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Activity Forums Adobe InDesign Where do I find Spot Colors in InDesign?

  • Where do I find Spot Colors in InDesign?

    Posted by Claire Presnall on May 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I’m usually an AE or PS user, but I’m doing a job in InDesign, and have had trouble with people supplying non-overprint-friendly pdfs for me to use in the layout.

    ID has a great Overprint Preview option, but somehow I’m over the limit on spot colors (I have 27, op preview allows a max of 25). Where do I find these offenders to change them to process?

    I’ve done a lot of googling on this. The most recent discussion I’ve seen is 2013, and I have too many spot colors to use anyone’s suggested solutions for finding spot colors. I just keep getting the “you have too many spot colors, please delete some spot colors to proceed (to find the damn spot colors)” message. Hurray for circular issues.

    I’m using CC2015 on a PC.


    Kalleheikki Kannisto replied 8 years ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Tom Van damme

    May 10, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Honestly, 27 spot colors is a lot. Personally I’ve never used more than 5 on top of the CMYK colors.

    Maybe you should consider converting your work to CMYK and only keep some of the spot colors.

  • Kalleheikki Kannisto

    May 10, 2016 at 9:37 am

    (I have the same question: Do you actually need ANY of those spot colors? Are you actually printing with spot colors?)

    I assume you’re trying to find which PDFs contain the spot colors so that you can edit them?

    And there’s more than just a couple of files, so you don’t want to go through every file and change them to CMYK?

    I think you could proceed like this:

    Make a copy of the file and delete half the pages. In the Swatches palette choose “select all unused” and then delete the selected swatches.

    Try previewing again.

    If that doesn’t do it, delete half the remaining pages and those swatches that are now unused.

    Repeat as needed.

  • Claire Presnall

    May 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    The project is a magazine layout, and I’ve been sent a dozen ad files. I’m afraid the ads are the problem. That’s where I’m having the over print issue with someone using the wrong logo file that sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place.

    I was hoping to find a quick solution, but it looks like it’s start a new file, place each ad, try to see how many spot colors there are, and then I’ll know who the problem is at least.

    And yes, 27 spot colors is way too many! It’s too many to do any of the easy “find spot color” solutions I’ve found online. That’s why I’m trying to figure out how to find them and get rid of them.


  • Kalleheikki Kannisto

    May 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Ok, if it is just 12 files, you can open them in Illustrator, select all and convert spot colors to CMYK (Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to CMYK). Then you can delete unused spot colors and save.

  • Claire Presnall

    May 13, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I tried that, but I don’t have all of the fonts and get weird font replacement issues. I’m afraid my solution is “live with it” for the moment. Thanks for your suggestions!

  • Claire Presnall

    May 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    So, immediately after I decided to give up and move on, I checked one last time and found “ink manager” in the upper right menu on my swatches panel. It’s way down at the bottom of the list, and I guess I’d just missed it in looking for a more complicated way to do what a simple little checkbox “all spots to process” does. So my “live with it for now” has become “BOOM! Fixed!” and I can check those crazy ads for weird overprint issues without worrying about all of their specialized fonts.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

  • Kalleheikki Kannisto

    May 13, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Good find! Glad you managed to sort it out.

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