How to Change Color Mode in Adobe Illustrator

If your job or project requires you to continually move between color modes, it can appear annoying and challenging. If you are handed a file with the incorrect color mode, you might also need to modify it. Whatever the cause, Adobe Illustrator will make changing the color mode simple for you.

The document color mode, object color mode, and color panel color mode can all be changed in Illustrator. You can alternate between CMYK and RGB color modes in Document Color mode. 

There are numerous options available to adjust the color mode of the Color Panel, including RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, HSB, and more. It provides access to five different color modes for the object color mode.

In this article, I will be showing you two ways to change the color mode in Adobe Illustrator and what each color mode stands for. 

Method 1: Changing the Document Color Mode

Follow the steps below to change the document color mode. 

Step 1: CMYK and RGB are the only available options for the document color mode. From the overhead menu, choose File > Document Color Mode, and then choose the appropriate choice to easily modify it.

Method 2: Color Panel Color Mode  

Change the color mode by using the color panel

Step 1: Depending on the hues used in each color mode, the colors in the color panel will display various color ranges. By switching between these color settings, take a look at what you like the most. Your color scheme will by default be set to the same color mode as your document.

Step 2: To alter the color mode of your color panel, first navigate to your color palette by going to Window > Color Then, click the hidden menu that appears when you hover your mouse over the three parallel straight lines in the top-right corner of the color panel. 

Then, between Grayscale, RGB, HSB, CMYK, and Web Safe RGB, select the color mode you prefer.

Whatever the case, you can alter the color mode of your document whenever you like while working on your project. You might need to switch it from RGB to CMYK for printing.

What each color mode stands for:

RGB – This color option makes use of the additive method. There are numerous color variants due to the presence of the Red, Green, and Blue colors. RGB only exists in digital versions (e.g., mobile screens). 

The color components differ between systems and models even though RGB is present in the majority of electronic gadgets. As a result, a picture may appear on a screen differently depending on the brand.

CMYK Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). These four colors work together to create a variety of tones. Most printers can use this four-color process. 

Printing images is just layering four-color dots that produce varied colors and gradations (measured in dots per inch). The precise spectrum of colors represented by CMYK, despite being a widely used color model, might change depending on the press and printing circumstances.

Greyscale Although an image appears to be in black and white, it is actually composed of numerous degrees of gray. Both print and digital versions are available for use. Each digital image pixel has a value between 0 (black) and 255. (white). In print, the values describe the amount of black ink utilized and range from 0% (white) to 100% (black).

HSB Hue (H), saturation (S), and brightness (B) are the elements that make up the HSB color model. HSV is another name for HSB (with the components hue, saturation, and value).

Quick sum up:  

  • It’s highly advised to switch the document’s color mode to CMYK if you need to print your artwork.
  • RGB Color is designed for the web.
  • By selecting File Document Color Mode, you may view your color mode. 

Final Thoughts

Although there are multiple color modes it’s important to know which one you are working in since it can alter so much such as if you’re using your work for print, or web features. Hopefully, this guide helped you to understand color mode basics and know which one to use and how to change it. 

Any questions about changing the color mode in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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