Monday, February 18, 2008

iWork/Pages, press quality PDFs and CMYK separation on this blog

In this post I have put together a linked list of articles dealing with producing press quality PDFs for professional printshops - for quick reference.

From comments and correspondence I see that readers of this blog are often desperate to find a way of using Pages for professional printing which involves four colour separation - CMYK (CMJN in French).

I haven't covered all aspects of this issue here, this blog consists mostly of scribbles to myself where I describe solutions I've found and want to remember. Nor do I pretend to have a high degree of technical knowledge. I enjoy using Pages and I have been successfully publishing a full colour magazine, a project which is over two years old now. The accumulated experience of working on it is reflected here.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please leave comments with other ideas, solutions and questions.

PDF Settings for Professional Printhshops and a Few Tips

From Pages to CMYK PDFs
CMYK in Pages - no problem!

Three Steps from Pages to PDF
Three steps from Pages to PDF - an addition
...if I don't have Distiller
PitStop and producing press-quality PDFs
Pages and professional printshops: why PostScript

When a PDF 'scales down' or truncates

Why CMYK PDFs are darker than Pages documents?

Networking: Physical vs Virtual

Importing Word into Pages: use PDF

Quick JPEGs straight from Pages

Sending out Pages documents
Preparing colour separated PDFs using ColorSync
Measuring iWork/Pages - against what?

Working in team: file sharing across computers and locations


  1. Anonymous4:46 pm

    I just got my first Mac and chose to go with iWork. I was happy to stumble upon your blog which is helping me make the transition from Word to Pages. Excellent job. Thanks for the work you do.
    Sister Julie

  2. alonso5:56 pm

    Sister Julie, you've done a great choice. I am only some months ahead, and this blog's great. To some extent you don't make a transition, just forget about Word... Alex, the photos are yours?

  3. Alonso, hi,
    thanks for your comments.
    Yes, all apple photos are mine (except a few where the author is credited). Unfortunately I haven't a Macintosh apple tree yet.

  4. Is there a way to convert an entire completed page into grayscale? I am creating a publication that has some black & white pages and some color.

  5. Hi,
    When you open the print dialogue window click on the third drop-down menu and choose ColorSync.
    Then you click on Quartz Filter drop-down menu and choose Gray Tone.
    Print to PostScript and process via Distiller. You should get a greyscale file.

    I haven't tested this in a real project, so can't vouch for it.

    The real project I did was when a client asked all illustrations to be in black - at a stage when I've already done them in colour. I then manually changed all text and objects to 'true black' (100 percent black and 0 for CMY in colour viewer). To give grey where necessary I varied opacity (slider in Colour Viewer).

    Please let me know if you find another process.

  6. Anonymous2:19 pm

    Hi - just starting to use Pages, and was really excited until I heard it might not work because of CMYK issue. So happy to find your blog and look forward to see if I can make it work! My other big issue is: need to add bleed/crop marks. Any hints/thoughts?

  7. Hi,

    first of all, check if you really need bleed and crop marks. These days in most cases just providing a PDF in specified dimensions and resolution is enough.

    If you do need to add crop marks, they are in Acrobat under Tools>Print Production>Add Printer Marks menu. There is a dialogue window that guides you through the process.

    Hope this helps.


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