Converting RGB to CMYK in Illustrator

I often find the need to convert RGB files to CMYK (and visa versa) in Adobe Illustrator. The trouble is I always forget how to do it! Therefore I've drawn up a simple 3 step process to help.

  • RGB and CMYK aren't the same
    RGB and CMYK aren't the same

Being a web designer I live in the world of RGB and the thought of CMYK and the finality of print scares me (a lot!). However, I regularly need to convert a logo to CMYK in Adobe Illustrator from a graphic that is in RGB colour mode. To do this in Illustrator you simply do the following:

  • Go to File » Document Color Mode and check CMYK

Yeh I know it's simple but being a AI newbee, I have spent ages searching for a solution before remembering. This process also works in reverse (CMYK to RGB):

  1. Go to File » Document Color Mode and check RGB.
  2. Select everything in your document and go Filter » Color » Convert to RGB.

A good way to check what colours are being used in your document is to:

  1. Open up the colour pallette.
  2. Bring up the menu by clicking the little arrow in the top right hand corner and select "Small List View". This brings up (suprise suprise) a list view of all colours with a little symbol representing the colour mode type (ie: RGB, CMYK...etc).
  3. Now click on an element in your document and the list will jump to the colour being used. You can then determine whether it's CMYK or RGB...etc

Hope this helps

Deep Blue Sky
Bath's local experts for web design

27 Comments on this post

Add your comment…