6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2015 8:06 PM by savanna427

    Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign

    savanna427

      I've googled and searched here for an answer to my question but haven't been able to find anything.

      I designed several pieces of collateral, all using the same single color. Some of the pieces I designed in Illustrator, and one in InDesign.

      The problem is, when I copy and paste the yellow color value (whether it's RGB or CMYK - I've tried both ways), it CHANGES between Illustrator and InDesign. The color stays the same between Illustrator documents, but if I C+P from InDesign - or vice versa - the color value literally changes before my eyes. And I don't mean it just "looks" different, the actual number changes.

      Here's a real example:

      Drew a box in Illustrator and chose the color #f8f1e0 / 2% 3% 12% 0%. Drew a box in InDesign, C+P'd the color values into it, and it DID change to the correct color for an instant. Clicked okay. Clicked back into the color picker and the color is now #f8f1e1 / 2% 3% 11% 0%.

      If it's relevant, it seems the color will change to a marginally darker one every time.

      And yes, both documents STARTED OUT as CMYK documents, and stayed that way. I also have my colors synchronized via Bridge. I'm working on CC 2015 and all programs are up to date.

      Any clue what could be happening? Thank you in advance.

      ETA: Okay, I just chose Overprint Preview in Illustrator and that also changed the #f8f1e0 color to #f8f1e1. I see now it's not a program malfunction but can anyone explain WHY this happens? I'm still new to color management and it's quite confusing to me. Thank you again.

      ETA: Something else - when I save the InDesign document out as a readable PDF and then pull it into Illustrator, the color is now #f8f2e2, even when viewing Overprint Preview.

        • 1. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hex values are RGB colors so if you plug one in to the Color Picker the resulting CMYK values are a color managed conversion from the document's RGB profile to the document's CMYK profile. You'll get different CMYK conversions depending on the source RGB profile, the destination CMYK profile, the color intent, and black point compensation used for the conversion.

           

          On top of that InDesign documents can have both RGB and CMYK colors with assigned CMYK and RGB profiles that don't necessarily match the Color Settings' working profiles, so sync'ng your color settings may not get everything to match.

           

          In the end if you want to match CMYK colors or swatches between AI and ID, make sure the document's assigned CMYK profiles match (Edit>Assign Profiles...) and enter CMYK and not Hex values

          • 2. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
            savanna427 Level 1

            Thank you so much Rob. I realized I needed to be using the CMYK color panel and not the color picker, your reply confirms this.

             

            Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You can use the Color Picker, but the color or swatch you'll get depends on where your cursor is. If you want CMYK put your cursor in one of the C,M,Y,K fields and make sure the button is Add CMYK Swatch. Here you can see the different CMYK values I get for #f8f2e2 because the doc's assigned RGB profile is ProPhoto, but I could manually change the CMYK values which would of course change the HEX value:

               

              Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.53.59 PM.png

              • 4. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
                savanna427 Level 1

                Yes, I see you're right about that when it comes to InDesign but the color picker is a bit wonky with CMYK in Illustrator. Even if my cursor is in one of the CMYK fields and I click okay, the numbers are uneven and marginally off in the CMYK color panel. For instance, I choose 10 12 14 0, in the color picker it'll change to 10.33 11.84 13.57. However that DOESN'T happen if I manually input the CMYK values instead of find the actual color using the color picker, if that makes sense.

                • 5. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                  However that DOESN'T happen if I manually input the CMYK values instead of find the actual color using the color picker, if that makes sense.

                  Yes in Illustrator you have to explicitly enter the CMYK values. It would be impossible to get a green color like 0|0|30|30 via a color managed conversion, so you would have to manually build it in the CMYK fields. As soon as you click into the color field you'll get the more typical CMY mix—or the color managed conversion

                  • 6. Re: Color values change between Illustrator and InDesign
                    savanna427 Level 1

                    Thank you for the explanation Rob, it makes sense to me now.