ChromaQA

ChromaSpec

Learn How to Create or Edit a Print Job

Open ChromaSpec

Once you log into Chroma, you will be taken to the home screen. At this point, you will see a list of ChromaQA modules. Click on the pink ChromaQA icon titled “ChromaSpec.”

Note – If the ChromaSpec module does not appear on your home screen, you may need to have your access adjusted in the ChromaAdmin module. Visit the ChromaAdmin instruction page for more information about adjusting module access.

After opening ChromaSpec, you will see a list of jobs, including information about device, colors, scans, groups, and the times each job was last modified. More information about how to use “Groups” can be found on the ChromaAdmin instruction page.

Note that this table will be empty until you start creating jobs. Once jobs are created, you will have the ability to filter the job listing according to device, colors, scans, groups, and last modified. There is also a search bar that can be used to manually search for specific jobs. The filter option and the search bar are located at the top left-hand corner of the screen.

Make a New Job (A 6-Step Process)

To make a new job, click Add Job Icon in the lower left corner of the screen. This will launch a small window, “Job Wizard: New Job,” which will walk you through the steps to make a job.

Step 1 of 6: Job Info

For Step 1, the Job Wizard displays options under 3 tabs: (1) General, (2) Job Fields, and (3) ColorDrive.

General

The General tab gives you options to choose a “Measurement Device,” such as a Techkon SpectroDens.

There are also options for choosing “Measurement Condition,” “Illuminant,” “Observer,” “Density Filler – Process Colors,” “Density-Filler – Spot Colors,” “Delta E Formula,” and “OK Sheet.”

All options are chosen by clicking Drop Down Menu and using the drop down menu. The options can be locked in ChromaAdmin. If an option is locked, a lock icon will appear next to the corresponding field in ChromaSpec. Locking options can be useful if a press manager wants every job to made with the same settings or if a company has standardized delta E.

Job Fields

Next, click over to the Job Fields tab. This is where you can add meta data to each job. ChromaQA does not come with any job fields. An administrator must create the necessary fields in ChromaAdmin.

Your administrator can add many different types of job fields, including text fields, press fields, locations, customer name, shift (day vs. night), stock (i.e. customer supplied), job number, and more.

When the options under the General tab look good, click “Next,” located at the bottom right of the Job Wizard window.

Step 2 of 6: Color Bar

This is where you will define the color bar you will use for this job. (1) Pick an existing color bar, or (2) create a new color bar.

If you Have Color Bars Already Made:

You will see a table that includes a preview of any existing color patches as well as their names, color numbers, patch numbers, groups, and the date and time of their last modification.

If you wish to zone in on a single color bar, click on that color bar’s row. The row will be highlighted in blue.

Then, click the Zone in on Single Color Bar icon in the upper right corner of the window.

Click Delete Color Bar, located in the lower left corner of the window, to delete a color bar.

To edit an existing color bar, click Edit an Existing Color Bar, located in the lower left corner of the window. “Color Bar: [Color Bar Name]” will be shown at the top left of the new window. Options for editing an existing color bar are the same as when you make a new color bar. When you are happy with your edits, click “Save.”

Note – There are multiple situations that can prevent you from editing a color bar. You cannot edit a color bar if:

  1. You were given “View Only” access to ChromaSpec. See the ChromaAdmin instructions page for more information about adjusting role access.
  2. The color bar is used by another job. You may duplicate the color bar and then use the duplication for the new job.
  3. The color bar includes scanned data.

There are multiple ways to organize your existing color bars. First, you may click Duplicate Color Bar to duplicate an existing color bar.

To refresh the list of color bars, click Refresh List of Color Bars. This will ensure the color bars displayed, including their time of last modification, are up-to-date.

The total number of color bars is shown at the bottom, center of the the window.

When you are happy with your color bar click “Next.”

To Create a New Color Bar:

Click the Make New Color Bar located in the lower left corner of the screen.

Drag and drop colors from the middle panels, titled “Process” and “Spot,” to the white space at the bottom of the window.

Alternatively, double click on the colors under “Process” and “Spot” to add them to your color bar.

You can also add substrate or empty patches to your color bar by dragging and dropping or double clicking the options in the Other panel.

ChromaQA allows up to 8 process colors and up to 8 spot colors to be used at one time.

At the left of the Layout panel, you can adjust the number of rows you wish to include in your color bar.

In the center of the Layout panel,. you can adjust the number of patches per row you wish to have on your color bar.

At the right of the Layout panel, you can adjust patch size. The top option, located directly next to the “Patch size:” label, adjusts width in millimeters. The lower right option adjusts height in millimeters.

Percentages to the left of both the process and the spot colors let you adjust the dot percentages of tints. Simply click on the percentage shown in blue and type a value into the resulting white field. The up and down arrows can also be used to pick a percentage.

There are 4 options for editing your color bar located at the bottom leftmost corner of the Color Bar window.

  1. Click Reverse Color Bar to reverse your color bar.
  2. Click Duplicate Across to duplicate across.
  3. Click Duplicate Down to duplicate down.
  4. Click Clear All to clear all.

Right click the color bar to:

  1. Add a patch.
  2. Insert a patch.
  3. Remove a patch.
  4. Add a row.
  5. Remove a row.

Tip – If you suddenly end up with too many colors or empty patches in a row, simply go to the Layout panel of the Color Bar window and decrease “Patches per Row” to quickly remove the unnecessary patches.

When you are happy with your color bar click “Next.”

Step 3 of 6: Reporting Metrics

You will see the name of your selected color bar as well as a preview of the color bar in the bottom left corner of the screen. ChromaQA will use your selected color bar to provide you with a list of possible reporting metrics.

For example, if you are using solids, you will see ΔE and ΔD. For overprints, you will see ΔE and ΔTrap. ChromaQA automatically determines the possible metrics relevant to your specific color bar.

By default, each possible reporting metric is selected. This is shown by a checked off box. You may uncheck any metric you don’t wish to see on your report. If you are using solid colors, for example, and you decide you only care about seeing ΔD on your report, you can uncheck the box for ΔE.

Step 5 of 6: Tolerances

An administrator can define and those tolerances in ChromaAdmin. This will ensure all jobs use the same tolerances.

A ChromaSpec user can adjust tolerances that have not been locked. The user can use the arrows or type directly into the tolerance fields.

Step 6 of 6: Score Card

ChromaQa has its own built in Score Card system. The Score Card system analyzes data from substrates, process colors, overprints, etc., and then assigns a job a single score that combines all of those variables. You set the weights given to each relevant metric, and then you enter in a minimum passing score. ChromaQA will use this information to tell you whether your job has passed or failed.

Note that the Score Card is an optional feature. If you don’t wish to use the Score Card feature, uncheck the “Enable Score Card” box.

To use the Score Card feature:

(1) You will see a table with columns for patch type, metric, and weight. In our example, there are just solid patches. As a result, the relevant metrics are ΔE and ΔD.

Set the weights for each metrics. Weights must add up to 100. The higher the weight, the greater that metric will impact the job’s final score. For example, if you assign ΔE a weight of 70 and ΔD a weight of 30, ΔE will have a greater effect on the final score.

(2) Enter in a minimum passing score. For our example, we have chosen a minimum passing score of 75.

When you are finished creating your job, click the “Save” button located at the bottom right corner of the window.

A small “Save Job” window will open. Name your job, and choose which groups need to see and potentially access your job. Groups are created in ChromaAdmin. In the following example, we might save our job so that it can only be seen and accessed by pressmen working at our Danvers location.

The job will now appear in ChromaSpec’s table of existing jobs. This is the table that appears on the first screen of ChromaSpec.

ColorDrive

Step 1 of 6: Job Info

Step 1 of 6 for ColorDrive jobs is similar to Step 1 of 6 for non-ColorDrive jobs.

Both ColorDrive and non-ColorDrive jobs require completion of the General and Job Field tabs. Complete the General and Job Fields tabs as instructed above.

Enable ColorDrive. 

Work your way, left to right, through the ColorDrive sub tabs.

Job Info:

At a minimum, this tab will include drop down menus for “Printer,” “Location,” and “Brand.” These 3 fields are mandatory. Printer, Location, and Brand information is used  to match the job in ChromaQA with the job on the ColorDrive server. Option job info fields can be added in ChromaAdmin.

Use the drop down menus to pick the correct values for each of your job fields. Printer, Location, and Brand must match a job on the ColorDrive server.

Production Info:

The Production Info tab may or may not have content. A ChromaAdmin user has the option to add Production Info fields. Schawk!™ will typically tell your company whether or these fields are necessary.

In the following example, a “RunLength” field was added to the Production Info tab. This allows a ChromaSpec user to directly enter a job’s run length.

Measurement Info:

These are fields that will be completed at the time the job is run.

Custom Info:

Type values directly into fields or use drop down menus to choose from preset options.

When you have completed the ColorDrive sub tabs, click “Next.”

ChromaQA will validate the Printer, Brand, and Location information from the Job Info tab. These must match a Printer, Brand, Location combination that exists in the ColorDrive server.

If a match is not found, an ERROR box will appear. This will tell you what went wrong during the validation process. In the following example, we’re “missing Client-Printer association.” In other words, we selected the wrong brand name.

Remember that “Brand” is found in the ColorDrive Job Info sub tab.

When you receive an error, correct the problem, and then click “Next.” Once again, ChromaQA will validate the Printer, Brand, and Location combination.

If the validation is successful, you will be allowed to moved on to Step 2 of 6: Color Bar.

Steps 2 and 3 are completed the same whether or not you have ColorDrive enabled.

Detailed instructions for Steps 2 and 3 are found above.

Step 4 of 6: Print Standard

For a ColorDrive job, you must use ink colors that match a job on the ColorDrive server.

Click on the (KCMY Arrow) icon, located at the bottom left corner of the screen, to import colors from a file.

Click on the orange (Orange Icon) icon, located at the bottom left corner of the screen, to import colors from ChromaStandards. In the following example, we have decided to import our colors from ChromaStandards.

After clicking on the orange icon, a window titled “Choose a Color Book” appears. We choose the “Pampers” color book. “Pampers” us located in our “Customers” color library.

After selecting the desired book, we click “OK.” This takes us to an “Import Colors: Pampers” window. Here, we will pick the colors that go with this job.

We select a color at the left. Then, we click on one of the center arrows (KCMY Arrow) to move the color, substrate, colors, etc., to their proper positions at the right. For example, we click on our substrate at the left, then we click on the arrow next to substrate at the center. The substrate name now populates the field at the right.

For C, we select “PG 1610 XGRA” at the left. We click the central K arrow. “PG 1610 XGRA” populates the field at the right.

When we have finished selecting our colors, we click “Import.” This takes us back to the Step 4 of 6: Print Standard screen. The K, C, M, and Y fields will now contain the imported colors.

Selecting the correct colors is important for successful validation of the job at Step 6.

Steps 5 is completed the same whether or not you have ColorDrive enabled.

Detailed instructions for Step 5 are found above.

Step 6 of 6: Score Card

Choose whether or not to enable the score card. See above for a more detailed description of the score card system.

Click “Save.” ChromaQA will validate the job with ColorDrive. If your references do not match the references in the ColorDrive server, a ColorDrive message will appear. This message will tell you where ColorDrive detected errors that prevented a match. In the following example, we chose an ink that was not available in the ColorDrive server.

We fix the problem and then click “Save.” This time, ColorDrive does not detect any errors.

When validation of the job is successful, a “Save Job,” window appears. We give the job a name. We decide which groups will have access to our job. Then, we click “Save.”

The new job appears in the job list table.

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