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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Content creation

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Content creation
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:37:45 +0000

On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 16:17 +0000, Matt Lee wrote:
> Aren't there issues with free implementations of CMYK that require some
> kind of fee to be paid? Maybe that's just Pantone(R).

Not as far as I know - Pantone has many freedom issues, but that's
actually many things (they have a printing process as well as a colour
matching system, for example, both of which have issues).

The major issue with CMYK is that it's not natively displayable by
computers, so you have to convert it to RGB. As you might imagine,
translating a four-dimensional value into a three-dimensional one is a
lossy one, and if you don't do it well enough the results are basically
unusable. Similar issues exist going the other direction.

As an obvious practical example, which pains me greatly, when I do any
print work for my company I have to go through this conversion crap. I
always use OpenOffice.org, but it cannot handle CMYK in any shape or
form - it just doesn't do it. So, I have to specify colours with
specific RGBs and then get the printers to replace those in the PDF
output with a Pantone shade.

If I didn't do all this, it would print fine but the colours would look
completely wrong - usually, way too saturated. In many instances, it's
bad enough to be unusable.

Plus, this process only works with specific colours: if you're trying to
print photographs or something, you're basically screwed.



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