How to Convert to CMYK in Photoshop

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Choosing the correct color mode for your image is central to ensuring that the colors on the screen match the final printed product. Photoshop creates images in RGB color mode, which is suitable for displaying images on computer monitors, image editing and desktop printing. However, commercial printers often use CMYK, or Process Color mode. CMYK represents four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Photoshop separates and replaces colors during conversion from RGB to CMYK, so you may notice some slight tonal differences.

  • Launch Adobe Photoshop and open an RGB image.

  • Complete editing the file, including color adjustments.

  • Click File and choose "Save as."

  • Check the box next to As a Copy. Choose a name and click "Save."

  • Open the new file and then close the original.

  • Flatten the file by clicking Layer and selecting Flatten Image.

  • Click Image, select Mode and choose CMYK Color.

  • Save the file.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use adjustment modes such as Hue and Saturation and Color Balance to tweak colors.
  • It is not necessary to convert to CMYK if you are using a desktop printer.
  • CMYK image files contain more color data than RGB files, which results in larger file sizes.
  • Color data is permanently altered by this conversion and layers will be lost if you do not save a backup copy of the original file.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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