3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2009 7:57 PM by Wade_Zimmerman

    Probably a noob question...swatches palette


      Hi all, I work for a magazine publisher and I have an ad that was originally a PDF from a client. They needed some changes made to text and other elements so I opened it in Illustrator CS4 and did most of the changes. However there are some spot colors in use in the document that I need to make CMYK for printing purposes. I double-click on the name of the swatch and it pulls up the options. I then change it from book color to CMYK but the option to change it from a spot color stays grayed out. How do I change the spot colors to be separated? The document color mode is already CMYK, and I've tried the Edit->Edit colors->Convert to CMYK route but it messes up my transparency pretty badly. I've done google searches but have found nothing. My only other option is to do all the customer changes, then rasterize the ad in Photoshop which I'd rather not do in case they come back with more changes in the future. I even tried changing the spot colors in Acrobat using Pitstop but it wasn't totally successful. I've spent half the day on this and the ad needs to go out! =( Thanks ahead of time for any help.

        • 1. Re: Probably a noob question...swatches palette
          Scott Falkner Level 6

          Editing a PDF in Illustrator is a resort-after-the-last-resort maneuver. You should try to get hold of the original file and edit that. But you probably know that already and have either ruled out asking for it or been told it is unavailable, so here we are.


          Your best bet for editing the colours is to do it in Acrobat, not Illustrator. Use Acrobat’s Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview command, you can convert any spot colours to process. Probably the colours are used in some objects that Illustrator cannot interpret into fully editable artwork. This often happens with areas where transparency was flattened when the PDF was made.

          • 2. Re: Probably a noob question...swatches palette
            M.Jay.Victor Level 2

            Can you change color there? I thought it was only in the Convert Colors window...

            On a side note, if you still get anything odd there, you can try to import the PDF to ID and then change the color. Ive gotten different results with each method.

            • 3. Re: Probably a noob question...swatches palette
              Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

              You can also try this from Illustrator's print dialog there is the option to convert spot colors to process and you can use the option to print to a Adobe postscript file which can be opened in Illustrator or distilled. I t looks like it does a very good job on the conversion.