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Challenge recreating color swatch in a new document

Participant ,
Mar 06, 2024 Mar 06, 2024

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About eight months ago I upgraded i7 machine from Windows 7 to 10 and updated all CC apps. Also updated GPU for then-current CC apps, all compatible (disabled auto-update so it's all unchanged for these 8 months) and all working perfectly all this time.

 

I have an InDesign document that was created a few years ago, before those upgrades. It was giving me an "old Type 1 fonts" warning, so I decided to create a new document from scratch, manually replicating everything.

 

When I went to replicate a color swatch I saw the old document showed the color as Process CMYK and all four values went to two decimal places (probably did eyedropper from another image in the past when I created that).

 

For some reason, replicating every one of those specs identically for a new swatch in the new document resulted in a considerably different color, similar but substantically different.

 

So, in the old file I changed it to Process RGB (which was not showing any decimals) and matched those settings in the new file and it came out essentially the same as the color in the old file. So, it worked.

 

I'm just wondering why it wouldn't have matched with CMYK. And also which type of settings is ideal for solid colors moving forward -- all either going on the web or being printed on paper with digital printing.

 

Thanks.

 

Jay

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 09, 2024 Mar 09, 2024

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I've no idea why it won't be the same - if the colour values are the same the output is the same - if you make a PDF and the CMYK values are correct - then how it looks on different computers is irrelevant.

 

RGB might have worked for you cos monitors are RGB not CMYK so the values are not converted from CMYK to RGB for the monitor - a RGB value is a value and might look better but it has a different gamut to CMYK. 

 

So what was the CMYK settings in your colour settings?

I guess we need a lot more information from your side - in terms of colour settings.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2024 Mar 10, 2024

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For some reason, replicating every one of those specs identically for a new swatch in the new document resulted in a considerably different color, similar but substantically different.

 

Hi @JayNewWeb , The appearance of a CMYK or RGB value depends on your document's assigned CMYK or RGB profiles. To match color appearance between two existing documents you'll have to match the documents' assigned profiles, as well as the color values. Use Edit>Assign Profiles to change document assignments (your  Color Settings Working Profiles normally have no affect on existing documents).

 

Also, CMYK values that are not whole numbers usually indicate that the color was converted from an RGB or Lab color. CMYK colors are 8-bits per channel (256 gray levels), so a color managed conversion is not limited to the whole values in the 0-100 scale.

 

For example:

Screen Shot 29.png

 

Screen Shot 30.png

 

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