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Hi, I'm working in InDesign 2021 in CMYK transparency blend space. I create a block of colour and spec CMYK values. I copy and paste this block and the CMYK values have changed. This seems to be because the colour picker is swapping from RGB to HSB. I cannot get it to remain in one or the other. Please help!
I'm not an expert in the black art of color management (are you allowed to say that nowadays?) Anyway, why are you working in HSB and CMYK when most experts say you should keep your images in RGB color mode and make any conversions (normally) through the PDF you supply your printer?. Just wonderin'.
Hi Derek, thanks for that — I hadn't heard that before. I always work in CMYK if it's a document for print. It's worked for me up until now! I'm having to revert to using InDesign 2020 until I can get this problem sorted. I can't have my colour values changing all the time. Can anybody help?
The reason for the workflow I suggested is that the correct profile for conversion from RGB to the CMYK profile for the particular printing process and substrate can be selected for more accurate reproduction.
By the way you know about "soft proofing"?
LinkedIn Learning have an excellent online video tutorial on InDesign and Color Management by David Blatner -- you can get 30-days free access.
Hi Derek, there would be good reasons to pick native CMYK colors for InDesign fills and strokes. If you wanted a perfectly neutral gray it can’t be RGB, which would output to a 4-color gray. Also, depending on the source RGB profile it is very difficult to control and output primary or saturated CMYK colors—it’s impossible to output 100% cyan or yellow if the document RGB profile is a small space like sRGB.
Yes Rob, that's why I deliberately chose the word "images".
Emma is picking InDesign color.
There is a color related bug to watchout for in the latest updates—after a CC update InDesign’s Color settings can get set to Emulate InDesign 2.0 CMS Off. So check your Color Settings.
This seems to be because the colour picker is swapping from RGB to HSB.
Also, the Color Picker has always been context sensitive, the Color Mode of the chosen swatch or color is dependent on where your cursor is in the dialog. If you want to pick a CMYK color, put your cursor in one of the C, M, Y, or K fields—the Add Swatch button will then change to Add CMYK Swatch, and your chosen color will be CMYK.
It can be confusing because the value fields determine the chosen color mode, while the radio buttons set the Picker’s Color Space View—you can pick color in the Hue color space view, and make a CMYK color by clicking inside of a CMYK field.
Hi Rob, thanks for your reply. I'm entering my colour values in the CMYK fields. By default, there's always an active radio button in either HSB or RGB on the left. The problems are occurring for me when I copy and paste an object. I go back to look at the colour and the CMYK values have shifted because the radio button on the left has changed to RGB from HSB (or vice versa) without me touching it.
I've been setting my colour setting in Bridge (so that it syncs across all the Adobe apps) to match that of the rest of the design agency, who don't have any problems.
I've been setting my colour setting in Bridge (so that it syncs across all the Adobe apps) to match that of the rest of the design agency, who don't have any problems
The bug is specific to the InDesign Color Settings. Don’t check via Bridge, open the InDesign Color Settings, if you are experiencing the bug you will get this even when Bridge is synced:
when I copy and paste an object. I go back to look at the colour and the CMYK values have shifted
If you select the copied source and pasted destination objects, and check the Color panel (not the Color Picker) is the color mode CMYK?
A CMYK defined Swatch:
Or an unamed CMYK color:
Thanks Rob. I checked the colour settings in InDesign and it is retaining the ones I set in Bridge. The colour panel for my swatches is appearing as a CMYK defined swatch, as you demonstrated, cheers.
It seems to be that if I create a swatch, the colour stays stable. However, if I spec the colour via the fill box, it shifts. I've made a little video to demonstrate. As you can see, the colour picker is in RGB when I create the object, then in HSB once I've copied it and return to look at the specs.
Please ignore the faffing around at the end — I didn't know how to stop the recording!
In your .mov capture you tabbed out of the CMYK fields and your cursor was in the H field when you chose the color, so your color choice was HSB not CMYK. If you don’t tab out of the CMYK fields and click OK or Add CMYK Swatch the color will be CMYK.
From your .mov:
Before you selected the H field you could have chosen the CMYK color
Here’s how the new HSB Color Picker normally works.
I’ve spec’d a CMYK build of 0|0|0|50, but because I have selected 214 in the H field, I’m getting an Add HSB Swatch. If I’m not paying attention, I might think I’m picking my CMYK 50% Black build, but I’m actually adding an HSB defined swatch:
If I select 50 in the K field, the button changes to Add CMYK Swatch, even though the Color Space View is HSB. In this case I will get a 50% Black CMYK swatch because my cursor is in one of the CMYK fields
If I fill an object with the HSB swatch, and open the Color Picker, the CMYK fields show the color managed conversion from the HSB’s RGB values to CMYK, which normally would be a 4-color mix and not my original 50% Black
If I fill the object with the CMYK swatch and open the Color Picker, the fill is my 50% Black CMYK build:
Rob, you've solved it! It was me with all my tabbing! Thank you so much!! I have added colours in this way for years, always tabbing the last entry to feel like it's properly entered. It wasn't an issue in InDesign 2020 because of the layout of the colour picker. Good spotting Rob!