Prep Like A Pro

How to Change Color Mode to CMYK

Ryan Sias

How to Make Sure You are Working with CMYK

When preparing a file for print, it is best to be sure you are using the CMYK color mode to get the best results. When possible, try to make sure you are designing with CMYK at the beginning of the design process. We have created a handy-dandy guide to show you how to make sure that you are working in the CMYK space.

If you would like to bone up on your color chops, be sure to check out our guide to RGB vs CMYK!

Below are instructions and screenshots for navigating your way to using CMYK color for Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. The images below come from a Mac, but if you are using Windows, the same steps apply.

Change Color Mode to CMYK in Adobe Illustrator

Click “File” at the upper left corner of the taskbar, and select “Document Color Mode” near the bottom of the menu. Next, simply select “CMYK Color”.


In Adobe Photoshop: Click “Image” near the upper left corner of the taskbar, and select “Color Mode”. Next, simply select “CMYK Color”.


In Adobe Indesign: Click “Window” near the right side of the taskbar, highlight “Color” on the dropdown menu, and then select “Color” in the next menu. Next, on the Color box that will appear, click the icon in the upper right corner of the box (with 4 horizontal lines) and select “CMYK”.


It is also worth noting that when you start a new document in InDesign you have the option of creating a document for print or web. When creating a new document, you will be prompted with the box you see below. If you select “Print” at the top of the screen as you see highlighted here, your document will automatically use the CMYK color mode. If you select “Web”, your document will use the RGB color mode.

There you have it! Now you know how to make certain that you are in the CMYK Color Mode when saving a file for print.


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