Reference Manager (MeasureColor 15.3 and later)

General information

In MeasureColor, all color references are managed from the Reference Manager module. The Reference Manager combines all reference functionality from the Management module and the former Color Library Manager into one convenient module.

Each time you need to create, edit, delete or simply review your color references, you only need to open the Reference Manager found on the Home screen of MeasureColor.

Note: if you don’t see the Module listed on the Home screen, check your module access rights in your UserProfile (Management Module: User groups).

While the Reference manager handles most Color references there are still condition to be set from the System management module. Here is a quick overview of all variables needed to setup a job and where to edit them:

Job elements

variable description Reference manager System management or menu
Machines Press properties General → Machines
Measurement conditions Device measurement setup Conditions→Measurement conditions
Tolerance sets Detailed scoring setup Conditions→Tolerance sets
Color books Color books with target patches YES
Printing conditions Typical print process YES
Substrates Substrates YES
Color bar Creating and editing Color bars Color bar editor (main menu)

Printing condition

Starting from MeasureColor 15.3, the former PaperTypes are now called ‘Printing Conditions’. A printing condition describes a typical print process like ‘Offset Coated stock’ or Flexo Clear film’. During the job setup procedures, a printing condition is selected which helps the operator to setup his job with ease.

Color book

A color book stores one or more reference patches. These could be your default process color patches (solid, dotgain, overprint, balance, etc.) or spot color patches. Each color book can be linked to a specific Printing condition. During the job setup procedures, users select a Printing condition for their job which then limits the amount of color books shown on screen. You can also choose not to link a color book to a specific printing condition. In that case the color book will be available for any printing condition during job setup.

Color books can be filled with reference patches by either importing supported file formats (CxF3, Mif, ICC), manual creation (name, CIE-Lab, Density values) and of course by measurement.

If you need to exchange Color books between two or more MeasureColor setups it's best to use CSV export/import.

Patch details

  1. The name of the parent Solid Ink
  2. Type of patch (Solid, Dotgain, Slur, Balance, PaperWhite, BalanceHighlight, BalanceMidtone, BalanceShadow, Overprint, other, Dotgain only)
  3. Name (of solid)
  4. Separation
  5. Measurement condition linked to the patch
  6. CIE L*a*b*
  7. Density

Depending on the selected patch type the shown details vary.
A step-by-step guide for creating targets by measuring physical references can be found here.

Reference wizard (16.2 and later)

To make it easier to link Color books, Printing conditions and Substrates together a Reference wizard is created. More information can be found clicking the link.


A MeasureColor substrate is a specification (material name, CIE-Lab reference) for a specific substrate like paper or film. Substrates belong to a printing condition. A printing condition (‘Coated – ISO 12647-2’, ‘Flexo clear film’, etc.) might have multiple substrates linked to it (e.g. ‘Generic gloss’, ‘Hello Silk’, ‘Clear OPP’, etc.).

When you set substrates for your printing condition, you are asked to select a substrate white patch as a reference from one of the color books so you need to create those color books and patches first.

Substrates are always linked to both a Printing condition and a Color book!

Typical workflow

Let’s assume you wish to create a reference for a specific customer and product. The customer has all reference colors stored in a Cxf3 file which you need to use during process control or quality assessments. The product is printed in flexo, on clear film.

  • First, create a new ‘Color book’. In the Reference properties dialog provide a ‘Name’ for this color book. Leave the ‘Printing Condition’ and ‘Default Dot gain curve’ empty for now.
  • Click ‘Ok’ to create the (empty) color book.
  • Your color book does not have any reference patches. You can now add those patches by importing the CxF3 file or measure the various reference patches. When done, close and save your new color book.
  • Now click on the ‘Printing conditions & substrates’ tab. This opens the list of printing conditions. For this example we want to specify a new printing condition, click on ‘New’.
  • In the Printing condition properties dialog, specify a name (e.g. ‘Flexo clear film’). Under substrates, click ‘New’ to add a new substrate to this printing condition.
  • In the Substrate properties dialog, provide a name (e.g. ‘Clear OPP’) and next, select which substrate white patch to use as color reference for this material. By default you select a substrate patch that was added to the color book we just created.
  • Click ‘Ok’ to save the substrate properties. If needed you can add more specific substrates to your printing condition.
  • When done, click ‘Ok’ to save your newly generated printing condition.
  • As a last step, we need to tie the printing condition to our color book. Go back to the ‘Color references’ and open (edit) the just created color book.
  • On the top left of the screen, click on ‘Properties’ to open the color book properties.
  • Now select the printing condition (Flexo clear film) to link this color book to this specific printing condition.
  • Click ‘Ok’ and close and save your color book.

Please note that from MeasureColor version 16.2 this whole process can be carried out by the Reference wizard in a few easy steps.

Job setup procedure for the operator (ProcessControl module)

We just created a new color book and linked that color book to a specific printing condition. During the job setup procedures, when the operator chooses a printing condition, reference colors (inks) and substrates are automatically limited to avoid mistakes.