Activate Soft Proofing in Acrobat and QuarkXPress

Acrobat’s soft proofing feature simulates onscreen how your final print will look once it’s printed. How you activate it depends on your version of Acrobat.

Here’s how to find it in Acrobat X: choose View> Tools> Print Production> Output Preview.

In earlier versions of Acrobat, choose Advanced> Print Production> Output Preview.

Then, select a profile from the Simulation Profile dropdown menu that matches the press and paper onto which you intend to print the final PDF. Next, turn on the Simulate Paper Color checkbox (the Simulate Black Ink checkbox should also be automatically activated).

It can be helpful to open a duplicate copy of your PDF document first and position it beside the original. That way, once you activate soft proofing on the duplicate, you can quickly spot color shifts.

Below, the first image shows how Acrobat displays the document by default. The second image shows Acrobat’s preview of how the document will look when printed in a newspaper.


Eek! I’d better make some adjustments to my original before sending this one off to the press!

Fortunately, QuarkXPress gives me tools to preview my output while working on it.

First, I choose View> Proof Output. However, the default choices don’t include newsprint! Fortunately, it’s easy to create one: just choose Edit> Color Settings. Give your new setting a name, such as this one: “US Newsprint”.

Choose Separations from the Mode popup menu, In-RIP Separations from the Model popup menu, and US Newsprint from the Profile popup.

Click OK, and now US Newsprint shows up under the View> Proof Output menu and I can preview my colors as they would appear on newsprint, right from within QuarkXPress!