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How to change all book photos from RGB to CMYK.

Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2023 Mar 10, 2023

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I think I'm in over my head. When I go to package my book, it tells me I have an error that 501 out of 505 (about) photos are in the wrong color scheme.  I've looked at as many posts here as I can find but haven't found an answer. I've looked at some YouTube videos, but I can't seem to follow them. In some cases I'm told to click here and, on the drop-down menu click here. The click here part I can't find. I don't know if  I want to change the RGB to CMYK. If you can tell me what setting I have wrong, I would appreciate it. I"ve tried to include the photos I thought were necessary, but if you want another, I'll try to get it.

 

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Explorer , Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

Thank you for all the responses esp. on color management. It's enough to satisfy my curiosity. From what I know now I must send it as single pages and preferably it needs to be converted to CMYK somewhere along the line. My understanding right now is that this can be done when the PDF is set up. Since I haven't done this before. this could be interesting. I might be back with more questions but will spend some time searching YouTube yet today.  Also a will be checking with the printer to clarify

...

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2023 Mar 10, 2023

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First of all - don't panic 😉

 

What will you do with your document ?

 

Will it (a) be printed - where / how - or just PDF for internet (b) ?

 

If  (a) - then you need to get info from your printer about COLOR PROFILE - then just export your INDD file to PDF using this profile - plus more info from them about how this PDF should be prepared.

 

If (b) - then you still should use some more or less "standard" color profile for internet - but others should pitch in 😉

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2023 Mar 10, 2023

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I know that warning can look scary, but it's more of an alert to pay attention than an error. It wants you to know you have RGB images so if you're chosing a CMYK profile in the PDF settings you know you'll be converting them to CMYK.

 

  • If you are only making a digital PDF (not for printing), RGB images are fine.
  • If you'll be printing the file commerically, then images should be converted to CMYK which can be done in the PDF settings (and some presets already do it automatically). If you'll be using a specific printer (service) ask them what PDF settings (profile) they recommend. Depending on their knowledge and skill level they may not know, but it can't hurt to ask.

— Adobe Certified Expert & Instructor at Noble Desktop | Web Developer, Designer, InDesign Scriptor

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2023 Mar 10, 2023

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There is no need to change your RGB to CMYK. In fact, you are better to leave them as RGB, especially if you are just packaging the file assets. (Why are you doing this anyway? the proper procedure these days is to export a PDF and supply that to the printer). The "warning" is simply to alert you to that fact so you can decide what to do. You can ignore it.

Pre-converting the images to CMYK, particularly if you are using a destination profile not appropriate for your printer's workflow can irreparably limit the fidelity of your images. There's no going back.

Most high-end commercial/quality printshops have a RIP workflow that will convert your RGB images appropriately for their presses. If they know what they are doing, it won't get better than that. Even if they don't THEY can convert the images in Acrobat.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2023 Mar 11, 2023

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This is all for a history book we are having printed. When talking to the sales rep she said they must be CMYK. It sounds like I should get some information from the print people. I did not know that PDF files were the way to send them. The other book we had printed they wanted packaged in the InDesign program and sent on a thumb drive. This printer wants it sent skipping the thumb drive. I'll check it out.

  This brings up another question. If it is going to converted to CMYK, why would I not want to work in that profile rather than RGB if there are color changes when converted? Just curious.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 11, 2023 Mar 11, 2023

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What kind of "history book"? 

 

With a lot of B/W or sepia photos? Then you should DEFINITELY take control over their look - calibrated monitor, etc. and ask for proofs BEFORE printing anything.

 

If those are full color photos - then you can leave them as RGB - but iron out all the details with the printing guys anyway. 

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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Probably 2/3 of the photos are B/W or sepia photos. The history goes back to 1890.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 11, 2023 Mar 11, 2023

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quote

If it is going to converted to CMYK, why would I not want to work in that profile rather than RGB if there are color changes when converted? Just curious.


By @Northporter

 

Without getting too complex into color management... scans and photos start as RGB and must be converted at some point to CMYK (the question is when). RGB is device independant and allows for a greater range of color. CMYK is device/paper specific and has a more limited range of color. Leaving them as RGB when importing them into InDesign allows you change how you're converting to CMYK by simply changing a color profile in InDesign when making the PDF. This gives you more flexibility (you can switch papers/printers with one menu change).


— Adobe Certified Expert & Instructor at Noble Desktop | Web Developer, Designer, InDesign Scriptor

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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If it is going to converted to CMYK, why would I not want to work in that profile rather than RGB if there are color changes when converted?

 

Hi @Northporter , InDesign allows you to mix objects with different color spaces and profiles on the same page—if you check the document’s assigned profiles (Edit>Assign Profiles...), you will see a document has both a CMYK and RGB profile assignment. You don’t need to convert RGB colors to CMYK in order to get a CMYK preview—if you turn on Overprint or Separation preview, the page will preview in the document’s assigned CMYK profile—the expected print output.

 

But, if you are providing a Package rather than a PDF, and the printer wants all color to be CMYK, you would need to convert the images to CMYK before placing them.

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Explorer ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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Thank you for all the responses esp. on color management. It's enough to satisfy my curiosity. From what I know now I must send it as single pages and preferably it needs to be converted to CMYK somewhere along the line. My understanding right now is that this can be done when the PDF is set up. Since I haven't done this before. this could be interesting. I might be back with more questions but will spend some time searching YouTube yet today.  Also a will be checking with the printer to clarify what is expected. Thank you again for all the responses.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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Check with the Printer FIRST - only then do any conversions if necessary.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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If you decide to convert images individually (instead of when making the PDF), be sure to keep backups of your originals in case you need them. Converting from RGB to CMYK changes the color info so converting the CMYK back to RGB will not give you back the same original.


— Adobe Certified Expert & Instructor at Noble Desktop | Web Developer, Designer, InDesign Scriptor

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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My understanding right now is that this can be done when the PDF is set up.

 

Are you Packaging or sending a PDF?

 

If you are sending a PDF an all CMYK PDF would be simply a matter of setting the Output tab to this, which exports all color to your document’s assigned CMYK space—Coated GRACoL 2006 in this example:

 

Screen Shot 3.png

 

Or you can use the default PDF/X-4 preset, which leaves color unchanged and ensures that all RGB color has a source color profile, which a printer could use to make a CMYK conversion on their end:

 

Screen Shot 4.png

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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Leave the images as they are. It is not an error. When you export to PDF you can convert them to the CMYK profile you want to have (or the printer requires.) B&W convert to greyscale.

 

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New Here ,
Nov 16, 2023 Nov 16, 2023

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I have been working as a graphic designer for over 35 years. What I prefer is to convert all my rgb jpgs to CMYK pdfs, then link them into my InDesin doc. The printer will convert it automatically during the RIP process, but if you want to control the outcome of your photos, I recommend converting them yourself and adjusting as needed. I generally like to adjust the photos using levels. (Lighten overall and then bring back the black level). 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 16, 2023 Nov 16, 2023

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I generally like to adjust the photos using levels. (Lighten overall and then bring back the black level).

 

Hi @munyart If your images need adjusting after making the conversion to CMYK then you’ve likely used the wrong profile for the conversion (or your Monitor Profile is not accurate).

 

For example if you make a CMYK conversion to the default US Web Coated SWOP profile, and print the images on a press running to the US Sheetfed Coated profile, the images would print too dark because the actual press profile is not US Web Coated SWOP. If the conversion Destination was set to US Sheetfed Coated, the resulting CMYK values would be lighter and you would not need the post CMYK adjustment.

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