Can Illustrator convert jpg (rgb) image to cmyk when saving PDF file?
Indesign can. Just wondering if this works also for Illustrator.
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In reality, you do not "save" to a PDF, you export to PDF.
PDF does not come in one flavor, it can and needs to be configured in several ways. These configurations are saved as a PDF profile.
The main options you need to take into account are:
RGB -> CMYK and PMS ->CMYK or export the native format (RGB will stay as RGB and PMS as such)
Save the color profile used in this conversion.
Resample images beyond a specific PPI resolution.
Method of compression of these images.
Flatten transparency and effects.
Embed fonts or convert them to shapes.
For your specific case, it is better to use a predefined profile, more specifically a PDF/X-1a 2003. This will give you a good set of combinations for this export. If you navigate thru the settings you can see what is in this configuration.
This PDF is NOT a saved file, it is a different file, an output file. Always save your work in the native format of the application, in this case AI.