I have a set of process color swatches which I defined as LAB colors. I use them mostly in InDesign. This morning I opened them as a swatch library in Illustrator for the first time. The CMYK numbers are significantly different from what they are in InDesign. Both documents have the same color management policies/rendering intent. I know that there is no "LAB mode" in Illustrator (will that ever happen???) but I'm surprised that it translates the LAB>CMYK in a different fashion than does InDesign. Am I missing something? I guess the solution would be to remake my swatches defining them as CMYK colors. However, that somewhat defeats my original plan: define the swatches in LAB so they will get translated as accurately as possible in different programs.
I'm using CS4 on a Mac.
The LAB definition stays intact in any color mode and color space if the swatch is defined as a spot color only. Double click on a swatch, set the Color Type as Spot Color and for Color Mode choose Lab. In this way no matter what the color space your document is and will be if converted, the spot color will always be defined with the same Lab values. Otherwise regardless what sliders Lab, CMYK, RGB, HSB, Grayscale, etc you use to select a color, the color is recorded in the file either with the CMYK or RGB values depending on the color mode and color profile of the document.
Thats interesting emilx2. However, I don't want them as spot colors, but as process colors. So I consider it pretty dangerous to specify them as spots, and trusting I'll remember to change them to process colors before sending off the file. Or am I missing something?