Some applications allow you to specify an overprint setting for a specific color. InDesign cannot define a spot color to overprint by default (that is, via settings in the Swatches palette or the Ink Manager). However, you can set Fill and Stroke to overprint for selected objects or set text to overprint in the Paragraph Style palette.

By default, InDesign knocks out overlapping colors, except for black, which is set to overprint.

For general information about using Overprint and Stroke, or aboutParagraph Style, please refer to the InDesign User Guide.


Your design work flow may require a certain color to be set to overprint. Forexample, you want to print all the text in your publication in a specific color, or you have a reoccurring object that contains this color.

The following are some tips or workarounds for this situation:

1. Create a separate layer for objects that contain your spot color and assign them to black.

Black is set to overprint by default in InDesign. You can set a layer to overprint by assigning it to black, and then assign your spot color to this layer when you export to PDF:

a. Open the Preferences dialog box:

-- In InDesign CS2, choose Edit > Preferences > Appearance Of Black (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > Appearance Of Black (Mac OS).

-- In InDesign CS or 2.x, choose Edit > Preferences > General > Print Options (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > General > Print Options (Mac OS).

b. Select Overprint [Black] Swatch At 100% (InDesign CS2 or CS) or Overprint Black (InDesign 2.x), and then click OK.

c. Place the objects you want to overprint on a separate layer and assign them to black.

d. When you are ready to print separations, hide all other layers and export to PDF.

Note: When you give the PDF files to the printer, indicate which spot color should be assigned to each file.

2. Assign a paragraph style with overprint settings.

To assign a spot color to text and have the text always set to overprint:

a. In the Paragraph Style palette, double-click on the desired Paragraph Style.

b.In the Paragraph Style Options dialog box, select Character Color, and then select your spot color.

c. Select the Overprint Fill box.

d. Click OK to apply the paragraphstyle.

3. Create a composite PDF and set the overprint settings within your PDF.

Create a composite PDF file in InDesign and use a third-party Acrobat plug-in (for example, ARTS PDF Crackerjack) to apply overprint settings to colors within Adobe Acrobat.

4. Assign overprint settings in your RIP.

Many RIP devicesallow you to assign overprint settings to a color for printing.Refer to your RIP documentation for information about overprinting options.

5. Apply overprint settings to an image or object, and then add it to your library.

If you have a reoccurring image that contains the spot color you want to overprint:

a. Create the image, and then select the object or text that contains the color you want to overprint.

b. Choose Window > Attributes to open the Attributes palette, and select Overprint Fill and/or Overprint Stroke.

c. Save your design and add it to one of your libraries. You can then add the image from your library to any document without having to reset the overprint options.

6. Edit a placed file in its original application.

If you place an Illustrator file or Photoshop file into your InDesign publication and you want to set colors to overprint, do the following:

a. Open the file in its original application and set the overprint options there.

b. In InDesign, update the link to the file in the Links palette.

For more information about setting overprint options within various applications, please consult the application user guides or Help.

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