33 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2010 9:59 PM by Neil_O RSS

    RGB Only Prints in Black and White

    Neil_O

      My Illustrator CS3 seems to have developed a strange problem.  If I create a new RGB based document, a 'Web Document' or a 'Basic RGB Document' for example, and the print it, I only get a black and white print.  If I create a CMYK based document it prints just fine.  I have also tried creating a CMYK document and converting it to RGB and that prints fine too, but if I create an RGB document and convert to CMYK again I get a black and white print.

       

      I have checked each of the colour profile and print dialog boxes to see if there are any differences bewteen a RGB sourced document and a CMYK sourced document but can't see anything obvious.  This problem seems to have developed over the past couple of weeks as it used to print RGB without a problem.

       

      Any help would be much appreciated as I've been going round in circles with this for hours.  I should perhaps add that I'm no Illustrator expert!

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
          Jacob Bugge MVP

          Neil,

           

          This problem seems to have developed over the past couple of weeks as it used to print RGB without a problem.

           

          You do not mean a gradial development, yes?

           

          Strange things that appear for no good/apparent reason may be caused by preference corruption.

           

          You may try to Move the folder while Illy sleeps, or to Ctrl/Cm+Alt/Option+Shift during wakeup. The more is more thorough and solves more issues, and is reversible.

           

          Or you may try to reinstall the printer driver.

          • 2. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
            Neil_O Community Member

            I tried removing.re-initialising the Settings folder but it made no difference.  I then tried installing a brand new Illustrator copy on a new machine and it has the same problem - will only print documents based on the Web.ai startup file in black and white! Ah Ha! I thought, must be the printer driver...

             

            I then tried reinstalling the latest printer driver for the Xerox Phaser 6180 but this made no difference either.  It seems that the problem must be specific to the RGB settings for the particular printer driver.  The strange thing is that the printer driver had not been updated for months, so as far as I know the only changes to the system over the period where the problem started (it did just 'start' by the way, one day it was fine, the next day it wasn't) would be any critical updates applied by Vista.

             

            I'm at a loss now as to what to try next - I'm not even sure where the problem lies: Illustrator, Xerox or Vista.  Any advide would be appreciated.

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
              Jacob Bugge MVP

              Neil,

               

              Over the years/versions, the preferences have been scattered over increasing numbers of files, so there may be something hidden outside the Folder.

               

              Before looking into that, what happens if you:

               

              Save As PDF and print it from there (appearance of both PDF and print)?

               

              Print it (or have it printed) on another printer?

               

              The answers may determine where the issue is.

              • 4. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                Neil_O Community Member

                Hi Jacob,

                 

                Firstly thank you for spending the time on this - much appreciated.

                 

                If I save the 'Web.ai' originated (RGB) file as a PDF and open it in Adobe Reader it opens and prints correctly (i.e. in colour).

                 

                If I then open the PDF in Illustrator and print from there, it reverts back to monochrome.

                 

                If I print to the original document to the Adobe PDF printer driver the resulting PDF file is created in monochrome - which seems odd to say the least!

                 

                Hope this helps?

                 

                Neil.

                • 5. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                  Jacob Bugge MVP

                  Neil, you are welcome.

                   

                  When I open the file in good old 10 and print it to PDF, I get colours.

                   

                  So, apparently this has to do with the handling of printing the basically RGB file in CS3.

                   

                  It may be some issue with the 'Web Document'/'Basic RGB Document'; I suppose those are templates of a kind.

                   

                  What happens if you just create a new RGB document from the start (ticking RGB before OK)? If that works, it points at the templates.

                  • 6. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                    Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                    Try creating a new user account with administrative privileges. Then log into the new user. Remove the printer drivers also if there is a printer list remove the printer from the list.

                     

                    Then install a fresh printer driver and add the printer to the list. Then see if the probem is still there.

                     

                    BTW is there a default printer for your system?

                     

                    I am not that familiar with the printer set up in Windows but I think there is a printer list and reinstalling the driver on a Mac does little good sometimes if you don't remove it from the printer list as well.

                    • 7. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                      Neil_O Community Member

                      If I create a 'plain' RGB document directly from the File menu then the same problem exists.

                      If I convert the RGB document to CMYK (Select All, Edit->EditColors->Convert to CMYK) then it prints fine.

                      If I convert it back again then it reverts to printing in black and white.

                       

                      I have also tried removing/rebooting/reinstalling the printer to be no avail.  I'm beginning to suspect the problem is buried in Illustrator itself as the same problem occurs with any attached colour printer including the Adobe PDF printer driver.

                       

                      Thanks.

                       

                      Neil.

                      • 8. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                        Jacob Bugge MVP

                        Neil,

                         

                        So it seems that the issue is there when the document is born as RGB in whichever way possible, and there is no issue when the document is born as CMYK and then converted (or not).

                         

                        I'm beginning to suspect the problem is buried in Illustrator itself

                         

                        I agree. So, in the end, this is either something in some hidden settings, especially probable if you are the only one with the issue, or another bug, which it may be, even if no one else has it, because it may need something specific to trigger the issue. There have always been rarely surfacing bugs.

                        • 9. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                          Neil_O Community Member

                          Hi Jacob,

                           

                          My next action is to try uninstalling Illustrator and the print drivers and building everything up from scratch to see if that fixes the problem - I'll let you know the results in a day or two...

                           

                          Thanks again.

                           

                          Neil.

                          • 10. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                            Jacob Bugge MVP

                            Neil,

                             

                            My next action is to try uninstalling Illustrator and the print drivers and building everything up from scratch to see if that fixes the problem - I'll let you know the results in a day or two...

                             

                            Some issues may survive that, unless you ensure that everything is cleaned out. For one thing, if you just uninstall and reinstall, you still have the same preferences, or at least you did in older versions.

                             

                            This script is presented as the solution for removing remnants from pre release and trial versions, but hopefully it will also clean up after the final CS3:

                             

                            http://www.adobe.com/support/contact/cs3clean.html

                            • 11. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                              Neil_O Community Member

                              Thanks Jacob - very useful.  Time for a backup first though I think! :-)

                              • 12. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                Jacob Bugge MVP

                                Neil,

                                 

                                >Time for a backup first though I think! :-)

                                 

                                Certainly. That should be done every day before you shut down, or more often.

                                • 13. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                  totorosue

                                  I have a similar problem, and it started about the same time as yours  in September 2009. All my files were RGB and had previously printed  fine. I had gotten a different printer around the same time, so I  thought the problem was the printer. The problem started after I  transferred my CS3 RGB file from a Win XP machine to a Mac (OS X: 10.4.11), edited the  file with AI CS3 and added some CS3 PhotoShop-edited photos, and then transferred the  file back to the Win XP machine for printing. They came out B&W. I tried printing the same file from a different Win XP machine also running AI CS3, and it printed in color. I never resolved the problem. Last week, I tried printing an RGB file from my original Win XP machine to a different color printer and it came out in black and white. I found your post, created a new file as CMYK, and now it prints in color!

                                   

                                  Did you reinstall CS3 or do anything else to fix this?

                                  • 14. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                    Neil_O Community Member

                                    Hello,

                                     

                                    I have tried everyting.  Uninstalling and re-installing CS3 (even manually cleaned out the registry before the install), all to no avail.  The only thing that works for me is to change the document from RGB to CMYK before printing and then changing it back again afterwards - a complete pain, but at least I can get a colour print.  I have spent hours, if not days on this, so I hope you have more success than I have - if you do, perhaps you would be kind enough to let me know?

                                     

                                    Good luck.

                                    • 15. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                      Jacob Bugge MVP

                                      Neil,

                                       

                                      The only thing that works for me is to change the document from RGB to CMYK before printing and then changing it back again afterwards - a complete pain, but at least I can get a colour print.

                                       

                                      But surely, that must wreck the colours. It must be better to only convert a copy and retain the original RGB document for urther work, and for hope.

                                      • 16. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                        Neil_O Community Member

                                        Sorry, should have explained the process...

                                         

                                        1. File ->Save document
                                        2. File -> Document Color Mode -> CMYK
                                        3. File -> Print
                                        4. File -> Revert

                                         

                                        Obviously the CMYK isn't pefect, but better than black and white!  I have also lost count of the times where I have forgotten a step and then had to revert back to way before I wanted to!

                                         

                                        There has to be a better way!

                                        • 17. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                          Jacob Bugge MVP

                                          Neil,

                                           

                                          There has to be a better way!

                                           

                                          Obviously.

                                           

                                          Rereading the thread I believe you may say that the issue lies in the handling of a document originally created as RGB and printed from Illy, whether printed to PDF or directly to the printer.

                                           

                                          You may (re)try creating a document in CMYK Color Mode, convert it to RGB, create or place RGB artwork in it, and see what happens when you print from Illy.

                                           

                                          And/or you may get an RGB document from someone else and see whether the issue is the same.

                                           

                                          And/or you may have a closer look at the settings in the File>Print Setup

                                          • 18. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                            Neil_O Community Member

                                            I have tried all of the variations you mention - with the same result, i.e. black and white output when printing with the document colour set to RGB.

                                             

                                            I believe this problem has to be to do with the way Illustrator drives the printer and suspect that CMYK and RGB modes both use a different configuration/interface/map, call it what you will, to assemble the printer output.  Whether the problem lies specifically with Illustrator, or whether it's a problem with the way the printer driver itself handles the output from Illustrator I cannot tell.

                                            • 19. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                              Jacob Bugge MVP

                                              Neil,

                                               

                                              Whether the problem lies specifically with Illustrator, or whether it's a problem with the way the printer driver itself handles the output from Illustrator I cannot tell.

                                               

                                              Based upon posts #4 & 7, it seems to be specifically with Illy.

                                              • 20. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                Neil_O Community Member

                                                Yes, agreed.  I guess that it prints fine from Illustraor as a CMYK also points to an Illustrator specific configuration problem.  What I find odd is that this problem has not always been there, Illusrator was initially fine (for several months).  What's also odd is that a complete re-install didn't fix the problem.  My hunch is that perhaps a printer driver update (via Windows Update perhaps) introduced the problem.  The only reason I say this is that I can't think what else has not been reset.  I suppose the next option would be to uninstall the printer and reinstall from its original installation CD to see if this has any effect.

                                                • 21. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                  Jacob Bugge MVP

                                                  Neil,

                                                   

                                                  Since we are far out, there is no harm in your considering Other options

                                                  • 22. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                    moluapple Community Member

                                                    I have the same problem. So I always save AI file with RGB colors as PDF, than print the PDF file.

                                                    I do think it's illustrator's fault.

                                                    • 23. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                      Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                                      Neil_O wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Yes, agreed.  I guess that it prints fine from Illustraor as a CMYK also points to an Illustrator specific configuration problem.  What I find odd is that this problem has not always been there, Illusrator was initially fine (for several months).  What's also odd is that a complete re-install didn't fix the problem.  My hunch is that perhaps a printer driver update (via Windows Update perhaps) introduced the problem.  The only reason I say this is that I can't think what else has not been reset.  I suppose the next option would be to uninstall the printer and reinstall from its original installation CD to see if this has any effect.

                                                      Perhaps, perhaps not. Did you try to trash the printers Preferences, removing the printer from the printer list and reinstalling the printer drivers, have you checked the printers settings, have you update CS3 and your printer drivers. I have never heard of this happening before. You don't give real information about your system or about plug ins or if similar results have happened with other applications. Well you might have I did not read every posting.

                                                       

                                                      I doubt that this is an Illustrator generated problem.

                                                       

                                                      I can't imagine after four years since CS 3 was released no one else noticed this if it were an Illustrator problem.

                                                       

                                                      And apparently you only just noticed it as you wrote you developed this problem.

                                                       

                                                      I would if I were you look back to the time it did not happen and to the time it did start to happen and try to recall what you did before it started.

                                                      That might give you a clue.

                                                      • 24. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                        Neil_O Community Member

                                                        Today, I built a new PC (Windows Vista) and installed Illustrator CS3 (from original CD) - nothing else.  This installation exhibits exactly the same problem as my original PC, i.e. monochrome output when printing RGB documents, OK when printing CMYK.

                                                         

                                                        The only conclusion I can draw from this is that there is a problem between Illustrator and my specific printer, a Xerox Phaser 6180.  I also tried printing to a very old Epson Ink Jet, and that worked fine.

                                                         

                                                        I would be interested to know what printer other folks with this problem are using.

                                                        • 25. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                                          Try placing the file into a Word document there may be some display artifacts but should print just fine.

                                                           

                                                          I am curious if it is just AI and that printer.

                                                           

                                                          Strange situation, I bet neither company knows bout this conflict.

                                                           

                                                          Is it a post script printer? Perhaps the settings in the RIP is amiss?

                                                          • 26. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                            Jacob Bugge MVP

                                                            Neil,

                                                             

                                                            I believe these key observations from your post #4 imply that the issue is with more than just the Xerox.

                                                             

                                                            If I save the 'Web.ai' originated (RGB) file as a PDF and open it in  Adobe Reader it opens and prints correctly (i.e. in colour).

                                                             

                                                            If I then  open the PDF in Illustrator and print from there, it reverts back to  monochrome.

                                                             

                                                            If  I print to the original document to the Adobe PDF printer driver the  resulting PDF file is created in monochrome - which seems odd to say the  least!

                                                             

                                                            The other printer sounds like a non PostScript printer. If you are  able to print to a non PostScript driver (I am not in 10), you may try  to use a non PostScript rinter driver for the Xerox.

                                                             

                                                            Maybe  it is PostScript related since the issue also applies to Print to PDF.

                                                            • 27. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                              Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                                              I thought I just wrote that?

                                                              • 28. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                Jacob Bugge MVP

                                                                Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I thought I just wrote that?

                                                                 

                                                                Almost; there were some urgent issues here yesterday, and therefore my post was some three hours underway; I finally just sent it and had to leave.

                                                                • 29. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                  Neil_O Community Member

                                                                  I have found a solution to the problem by installing and using the PCL 6.0 driver instead of the PostScript driver (interestingly the PostScript driver is recommended by Xerox).

                                                                   

                                                                  I am guessing that there must be a small error/discrepancy in the Xerox PostScript driver as it works fine in all other applications and indeed even in Illustrator with everything but RGB colour mode.

                                                                   

                                                                  This also stacks up against the way the problem materialised as it seems that the error is only apparent in the latest driver, the previous driver (as shipped on CD with the printer) works correctly (it was updated by a Microsoft Update Patch originally).

                                                                   

                                                                  It would be nice to raise this problem with Adobe and Xerox, but I wouldn't know where to start, so I'll stick with the PCL driver.

                                                                  • 30. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                    Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                                                    Here you can report it as a bug with Adobe here:

                                                                     

                                                                    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform.

                                                                     

                                                                    Edited.

                                                                     

                                                                    You know you can mark the thread answered without awarding points, I think by marking your own answer as the answer it unfortunately does not highlight your own posting but at least someone having the same problem might be able ti find it and scroll through thread and eventually come to your solution.

                                                                    • 31. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                      Jacob Bugge MVP

                                                                      Neil,

                                                                       

                                                                      I have found a solution to the problem by installing and using the PCL 6.0 driver instead of the PostScript driver (interestingly the PostScript driver is recommended by Xerox).

                                                                       

                                                                      I am guessing that there must be a small error/discrepancy in the Xerox PostScript driver as it works fine in all other applications and indeed even in Illustrator with everything but RGB colour mode.

                                                                       

                                                                      This also stacks up against the way the problem materialised as it seems that the error is only apparent in the latest driver, the previous driver (as shipped on CD with the printer) works correctly (it was updated by a Microsoft Update Patch originally).

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      This is strange ideed, but I believe a better solution may to use the original PostScript driver to make sure that the artwork is represented in the best way possible (there is a reason for using PostScript, some Illy versions, such as mine, even refuse to print to non PostScript).

                                                                       

                                                                      And it still leaves the same issue with printing to PDF unsolved.

                                                                       

                                                                      So I am afraid there is no real answer, at least not yet.

                                                                      • 32. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                        rcurley55

                                                                        I stumbled along this post because I was having a very similar issue. 

                                                                         

                                                                        My setup is a Windows XP machine with CS2 installed and Acrobat 9 Pro.  When printing any illustrator file to PDF that had ANY RGB content (didn't matter how the file started off life) the entire file was being forced to black and white.

                                                                         

                                                                        This issue just so happened to coincide with the installation of a new printer.  This new xerox was set as the default printer on my computer and by default it was set to print black and white.

                                                                         

                                                                        Removing the printer solved the issue

                                                                        I added the printer again, RGB files would still print in color

                                                                        I set the xerox as the default, again, all was well

                                                                        Then I set the xerox to default to printing black and white - this is what caused all pdf files printed from illustrator to go black and white if they had any RGB content.

                                                                         

                                                                        The fix for me was to set my xerox printer to default to color - not black and white.

                                                                         

                                                                        I realize this is a very old thread, but I figured I'd add what worked out well for me.  I've been tearing my hair out for days over this issue.

                                                                         

                                                                        Good luck!

                                                                        • 33. Re: RGB Only Prints in Black and White
                                                                          Neil_O Community Member

                                                                          Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                           

                                                                          I checked this, but the printer was already set to default colour mode.

                                                                           

                                                                          Reverting to the original printer driver fixed the problem.