Colors changing on PDF export from indesign

Participant ,
Jan 12, 2018 Jan 12, 2018

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I attached an image that shows how a teal color I'm using changes color when it's exported in Indesign. The image on the left is what ithe arrows are supposed to look like in Indesign and the one on the right is what happens to the teal arrows when its in PDF form. Any idea on why the color is getting desaturated on export to PDF?

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New Here , Sep 24, 2018 Sep 24, 2018
Sorry to revive an old thread. But I just had this problem and figured it out for my situation. If you have the problem again, make sure you the PDF you're opening it with is through Adobe Acrobat and not the built in Windows 10 default program. It looks like that program completely changes the hues in PDF's. When I opened in Acrobat all the colours for me were correct. I didn't need to re-save or change anything in my document settings or export settings. It was just the poor codec or something...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2018 Jan 12, 2018

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When exporting your pdf make sure that Color Conversion is set for "No Color Conversion" in the Output section of the Export Adobe PDF dialog Window. See screen shot:

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 2.07.12 PM.png

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Thank you Bill.  I searched long and hard for a simple answer to my problem of the colour changing when I exported from an Indesign file to a PDF for print and you solved my problem with one simple answer. Great thank you so much. Checking the 'no colour conversion box did the trick. 

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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Thank you bill, only answer that I needed and took me way to long to find. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 06, 2021 Apr 06, 2021

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I'm having the same problem. I have Acrobat set to No color conversion but when I have a document with RGB colors, they get converted to CMYK colors on export to PDF. The Transparency Blend Space in InDesign (CS6) can toggle between Document RGB and Document CMYK, and the colors in the InDesign document dull out when I change to Document CMYK the same way they do when I convert to PDF. Is there some other way to maintain RGB color when converting?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2018 Jan 12, 2018

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Well, when the colours are RGB and you export with conversion to CMYK in the PDF this is of course normal if some RGB colour areas are out of the CMYK gamut. You can always perform a softproof on screen to check this of course.

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Participant ,
Jan 12, 2018 Jan 12, 2018

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I have It set to no color conversion and the document is in rgb mode, any idea why this would still be happening?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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If you check the PDF in Acrobat Pro, the colors of the elements are in RGB? In which program are you viewing the PDF, in Acrobat on a desktop? Remember that Apples Preview is not rendering PDF very well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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AcrobatPro and Reader's Page Display preferences can affect the preview of RGB colors. Make sure Use Overprint Preview is set to Never and the Default Transparency Blend Space is set to RGB

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Screen Shot 1.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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True, however if there is no transparency applied (no ‘new’ colours have to be rendered) that should not matter...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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Acrobat's Overprint Preview preference set to Always forces a CMYK preview whether there's transparency or not.

It's the same as turning on Overprint or Separation Preview in InDesign, which forces a CMYK preview even when there is no transparency.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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Ah yes, Rob, true.

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Participant ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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I use adobe reader to check how the PDFs look, I will try acrobat and then change those settings in adobe reader and see if that changes anything.

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Participant ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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Turned off those options in adobe reader, tested it in both reader and acrobat again, both of them have the same issue with the color of teal

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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Try exporting with the default PDF/X-4 preset.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2018 Jan 13, 2018

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Are you using the latest AcrobatDC, v18?

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New Here ,
Sep 24, 2018 Sep 24, 2018

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Sorry to revive an old thread. But I just had this problem and figured it out for my situation. If you have the problem again, make sure you the PDF you're opening it with is through Adobe Acrobat and not the built in Windows 10 default program. It looks like that program completely changes the hues in PDF's.

When I opened in Acrobat all the colours for me were correct. I didn't need to re-save or change anything in my document settings or export settings. It was just the poor codec or something that Windows 10 uses.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 24, 2018 Sep 24, 2018

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That's right, many PDF viewers and browsers are not fully color managed and the color profiles and Output Intents often get ignored.

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New Here ,
Oct 12, 2020 Oct 12, 2020

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Hi Everyone!

I have some major issues I have trying to sort out and so far with no luck at all.  I am trying to export a file from InDesign to PDF and the colours are absolutely different.  I have tried - No Colour Conversion; replace and saved all transparencies; reinstalled PDF program, change the colours to hopefully receive the right output, but still no luck.  I am working in InDesign CS5 and this is the first time in years I have problems.  I have done hundreds of products with this program and inserted artworks in the same manner.  I am so stuck for ideas.  Please take a look at the colours.

screenshot of actual colours.pngpdf colours.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 13, 2020 Oct 13, 2020

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The colors you are using are outside of the CMYK color gamut, so if the cover is going to printed using CMYK process inks, Acrobat is showing you how the RGB colors will convert to CMYK when the cover is printed.

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