Creating Spot Channels

When you need to print a specific color that cannot be printed by using process inks, such as a corporate logo, you can use spot channels to create additional plates that are then used to overprint the process colors. Spot colors can also be used to create a two- or three-color job, which may work out cheaper than using four colors. You can create up to 52 spot channels, but unless you have an unlimited printing budget, you're unlikely to use more than one or two at the most.

To create a spot channel, take the following steps:

1. Load the elements to which you want to apply the spot color as a selection. For example, if it's type, Ctrl-click (Windows), ^-click (Mac OS) on the type layer's thumbnail.

2. Choose New Spot Channel from the Channels palette menu.

3. In the New Spot Channel dialog box (Figure 3-6), click the color box and specify a spot color from the Color Libraries in the Color Picker. Note: You can also specify the Solidity in the New Spot Channel dialog box, but the setting will affect only the preview and not the separations. However, the setting is applied when the file is output to a composite printer, such as a deskjet.

Figure 3-6: The New Spot Channel dialog box.

4. Click the OK button.

5. Save the file in the DCS 2.0 format or as a PDF.

You don't have to load the elements as a selection before you create the spot channel. If you like, you can do it after the channel has been "filled" with the spot color.

You can also create spot channels from existing alpha channels. To do so, select the alpha channel and then choose Channel Options from the palette menu. In the Channel Options dialog box, select Spot Color and then either enter the spot color's name, if you know it, or choose it from the Color Libraries in the Color Picker by clicking the color box.

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