3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2019 3:26 AM by Stephen_A_Marsh

    Forcing RGB to CMYK Conversions on Open?


      So, I get a lot of clients that send RGB files instead of CMYK, and the print shop I work with will only accept files in CMYK (whether there's going to be a difference in values or not). Usually there's no CMYK profile assigned, so the files just open in RGB and I have to go to document settings and change it myself. When a file opens that clearly has tones outside of a printable range, I notice right away and make the correction, and then have to send a long, boring email to the client detailing why the colors in the file now appear dull, etc...

      However, there are times when the values would be fine. The print shop still won't work with the file, however, so I regularly get the file back, have to change the setting, re-save, and resend... it's a bit of a pain, honestly. Is there ANY way to have Illustrator ONLY open files in CMYK. As in, it always converts the hues to CMYK regardless of the color profile assigned to it?


      Using Ai CC 2018.



        • 1. Re: Forcing RGB to CMYK Conversions on Open?
          Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Illustrator will always keep the document color mode. If you want to convert it, you will have to make Illustrator do it.

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          • 2. Re: Forcing RGB to CMYK Conversions on Open?
            Jeff Witchel, ACI Adobe Community Professional

            When you open your files, take a look immediately at the color mode next to the name of the document. That way, weather it looks good or not, you'll know if it's CMYK or not without looking under the File menu > Document Color Mode. (Please see attached screenshot.)


            Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 5.29.58 PM.png

            • 3. Re: Forcing RGB to CMYK Conversions on Open?
              Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

              Are  you sending native Ai files to the print shop, or PDF?


              One problem with converting RGB to CMYK in Illustrator is that RGB black will usually convert to rich black, rather than black only. An action or script may then be required to select specific rich black values and convert them to K only.


              PDF colour conversion may be a better option using Acrobat Pro, it can greatly simplify the process of cleanly converting RGB black to K only.


              I would always keep a copy of the original client Ai data, then make a working Ai copy and make changes as nenessary. Then a separate output PDF file may be created from the working file (so at least 3 files).

              1 person found this helpful