Color Mapping Tool


The Color Mapping tool in Editor maps one color to another and allows to store it so it can be instantly applied when the same spot conversions need to be made.

Note that the Color Mapping Tool is intended to work only with vector images (flat colors) and not raster images.

The tool allows you to create a list of specific color edits for the following use cases:

  • Case 1: Map a CMYK color to a Library Spot color. Watch the video
    Jobs submitted with corporate colors flattened to CMYK or RGB and need to be converted again to Library spot (e.g. PANTONE coated) so they can be calibrated, tuned and kept consistent across several medias.
  • Case 2: Map a CMYK color to a Custom Spot
    Specific image colors require a tweak, e.g. making a certain red: 100% M + 100%Y
  • Case 3: Map a Custom Spot to a default Output Channel Watch the video
    Jobs containing localised names that do not match-up the default (English) names of the inks used in the RIP. For example “WIT” needs to be mapped to “White” in order to output to the white ink channel


Color mapping is performed in Editor.

Case 1: Map a CMYK color to a Library Spot color. Watch the video

In this case, the orange border and logo have been flattened and the orange is converted to CMYK. We wish to turn it into a PANTONE spot color.

To do this, we will create a Color Mapping:

  1. Open the Color list palette: Window -> Color List
  2. Browse to the library that contains the desired spot color:

3. Select the drop down menu and select New Color Mapping and give it a specific name and click OK to create the color map.
Note: Color maps are stored and are reusable, so having a recognisable name is handy:

4. To map the spot color, drag the spot from the color list and drop it directly onto the area in the image that needs to be replaced.

You will then see a pop up window confirming that you wish to map the original color to the new color, in this case ‘58% M 71% Y’ to Pantone 158 C:

You have now created a color map. If you wish you can continue to add further colors to the same color mapping by continuing to drag and drop more colors.

Result after mapping the CMYK orange to PANTONE 158 C

Future work:

The next time you come across artwork from this client, you only need to enter the color list drop down menu and select your previously made color mapping and the edits will automatically be applied:

Case 2: Map a CMYK color to a Custom Spot

In this example we need to make a specific tweak, we would like to make the red in the image 100% M + 100% Y. In order to map the spot, we will have to create the custom spot first. We will call it ‘Ruby Red’

Lets first look at the original PDF:

We have a CMYK red that will be defined by the ISO Coated v2 output target profile. Our color mapping will map the CMYK red to a custom 100% Y + 100% M spot color that will address the printer inks directly.

  1. Create the spot color:
    1. Go to the Color palette: Window -> Color
    2. select CMYK and input the desired values

    3. Drag the red color from the Color palette onto the Color List palette inside the ‘Document color list:’

    4. Double click the spot and rename it. The custom spot color is now created and can be mapped.
  2. To Map the custom spot to the image, follow steps in Case 1. from step 4 onwards.

Case 3: Map a Custom Spot to a default output Channel

In this example we want to create a color mapping which will map the spot color WIT to the White ink channel of the printer.

In our example PDF we have a spot called WIT

To create and save a Spot mapping for WIT to White channel:

  1. Go to Window -> Color List
  2. Browse to Custom Colors
  3. Open drop down on right hand side and select New Color Mapping and rename
  4. Drag and drop the White Spot color onto the WIT object in the image and confirm the mapping.

Result in Output palette: WIT of image is now 100% White and the WIT is no longer present.

Note: the manual Spot Mapping to Output Channel is an easy option for mapping existing spots in the file to an output channel. However, these can not be stored.

Updated on August 3, 2021

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