In the past one of the ways you could generate maps for print production was to use the Convert to Spot EPS or “SeeSpot” tool. The SeeSpot tool embedded custom spot color definitions into an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. It also allowed you to store spot definitions in a spot color set (.scs) file that could then be applied to other maps sharing the same print settings.
With the release of ArcGIS 10.1 the new Production PDF (PPDF) exporter available in Esri Production Mapping provides the same functionality and more! This is why the old SeeSpot tool has been deprecated with this release. One of the key benefits of the PPDF exporter is that it allows you to generate a print ready .pdf file (a format we all love!) directly out of ArcMap without the need for post processing, which was required by its predecessor.
For those of you who have created pre-ArcGIS 10.1 .scs files and are interested in migrating them for use in ArcGIS 10.1, we just released a new convertor utility on the Resource Center – SeeSpot Convert tool. It’s a command-line tool for converting a .scs file to an .xml file which can then be used by the PPDF exporter. Below is an illustration of how the tool works.
In addition to PPDF, two other options exist for color separation in ArcGIS 10.1 – raster-based separated TIFF and PostScript printing. However, neither of these options output a .pdf file and when sending to print the .pdf file format has become the industry standard. All the more reason to start using this handy tool for upgrading your existing .scs files.