Easy Separations in Illustrator  E-mail
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Written by johnnyjack   

This process was done specifically for someone printing separations on their inkjet printer in order to make film positives for screenprinting.

However the same process can be used to separate Spot or CMYK color files.

You Must have Acrobat Distiller for this process to work.

Here are the steps:

Open/create art work in Illustrator.



If you didn't use PMS SPOT COLORS, you have to convert your colors into SPOT COLORS.

Double click on the SWATCH that you used for each of the colors.

Name the SWATCHES whatever is appropriate for you. In this example, lets say this artwork is for a t-shirt. So I named it Plastisol Red, then under COLOR TYPE change it to SPOT COLOR and hit OK.



Do this for all of your colors. (If you didn't use PMS COLORS.) You do not have to do it for Black.

**NOTE your colors/artwork do not have to be on different layers.**

Now go to PRINT and select Acrobat Distiller in the printer selection menu.

Once Distiller is chosen, change your output to SEPARATE.

Then click the SEPARATION SETUP box.



The SEPARATIONS ON ACROBAT DISTILLER box will open. You will probaly have to click "open PPD" to begin (if all of your optiions are greyed out).

Just click it and look for a folder In your ADOBE ACROBAT program file folders and look for PPD files. I just chose the first one in there.

Once you've done that the options in the dialog box will no longer be greyed out. Now adjust your SETTINGS (page size, orientation, positive reading, etc.).



In the DIALOGUE BOX below the SETTINGS should be a list of colors. (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black & what ever SPOT COLORS you used or created.)

Make sure that you only have your SPOT COLORS and black chosen on the list. (Indicated by a picture of a printer next to the color name.)

You can also check the PRINTERS MARKS box and make adjustmets in their placement on the page to the thumbnail image in the dialog box.

Hit OK. Then hit PRINT.

Name your PDF to be created. and save it to your chosen location.

Your new PDF should look something like this:

Plastisol RED



Plastisol Orange



Process Black



Now you're ready to print out your positives to your Inkjet. Or you have made the PDF file ready for the printer.

You can also import a CMYK image and do the SEPARATIONS for that as well. Just follow the same instructions and select the PROCESS COLORS instead of SPOT COLORS.

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