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Matching colors: Illustrator to PowerPoint

Dec 2, 2013 7:26 PM

Tags: #color #profiles

My apologies if this is an old question that has been asked and answered a million times.


I have a corporate logo which was produced in Illustrator (created in RGB using the sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1 profile) that I want to export to a PNG file then insert into MS PowerPoint presentation. The problem is that the apparent color is changing. I am quite certain this is related to color management and I need some help getting this right.


Note: My monitor is calibrated and Windows is using the monitor profile. My default Illustrator color working space is sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1.


I think the best way to explain my confusion is by way of an example of one of the colors in the logo and a third-party color picker tool.


In Illustrator, with the sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1 profile assigned, the color has RGB values of 195, 22, 28. According to the color picker, the RGB values of the apparent color are 169, 52, 38 - and this is the desired color. When I export the PNG and insert it into PowerPoint, the RGB values are 195, 22, 28, but this is the ‘wrong’ color.


If I assign the monitor profile, Illustrator still reports RGB values of 195, 22, 28, but the color picker now reports RGB values of 195, 22, 28; and this is the same color as in PowerPoint. But again, this is the wrong color.


The color I want is 169, 52, 38. What is the correct combination of color setting, profile assignments, whatever, such that this is the color which appears when the PNG is imported into PowerPoint? I am assuming that there is a way to accomplish this which does not require actually changing the colors in the Illustrator document itself.


Thank you!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2013 8:44 PM   in reply to groston

    Illustrator is color managed. If you set the colors by values you enter the desired values, then Illustrator checks what your document and monitor color spaces are, and if they are different it translates the color values from the color space of the document to the color space of the monitor by sending different color values to the monitor to achieve the correct appearance of the color in the document color space. Your third party color picker picks the values sent to the monitor not the values you assign in Illustrator and you can do this also by a simple screen capture and measuring the values.


    Power point is not color managed, it sends the same values to the monitor as the values in the image. So it cannot simulate any other color space like sRGB but the values are always displayed in the color space of your monitor which is not exactly sRGB. and thus resulting in a difference of the appearance of the same color values between Illustrator which can simulate sRGB and Power Point which cannot. You can not make Power pint match illustrator because it is not color managed but you can mach Illustrator to Power point by turning off the color management and one way to do it as you have discovered by yourself  is to have the document color space and destination (your monitor) set to the same color space (which in your case is your monitor color space(profile).


    So, in conclusion you can not trust the appearance of the colors in Power Point to be something others can reliably reproduce.


    May be you should specify what your final goal is. What do you want at the end, the color appearance in Illustrator on your monitor to match? If all you want is to match Power Point on your monitor then work in your monitor color space. If it is something else, please specify and we can try to decide what is possible and what not.

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    Dec 2, 2013 9:21 PM   in reply to groston

    as eml emil is suggesting the problem is with your monitor profile which I would suggest means that you monitor is not properly calibrated and so your profile for it is sending the wrong signal to Illustrator.


    In other words if the values of the colors are wrong but shows up correct then there is something wrong with the way the monitor is displaying the color.


    Even if you were to assign your monitor color space if the power point is shown on a different monitor or projected it is very possible the color will change again.


    From what you have described there is sort of a work around but keep in mind what is written above, assign your monitor space as the profile and use the color that is correct as you describe it now you have the right color in both.


    Or assign sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1 profile as the profile and forget about how it appears in PP on your screen and worry only about how it appears when projected.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2013 10:34 PM   in reply to groston

    PowerPoint is not color managed. It's as easy as that. No need for all the song and dance. Create an RGB document without color management.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 12:01 AM   in reply to groston

    groston wrote:



    My goal is for the color in PowerPoint to appear like the color-managed colors in Illustrator. Going back to my example: The color I want to see in PowerPoint is 169, 52, 38 - this is the color-managed 'output' from the 'true' color 169, 52, 38. I understand that since PowerPoint is not color managed that on any machine other than this one the colors are likely to appear differently.

    Well, then you can create another file for Power point with the color values that Illustrator outputs to the screen so that you have two files one for Illustrator and one for Power Point. The files will be with different color values but the same color appearance (screen values). In this way you will have manually managed color output  by using a different file for the non color managed program.

    Make a copy of the document and use the third party color picker to sample the screen colors from Illustrator then change the actual colors used in the document with these values. If it was me I would simply make a screen capture, paste it next to the logo, select each object from the logo and with the eyedropper pick the corresponding colors from the screen capture.

    So for your example, in the Illustrator document you will have 195, 22, 28 and for the Power Point document you will have 169, 52, 38 and both Illustrator and Power point will send their document values to the screen as 169, 52, 38 resulting in matching color.

    If you are are going to be using a raster image in Power Point you can just use the screen capture - this will save you the work for changing the colors.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 1:37 AM   in reply to groston



    I have a corporate logo which was produced in Illustrator (created in RGB using the sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1 profile)


    Just to throw a spanner in the works, if you may ever need the corporate logo in print (even from (small office) non PostScript printers, which convert your RGB colours to CMYK), you will most likely regret starting in RGB at all, simply because at least some of those RGB colours will almost certainly be out of the CMYK gamut.


    Therefore, consistent colours throughout will probably require your starting with CMYK and living with the less bright and shiny.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 6:43 AM   in reply to groston

    Powerpoint/Office does not have color management, so you will have to turn off color management in Illustrator to have better control over color going to powerpoint. Use Emulate Adobe Illustrator 6 to turn off color management.


    Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.38.55 AM.png

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 11:50 AM   in reply to groston

    Yes as emil emil and mylenium suggested simply turn off color mamgemant qnd choose the actual color yyou want.


    try it.


    turn it off choose the color 169, 52, 38 in Illustrator then bring it into PowerPoint now all should be as you expect it.


    I still say this should not be necessary if you monitor was properly calibrated.


    It doesn't make sense to work in the blind.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 9:44 PM   in reply to groston

    groston wrote:


    ... To me, this suggests that a tool which coudl perform such a conversion automaticlaly could be useful. Does such a one exist?

    Yes, it is called Color Management

    It is already implemented in the Adobe production programs but unfortunately Microsoft has not implemented it yet in Power Point. I don't think any developer is going to create a new tool to compensate for the lack of already existing tool in a program.


    Microsoft has parts of its Windows system and some of its photo viewers color managed. I don't know why are they not making the rest of its software color managed but this is the only viable solution.

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