectrum of visible colours.

    I just can’t wait till I can see wavelengths of 10 to .01 nm!

    Good Podcast can’t wait for Mikes prep guides, sounds cool and very brave to not have seen the questions before writing it.

    Loads of cool things in the podcast, too many to mention, thanks for all the info.

  7. I am surprised that David was the one that got my 6th space joke and not Ann Marie, I figured it would be the other way around.

    I won’t bother mentioning how I use my “flush” space :)

  8. Just a few quick points about our Running Headers plugin:

    Besides the point mentioned about nested styles in the headers, there’s another few big advantages to the headers not being regular “variables”.

    One is the ability to optionally copy localized formatting to either part or all of the header text. Running Headers is even smart enough to be able to copy italics at the destination weight of the header. (You can thank Brad Walrod for this feature…)

    Also, since they’re not “single characters”, the headers can break across lines.

    There’s a whole bunch of features which I’m not going to go into here. You can read about it on our site… I just wanted to complete the thought of the advantage of “non-variable” variables.

  9. @Harbs: Thank you for adding that info, Harbs. That’s the “problem” with your plug-ins: They do too much, too well, so it’s hard to say something about them in one or two sentences.

  10. Hmmm— I’m liking the sounds of this Running Head plugin.

    Perhaps my Variables solution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seems like harbs has it cracked.

    Regarding it splitting the text over two lines, that is great because the way the variables work now it just squishes the text together.

    I had a workaround for that too, it was a variable “Running Head 2nd line” and this was a character style that was nested and when it got over a certain character count the nested style kicked in, that meant that I had to insert a variable for the Running Head 2nd line and it was placed beneath the Running Head line on the master page.

    Complicated – but worked!

    And this is why I say “was” in the past tense earlier:

    And I got a nasty surprise – after I set it all up and worked it all out the book was outsourced for the typesetting of the next publication due to time constraints. I got the files back and they had removed all the variables, running heads, character styles et al things I had set up.

    Guess how they did it ! Think Quark circa 1990’s – think individual text boxes on top of all the pages. Think typed text in the running heads. Think over 500 pages.

    They didn’t have to touch the running heads – they all changed automatically and with 100% success.

    I wasn’t happy – I tell ya :(

  11. @Eugene: I feel for ya! :(

    You really should read about the features–there’s really lots! (i.e. alternate styles, lots of “Type” options, spread headers, “conditional text”, frame order, “inclusion options”, etc.)

    If you do running headers which go beyond the basics (which it sounds like you do), it’ll make your life a LOT easier…

  12. Thanks Harbs, I’ll definitely think about it. Honestly the way I set them up sounds complicated, but in fairness it’s not really all that complicated.

    You’re bookmarked for definite though, as I don’t have any spending power. You never know – your plugin could be incorporated into CS5 ;P

    The text getting squashed wasn’t all that big of a deal either. In other circumstances I’d convert variables to text before outputting and then not save it, which worked.

    The other thing that I found a limitation of the variables is that it won’t include numbered paragraphs. The publications I do would be technical books on everyone’s favourite subject “TAX” and each paragraph would be numbered – the auto numbering system in CS3 was a life saver, but in more than one publication the Running Head needed to include the Numbered Paragraph.

    Again, I had to convert the Numbers to text before outputting so that the variable could pick up the text and insert it in the Running Head.

    How does your InTools Running Head plugin handle Numbered Paragraphs?

  13. @David: When we look at orange from a genuine spectrum, e.g. as in light split by a prism, it’s monochromatic light with a wavelength between red and green. It stimulates the receptors of red and green in the eye, but not the receptors of blue, or hardly at all. To simulate that orange using RGB on a screen, we turn B down to zero and adjust R and G accordingly. (Of course, there are many dirtier orange-like colors which we call “orange” but which are polychromatic.)

    It seems to me that all genuinely spectral colors are monochromatic, and so affect one set of receptors hardly at all — which is probably what gives them their “flavor of purity”. Magenta shares that feature with genuinely spectral colors, because it only stimulates the R and B receptors.

    I’d argue that the vast majority of everyday colors are a mixture of different wavelengths, which stimulate all three receptors, and which can only be simulated on an RGB screen using all three RGB sliders.

    I think!

  14. How does your InTools Running Head plugin handle Numbered Paragraphs?

    It doesn’t–yet… It’s on our list of things to look into. We just need to figure out the best way to implement it.

    If you have any useful suggestions, you can feel free to send me an email.

  15. In this podcast, the magenta topic obviously created the most buzz. Color is dear to us designers.

    David mentioned why cyan, magenta and yellow are used; they are indeed the opposite colors of red, green and blue. But let me add another logic thought to that.

    CMYK is based on the subtractive color system, because it actually subtracts from the light. A white sheet of paper reflects (almost) all light. Ink is added to it to avoid that. Yellow ink avoids blue light from reflecting. Cyan ink is the perfect solution for every red light district. Well, at least in this story :-) And magenta ink blocks green.

    That brings me to another weirdness of magenta things. Those hideous Barbie boxes and every other magenta objects have one special thing in common: they reflect light with low frequency (= blue) and high frequency (= red), but absorb light with a frequency range in between those (= green).

    And we give those messed up and weird things to our daughters to play with… Disturbing thought.

  16. Yes, a white sheet of paper is like a TV/monitor screen with all of the pixels on full… Cyan ink filters out light from the (imaginary) red pixels, magenta ink filters out light from the (imaginary) green pixels, and so on…

    The difference between light from a white sheet of paper and light from a white RGB screen is that the latter is “tri-chromatic” with exactly three colors, while the paper is “multi-chromatic” with lots of further “in-between” wavelengths. That where black (K) comes in…

    We weren’t going to neglect good old black, were we?

  17. Girls and the colour pink:

    Boys have lareger cless wired to the rods. They act like motion detectors, probably passed on over years from the days where hunting for food was normal. The larger and thicker the cells the more sensitive to motion. This are called the manocellular cells.

    Girls on the other hand have smaller thinner cells called parvocelluar cells. They are more concentrated in the fovea area, close to the center of field of vision, and girls are more receptive to colours and textures.

    Because pink is a mixture of violet and red, opposite ends of the em spectrum – the colour and texture of “pink” is perceived differently.

    Boys would never see the colour pink as “good” as girls do. It’s physically impossible.

    Pink is a colour interpreted by the brain. There is no between colour like orange, where red and yellow are on each side of “orange” on the em wavelengths.

    Violet and Red make pink, and the colour between these in the middle is green (draw a pink square, stare at it for a minute, move to a white surface and the colour of the after image will be green, as it’s inbetween violet and red).

    The brain isn’t picking up a wavelength to interpret “pink” it’s picking up violet and red and then “inventing” a colour that it can understand.

    As David admitted, he can’t distinguish between violet and indigo (more vitamin A for David :) ) then David will probably never see the colour pink as other people do.

    And boys could never see the colour pink as girls do.

    That’s why girls like pink more than boys. It’s all in the brain – well the information entering the eyes translated to the brain.

  18. Another variable we need to consider when discussing the CMYK color model is that technology is unable to create completely pure inks. In theory, C+M+Y=Black (or absence of color) but in reality on press it creates a muddy brown. Hence the addition of Black to give us our deep shadows in images.

  19. @Chad: “Another variable we need to consider when discussing the CMYK color model is that technology is unable to create completely pure inks. In theory, C+M+Y=Black (or absence of color) but in reality on press it creates a muddy brown. Hence the addition of Black to give us our deep shadows in images.” That’s one of the many standard nonsense lines which are being thrown around about color all the time. It is simply false. Have you ever seen a plain, old-style, chemically developed Kodacolor/Ekctacolor slide or color paper print? That contains only C, M, Y with zero black — and the blacks are pitch-black and the neutrals are splendidly neutral. Which proves that it is NOT “just in theory” but eminently practically possible to make sufficiently pure CMY colorants. Why doesn’t this seem to be the case with CMY inks for press printing — especially, why is the Cyan so anemic compared to Magenta and Yellow? Economics. It’s just too expensive to use the kind of colorants used in photography for presswork. It’s not impossible, it’s just not economically viable for 99% of all press jobs.

    But there’s another, and equally crucial, reason we need black K ink, too: text. Even a press with 99.9% perfect registration of pure CMY inks would, if we tried to print black text with them, become a chromatic rainbow-mess of colored edges. So, even apart from the purity-issue with CMY, a Black plate is absolutely required in most kinds of presswork. Unless you’d want to have nothing but Cyan or Magenta text, that is!

  20. “Have you ever seen a plain, old-style, chemically developed Kodacolor/Ekctacolor slide or color paper print? That contains only C, M, Y with zero black ? and the blacks are pitch-black and the neutrals are splendidly neutral. ”

    But most printing uses halftone dots, and with those what counts is the area covered (i.e. the size of the dots) rather than the “thickness of the ink layer”. Aren’t white spaces in between the dots practically inevitable? And don’t they have to be “toned down” somehow?

  21. You can’t say that cyan is a weak color. This is a mythological explanation for why we need more cyan and less magenta and yellow to mix a neutral gray. But this not the technical cause for this. The real reason is, that our cyan and especially our magenta inks in printing are not perfect. Try the following experiment:

    Set the colormanagement settings of Photoshop to RGB = AdobeRGB, CMYK = U.S. Web Coated, Rendering Intent = absolute colorimetric.

    Now open the colorpicker, enter a 100% Cyan ink and consider the hue (H) value. You get (probably) 196°. But a “good” cyan should have about 180°. Our Cyan is too red and too less green by 16°.

    Enter a value of 100% Magenta. You get a hue value of 326°. This is 26° (!) too red and to less blue.

    Even Yellow is a little bit to red.

    ALL our print-inks are too red, especially magenta. (That our magenta ink is FAR TOO RED can also be proofed in a remission spectrum measured with a spectrophotometer. The Photoshop method isn’t really scientifically.)

    So if you mix CMY 50/50/50 you get a reddish gray.

    To get a neutral gray, you have to increase the cyan-amount (the complementary color of red), and decrease magenta and yellow. That’s all. You don’t need more cyan, because it would be weak. You dont’t need more cyan, because our eyes (or brains for DB) would have a problem with blues. You need more cyan, because cyan can fix the problem! Please do not blame cyan!

  22. I’m looking to obtain a multivitamin. I’m hoping to obtain a liquid vitamin. Is there a great item or much better place to purchase them from. Any help would be significantly appreciated.

  23. @rick: Thank you for your interest in InDesign multivitamins. They are very liquid and nutritious for all InDesign users. You would definitely enjoy them. You should purchase them at Adobe Vitamin Store.

    (Sorry… some spam I just can’t resist responding to.) ;)

  24. Since this old post got pulled up… I just thought I should respond that the Power Headers 2.0 now does do paragraph numbers as mentioned above…

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