Export for Screens, CMYK to RGB
When working in a CMYK Illustrator file, the Export for Screens function currently creates CMYK jpgs. Since it is for screens, it should convert to RGB. Or at least there should be an option to convert the color mode for the exported files.
In a package design project, the files are primarily for printing, but digital mockups are a secondary purpose. So it is necessary for the CMYK color mode to be converted to RGB. Export for Screens seems like it should inherently create RGB files.
This functionality is available in our latest release build – 27.6.1.
Color Model selection for JPG is available in Export For Screens -> Advanced settings. Illustrator will allow you to choose - RGB, CMYK or Grayscale color model.
What's New in the release - https://helpx.adobe.com/in/illustrator/using/whats-new.html
Thank you for all the feedback.
Peter, actually Illustrator respects overprint on Export... we talked about here:
Can you recheck at and reply back with the observations?
As for the profile embedding — please upvote this report:
Peter Maas commented
Nice improvement, I always disliked to find that the export in Jpeg could not be set to RGB. But why doesn't PNG have the Option of embedding the chosen color profile? Why is there no simulation of overprint when you export to Jpeg? anywhere in Illustrator? And Pantone is not simulator very well either.
At the moment I find that exporting to a bitmap format gives the best Result when I:
1. save the illustrator file as EPS
2 place the EPS in InDesign
3 have InDesign to show overprint
4 export to jpeg from InDesign, with overprint simulation ON
That being said, I Think it should be possible with Adobe Technology to het a similar Result from Illustrator. But then someone should improve the Application.
Fuzen Co. commented
Excellent! This is wonderful. Now if you could add the ability to embed sRGB profile to Photoshop also I will be a happy camper.
Anthony Esau commented
I'm grateful this functionality has been implemented! Thank you!
Unfortunately, Illustrator forgets that it was set to export to RGB whenever it is closed so I've created a new issue to document the bug:
Go vote for it if you have encountered the bug, please!
I think that, to keep things simple, the feature should be along with the options for the exporter for screens.
Putting it anywhere else will be confusing for users and will conflate the meaning of features that are already well streamlined.
For instance: Color proof options under the ' View' menu have a very specific purpose: You want to preview how the output gamut will affect your artwork. People who know how to use that feature expect that the function produces a non-destructive, temporary rendering of how the image will look in the output gamut. Putting an export option there would be in my opinion quite misplaced and misleading.
Also, I would leave Appearance of Black alone. It has a very specific purpose that is known by users and has been there for years. Removing a familiar function and replacing it with a new one can be confusing as well.
The issue discussed here affects a very specific portion of Adobe Illustrator: The export for screens. That function has already a settings section, where you can (finally) set the color format of the exported image. Personally I think the most reasonable choice is to place this option along with that color format selector, allowing users to choose either to export a true RGB rendering of the artwork (which will preserve the appearance of spot inks) or export a 'baked' soft proof in the RGB export (what it does now).
If you ask me specifically where to put this option, I'd put it in the advanced settings of the 'export for screens' function. A checkbox under the one for embedding the profile, with the label "softproof CMYK colours" or something like that, off by default, and grayed-out when the color model selected is not RGB.
@Guillermo, I agree.
If this option gets added, where do you think is the best place for looking for it?
1. Preferences > Former 'Appearance of Black' (Appearance of Color)
2. View > Proof section or even Proof Setup submenu
3. Edit > Color Settings
I feel like it should be the 4th option - appearance of black, just renamed as "color appearances"
Egor, I think it should be kept as simple as possible.
In my opinion, these two workflows should be considered:
- export an RGB image clipped to the CMYK gamut.
- export an RGB image preserving the appearance of spot inks.
For the first case, the expected output is some sort of soft-proof of the CMYK output. The current behavior covers this.
For the latter, exporting the overprint preview or temporarily and automatically switching the color mode to RGB would be desirable.
as how to express it in the UI, I think that a simple checkbox (off by default) with the label "simulate CMYK output", "cmyk softproof" or "softproof CMYK documents" would suffice to communicate the function.
That checkbox should be dependent on the output colorspace, grayed-out when the output isn't RGB.
Huh, it’s the same way I use to render vivid Pantones in a CMYK document :/ and I confess that at least once I occasionally saved the document, ruining the values.
I wonder what is the best scenario would be to address this?
1. Display vivid Pantones in CMYK, directly converting Lab values into screen space, all the time
2. Only in Overprint preview
3. Only on export
4. Only with an appropriate setting enabled in Preferences > Appearance of Black (but rename the section?)
Which way seems the less confusing and more useful to you?
That's what I've been doing for years. It's not very convenient, as you have to either create a copy of the file in RGB or risk to accidentally save over your CMYK file if you forget to close the file without saving when you're done.
Guillermo, I understand what you mean. As a workaround you can convert the Document Color Mode to RGB, export and Undo the Document Color Conversion.
Ton, of course jpeg doesn't support spot colours. Computer screens don't support them either, but your PDF viewer shows you a rendition of them on-screen anyway.
You'll notice that in RGB documents, Pantone Formula colours look as vibrant as in the swatches panel. This is because you're looking at an RGB rendition of those colors (which are internally CIELab values, iirc).
Many bright, saturated colours that are not printable in CMYK are usually achievable with RGB, even using a reduced colorspace as sRGB.
And that's what you get in the swatches panel, or in the overprint preview in illustrator: an RGB rendition of those colours that "feels" closer to the real thing than the dull CMYK alternative (which btw has to be converted from CMYK to RGB for on-screen display anyway).
Long story short: If you want to show Spot Colours on screen, chances are that RGB is the safest choice. Right now, if the document is set to CMYK, you don't have that possibility in illustrator. This means that if you're creating a 2-ink design in Illustrator using two pantone colours, your export (even when you choose RGB for the output) will be clipped to the gamut of the CMYK profile defined for the document.
In my opinion that's wrong and undesirable.
Oh, and regarding using PDF instead: You don't export bitmaps from your artwork only for showing the design to your clients. You may also need your design as a bitmap texture for a previsualization of a packaging piece done with some 3D software. Of course you may go the long road and separate the spot ink plate in a different texture and produce a spectral shader based on your pantone ink for the best rendering possible of that colour, but RGB is a reasonable shortcut.
Guillermo, jpeg does not support spot colors, use PDF instead for your client.
Hi, thank you for adding this feature. It's definitely better than what we had before, but it still has room for improvement: When the source file is CMYK, all the spot colours are still converted to the CMYK gamut, no matter what color model is selected for the output.
This is undesirable, as users usually pick spot colours to be able to reproduce colour that is not attainable via process (CMYK) printing.
When we have a CMYK design with spot inks for packaging, for instance, we want to export screen samples that reproduce the spot colour as close as the colour that will be printed, not a CMYK rendition.
Personally, the overprint preview is what I expect form an export for screens from a CMYK artwork. Of course, for people who are outputting to four-ink process printing, the current output is also desirable, so the ideal solutio would be to have an extra setting to choose between both of those modes.
For extra clarity, I'll add a simple example:
One of my clients has Pantone Orange 021 as corporate colour (which is not printable with CMYK). All the packaging work we do for them is 5 inks: CMYK + Orange 021.
Currently I don't have a straightforward way to export those designs for screens keeping the Orange 021 appearance, as it's exported as a CMYK rendition of that Pantone.
The overprint preview in Illustrator shows the apparance I want, but I can't export it, unless I destructively convert the file to RGB for export, which is a problem, because I have to work with a copy just for an export or risk overwriting the original design with the RGB one by accident if I forget to close without saving.
Mary Ann Kelley commented
Is this available for the Mac version? It is showing up to date at 27.5.
Peter, while I share the enthusiasm (yay, hooray), can you be a bit more specific with your sarcasm? :)
Presets/profiles is one thing, prefixes/suffixes is another one, and CMYK JPEGs is what this particular report is about.
If you have some other requests and reports — you can go ahead and upvote them, or make a new one if you think it’s overlooked. It’s easier to break it all at once, but it’s hard to fix it... One at a time, one per entry, step by step.
The change is available in the Beta, you can try it yourself — and change the bet, if you like. Please comment back if it does not work as expected.
Nice! 6 years flew by unnoticed! Who needs RGB images for screens, when you can have a full four-color composite?! :D
It would be exciting to see Illustrator's team workflow! They just made export profiles for "export for screens"! One would think they would fix the whole F-up this dialogue screen is! You are writing the new code right next to the broken one! You could just spend more hours and do it right! Yeah, right!
Let's place our bets! I say they will not make it until the end of this year (7mo). It's just too complicated! :D
Rick Lecoat commented
Also, I notice that the ‘Format Settings’ dialogue box shown in Adobe's own help pages (https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/collect-assets-export-for-screens.html#exported-assets) doesn’t match the one in the application itself. The online guide clearly shows the option to choose a specific colour model for the export on a format-by-format basis. The same dialogue in the application lacks any such options.
Export For Screens is, clearly then, something of a chaotic mess, which is a shame because it's incredibly useful and something that, until I discovered that it was outputting only CMYK jpegs, I was using to generate a very large number of ‘screen usage’ conversions of spot colour logos. Other than laboriously converting all those jpegs to RGB in Photoshop I'm not sure what my workaround is (and even if I go down that route there's no guarantee that the RGB colour arrived at would be the same as converting direct from spot ink to RGB in a single step — that intermediate CMYK conversion during export might throw things off).
Adobe: PLEASE FIX THIS.
Rick Lecoat commented
I too arrived here after googling for a solution to ‘Export For Screens’ seemingly having reverted to its old erroneous behaviour of exporting CMYK images from its ‘JPG 100’ setting. Also, although the lower-quality jpeg export settings — JPG 80, etc — DO create RGB images (as one would expect from a functions called ‘Export For Screens’), they also embed those images with CMYK profiles, which will cause Photoshop (for example) to ignore the profile and treat the image as untagged.
This needs an urgent fix.
(NB. this issue seems to have reappeared in Illustrator’s most recent update or so. Previously to that it was outputting jpegs as RGB images as expected (I say this because I have been using the same workflow and the same export presets to export a large number of CMYK/spot colour logo files for screen use over the last few weeks/months and it is only recently that the JPG 100 exports have suddenly started to appear as CMYK files).
This is fkn hilarious.