5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2016 9:42 AM by davidblatner

    RGB > CMYK

    zimbop

      I realise that variations of this question have been asked a bajillion times, but that's my problem, I can't find the exact answer to my question for all the many variations of it, and see conflicting advice along with lots of answers for old versions of the software.

       

      I have prepped a document for web in InDesign (CC) with RGB images, knowing it might eventually make it to print, so I made sure to use images capable of 300dpi effective when scaled knowing that they will be downsampled according to settings in the PDF export. So I've found out it will go into print. What I'm not so familiar with is the RGB to CMYK conversion for print. Some articles and forum posts suggest that this is best left to the indesign PDF export engine, while other people talk about redoing everything in photoshop (either manually or with actions).

        • 1. Re: RGB > CMYK
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant
          1. If you work for web, it is good to use RGB images.
          2. If you work for Print, it is with InDesign to keep them in RGB as well. But your images have to have a correct color space which contents of the mode (here RGB) and a Profile (like Adobe 1980, eci RGB or sRGB or others).
          3. If the printer requires a CMYK file, export as PDF/X-1a which will convert everything to the selected CMYK, you have to ask the printer what kind of CMYK he wants.
          4. If the printer is more modern or you need to use the PDF to place in another InDesign file, regardless of the final color space, export as PDF/X-4 which will keep RGB and transparency alive and gives you the best flexibility for future use.
          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: RGB > CMYK
            Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

            Step 3 is crucial. Unless you know WHICH CMYK don't convert. CMYK is not a single generic thing, but many different ink recipes.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: RGB > CMYK
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Some articles and forum posts suggest that this is best left to the indesign PDF export engine, while other people talk about redoing everything in photoshop (either manually or with actions).

              Assuming the conversion options are the same (i.e. the destination profile, intent, black point compensation), the conversion results will be identical from Photoshop or on export. There are cases where you might want to edit a CMYK file, or force a CMYK color (like 100% cyan or black), or convert using a different black generation—in those cases you would have to convert in Photoshop and save the file with no profile.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: RGB > CMYK
                jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                If all of this is new to you and you need a more in-depth explanation, watch these titles at www.lynda.com by davidblatner

                 

                InDesign Insider Training: Color Management

                 

                 

                InDesign Insider Training: Print PDFs

                 

                This website is not free, but it is worth it. You can get a free trial as a first time user or subscribe for a month if you just want to watch these two titles.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: RGB > CMYK
                  davidblatner Adobe Community Professional

                  Thanks for the kind mention, Jane! I agree that those videos would certainly be helpful and in-depth.

                  Here's another free resource (this time at creativepro) that I wrote, as it is specifically about Importing RGB images and export CMYK PDF files.

                   

                  I agree that the best solution is to export PDF/X-4 and let your printer handle the conversion. But your printer needs to be okay with that. (More and more are.)