Typical story: the printer calls and says they need the file in spot colors instead of process.  I say I think the file originated in Publisher (wasn’t me!).  Audible sigh on the other line.  I reply I’ll get it to them as soon as possible.

An hour (and a few more gray hairs) later and I have a PDF complete with spot plates.  Here’s how:

  • Tools > Commerical Printing Tools > Color Printing
  • Select define all colors as “Spot Colors”
  • File > Print
  • Under Printer Name, select a postscript printer (Adobe PDF or Generic Color PS for Commercial Printing), then Properties
  • Choose your Default Setting, then click Edit on the right
  • Under Color (left menu pane) and Color Management Policies, choose Leave Color Unchanged
  • Click OK, save new options (if necessary) and OK again
  • Uncheck “Rely on system fonts only; do not use document fonts
  • Check “Print to File” (won’t work if you skip this)
  • Click OK and save file as whateverfilename.prn in a location you remember
  • Open Adobe Distiller (I’m using 8 )
  • Select same options you just saved (at top)
  • Drag your .prn file into the Distiller window and watch it run
  • Take a breath and sip your lemonade

Now that you have your print-ready PDF, you’ll probably want to check that it’s correct, right?

  • Open your new PDF in Acrobat Pro
  • Open from menu bar Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview
  • You’ll see your little spot plates, along with the CMYK (can’t avoid that in Publisher), there in the dialog
  • More lemonade