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Printing Varnish Plates from QuarkXPress

Using ALAP ImagePort and Adobe Photoshop to prepare and output files for varnish-ready separations By Greg Hatem
Printing a varnish plate from QuarkXPress for images that require masked areas can easily be accomplished using the XTension ImagePort. This will demonstrate how to setup and print varnish plates.

Create varnish plates as channels
This can be accomplished in Photoshop by painting within an alpha channel or by saving a selection as an alpha channel.
To saving a selection as an alpha channel, Option click on the Save Selection as Channel icon found at the bottom of the channels palette. Set Color Indicates: to Selected Areas. The area(s) defined in the alpha channel specify what is to be varnished.

In this example, two alpha channels were created in a CMYK Photoshop image and named Gloss Varnish and Dull Varnish.

Set alpha channel to Spot Color
In Photoshop, assign each alpha channel as a Spot Color in the Channel Options dialog,

The Channel Options dialog can be accessed from the Channels Palette by double clicking on the alpha channel created in the previous step.

Here we specify that the alpha channel named Gloss Varnish is set to be a Spot Color.

Save the CMYK image as a Photoshop .psd file
Save your image in Photoshop as a Photoshop native format file. Note: Be sure that "Spot Colors" is checked. This will ensure that the saved image will contain the necessary information to be used by ImagePort.

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