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The undocumented rules that govern how document content is converted by Freehand's Export command to various file formats cause Bruce to muse, "Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?" As far as we've been able to determine, they spell disaster. The export commands have few options pertaining to color conversions; everything else is controlled by the color management settings in Preferences. There are so many permutations that we confined our testing to just Apple ColorSync behavior as it pertains to EPS, PDF, and TIFF exporting. We expect the behavior when using Kodak Digital Science to be the same.


Create Output-Ready CMYK EPS Files. To create a CMYK print-ready EPS file, print a PostScript file from FreeHand to disk—which will make FreeHand color manage the output following the rules for printing (see "Printing," later in this chapter)—then open the EPS file in Acrobat Distiller and make a PDF. Finally, open the PDF in Acrobat or Illustrator and export as EPS. Voila, output-ready EPS that you can place in your page-layout application.

But for the brave or foolish, we'll document what we've learned thus far in the hopes of shaming Macromedia into making FreeHand's Export features more rational in a future version of the application.


TIFF export is always to untagged RGB. It doesn't matter if the entire content of your document is CMYK—it will end up as an RGB TIFF. The controls in the Export dialog box for TIFF are limited, and don't include options for CMYK export or profile embedding.

All CMYK elements and images get converted from the Separations printer profile to the display profile, using the rendering intent set in the Intent pop-up in FreeHand's Color Management Setup.

RGB behavior is controlled by the Monitor simulates setting. If it's set to "None," RGB objects aren't color managed on export—the raw RGB values are simply written to the TIFF. If it's set to "Separations" or to "Composite," RGB objects get converted to the Separations or Composite printer profile, respectively, then to something we've been unable to determine—perhaps a hardwired internal space—and finally, to monitor RGB.


Both EPS and PDF exporting have a Setup button to access their options, and both offer a "Convert colors to" pop-up menu containing three choices: CMYK, RGB, or CMYK and RGB. The similarities end there.

EPS. The three options produce EPS files on Export as follows:

  • CMYK. This option produces an all-CMYK EPS. All CMYK objects, whether native or imported, simply have their raw values written into the EPS file. RGB native elements use the Monitor profile as the assumed source, and RGB imported images use their assigned profile. Both are then converted to an unknown CMYK destination. We haven't been able to figure out what it is, or get an answer from Macromedia, but it definitely isn't the Separations printer profile.

  • RGB. This option produces an all-RGB EPS. Native and imported CMYK elements use the Separations profile as the assumed source, and are converted to an unknown RGB destination. Imported RGB images use their assigned profile as source, and are also converted to an unknown RGB destination. RGB native elements are left unconverted, and the raw RGB values are exported to the file.

  • CMYK and RGB. This option produces a mixed-mode EPS. Imported CMYK images, as well as RGB and CMYK native elements, are left unmodified. Imported RGB images are converted to CMYK using their embedded or assigned profile as source, and an unknown CMYK destination profile.

PDF. The three options produce PDF files on Export as follows:

  • CMYK. You get a mixed-mode PDF. Imported CMYK images and CMYK native elements are unmodified, so their raw values are exported. Imported RGB images are exported unmodified with raw RGB values intact. RGB native elements use an unknown source and unknown destination, and are converted to CMYK.

  • RGB. You also get a mixed-mode PDF. Nothing is converted—raw values are exported for all images and elements.

  • CMYK and RGB. Same as for RGB.

If anyone can provide a rational explanation for this set of Export behaviors, we'd love to hear it!

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