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Creating Mixed Inks

Mixed inks is the term InDesign uses for a color that combines a spot color with other spot colors or process colors. (QuarkXPress calls this type of color a multi-ink.) Mixed inks give you more flexibility in creating colors, especially for two-color jobs.

To create a single Mixed Ink swatch:
  1. Choose New Mixed Ink Swatch from the Swatches panel menu. This opens the New Mixed Ink Swatch dialog box square22.gif.
  2. Enter a name for the mixed ink swatch.
  3. Click the ink controls to select the colors in the mixed ink swatch. You must choose two inks, and one of them must be a spot color ink square23.gif.
  4. Use the sliders or fields to set the amount of each ink in the swatch.
  5. Click the ok button to create the mixed ink swatch.

    or

    Click the Add button to create the mixed ink swatch and then use the dialog box to define a new mixed ink swatch.

You might want to create a collection of mixed inks that combine colors in an increasing series of mixtures. InDesign calls this a Mixed Ink Group and makes it easy to automatically create the mixtures of colors.

To create a Mixed Ink Group:
  1. Choose New Mixed Ink Group from the Swatches panel menu. The New Mixed Ink Group dialog box appears square24.gif.
  2. Enter a name for the group in the Name field.
  3. Click the Inks controls to select the colors in the mixed ink swatch. You must choose at least two inks and one of them must be a spot color ink.
  4. Use the Initial field to define the amount of color that the first instance of an ink has square25.gif.
  5. Use the Repeat field to set how many new mixed inks will be created with the color.
  6. Use the Increment field to set the color increases for each new mixed ink.
  7. Click the Preview Swatches button to see the result of the settings in the Swatches panel square24.gif.
  8. Click ok to create the Mixed Ink Group. The group appears in the Swatches panel.

Once you have created a mixed ink group, you can make changes to the entire group or the individual swatches in the group.

To modify all the swatches in a mixed ink group:
  1. Select the mixed ink group in the Swatches panel and choose Swatch Options from the Swatches panel menu.

    or

    Double click the name of the mixed ink group in the Swatches panel. The Mixed Ink Group Options dialog box appears square26.gif.

  2. Use the Name field to change the name of the group.
  3. Use the ink controls to delete inks from the mixed ink group.
  4. Use the Inks list to swap one ink for another square27.gif. The list shows both the process and spot colors in the document.
  5. If desired, check Convert Mixed Ink Swatches to Process. This changes all the colors in the mixed ink swatches to their process color equivalents.
  6. Click ok. The changes are applied to the inks used in the mixed ink swatches that you originally created.
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