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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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Yes. When saving a PDF, see the 'Color Conversion' options under the 'Output' tab.

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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:

  1. RGB -> CMYK and PMS ->CMYK or export the native format (RGB will stay as RGB and PMS as such)

  2. Save the color profile used in this conversion.

  3. Resample images beyond a specific PPI resolution.

  4. Method of compression of these images.

  5. Flatten transparency and effects.

  6. 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.

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