Unable to save duotone as TIFF in Photoshop 2020

Hey guys,
So I’m working with a photo of a piano, which I had converted to Duotone. However, when I went to save the file, TIFF is not available. Anybody know the reason why I can save a Grayscale, or other version of the photo as a TIFF, but not the Duotone version? Many thanks

adobe has these steps listed: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/duotones.html
maybe you might have missed something.

I don’t think so. On the link, under Exporting, at the bottom, it says:

“To export a duotone image to a page-layout application, you must first save the image in EPS or PDF format.” So I guess TIFF can’t handle duotone’s or something? Idk

i think every PSD needs to be saved in PSd before saving as anything else, i was going to ask why you need a TIFF but that is none of my business.
i guess for printing or scanning?
i deleted all my tiffs last years and saved more than a 15 minute ad tv.
does the TIFF option available?
and the document being either RGB or CYMX can alter the saving process.

Professor requires tiff for anything created in photoshop that we’ll be printing. The image is going to be placed into InDesign. And that’s the thing, as soon as I make it a duotone, the only options that even appear under Save As are PSD, Large Document Format, Photoshop EPS, Photoshop PDF, and Raw. Before I make it a duotone, I have all of the usual options. It’s not necessarily an issue, I decided to not use a duotone, I just found it extremely odd, and it could potentially be an issue down the road.

Are you working on a 2-spot color job?

I don’t know the direct answer to your question, but Adobe has never done a particularly good job at supporting the mixing of spot colors. This has been the case right from the beginning back in the '80s. There are some workarounds, like creating alpha channels or swapping out one of the process channels with the spot color, but it’s better to just follow Adobe’s advice and save it the way they suggest.

As for your professor, well, TIFF is an old format that typically isn’t used much any longer — especially when working within the CC environment. I haven’t saved anything to TIFF in years when placing the image in an InDesign document. InDesign supports native PSD just fine.

As for down the road, it won’t be an issue for you. Your professor’s odd requirements won’t be relevant once you graduate. :wink:


Nah, it’s CMYK. And yeah, she’s old school lol. Good to know :wink: Thanks

That’s why I asked. I true duotone is composed of, usually, black and a second spot color. A CMYK duotone isn’t really a duotone since it’s composed of all the process colors. — sort of a duotone simulation.

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Often, with duotones, applying the colors to a black and white photo within InDesign is a better way to go. Especially if you are using spot colors. Apply one color to the photo content, another to the frame content.

As for tifs, as a printer, we like .psd, with .tif being second choice. But if you use a tif, do NOT use compression. Especially if working in scale.

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Yes please.

If you want your files to most likely print right, save them as psd’s. That way the pre-press dept. has the most “useful” format.

Photoshop’s “duotone mode” is not supported in TIFFs, however spot channels are.

What you need to do is get each of the colors in the duotone as their own spot channels that accompanies RGB or CMYK channels.

  1. Image > Mode > Multichannel
  2. Create new document at same dimensions, white background, CMYK
  3. in your duotone/multichannel document, navigate to channel palette, and while holding SHIFT, drag the each color channel from the palette window into the CMYK Document (one at a time).
  4. Your CMYK document should have the 2 duotone colors as independent spot colors in the channel palette and can now be saved as TIFF

Should note, TIFF will not show spot channels in their image previews, so they will appear blank but the channel data is there for the printer.

So then would you also need to assign screen angles to the spot channels. It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with a duotone, but if I remember correctly the default angle on the spot channels is 45. Two spots at 45 will not produce the rosettes and you may end up with something quite different from your preview if traditional screening is used. If stochastic screening is used, it could potentially be okay but I don’t have experience with that.

Yes, that would likely result in a nasty moiré pattern if conventional halftone dots are used.

Typically screen angle is managed on the printer side for their plate making, they will take the raster pixel output from the file and convert it from PPI to LPI at specific angles based on the job. I don’t even think PSDs retain any halftone data that plating machines can use.

Correct, but you still need to spec angles to your printer, as the default for spot colours is 45. At least that’s how I remember doing this type of work. I think it’s managed in prepress at the rip. Maybe Print Driver can confirm the correct way to get this done so it looks right. Things may have changed since my prepress days.

A competent pre-press department and press operation team wouldn’t allow a bad moiré like that to occur. Esko in pre-press and inspection machines in post-press can catch this. Rest assured this is their domain and not something you’d need to worry about as a designer unless you are doing something very unique.

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