I was under the impression that, to convert the colour mode of an InDesign document, you just had to modify Edit > Transparency Blend Space and change the colour mode of all swatches.

But I've recently realised that the default Black swatch will stay as it was when the document was created... and of course, you can't modify it in the way that you can with other swatches.

I suppose you could create a new 'black' swatch and set all blacks to that. But it would be a little tricky to select all of the default blacks to change them (maybe you would miss some).

Is there a more feasible solution to this without having to create a new document?

1 Answer 1


Try this one:

First, save your file as IDML.
Knowing that an IDML file is basically an archive of XML files, you can open it as an archive (using a (de)compression tool). Do not decompress it, just open the archive.
Open the Resources folder, then the Preferences.XML file.
In a text editor, look for


and change to


or obviously, the other way round depending whether you want to change [Black] to RGB or CMYK.

Save in archive and reopen the IDML file in Indesign.
Hope that helps

Edit: Oh, and by the way, if you have tons of swatches, you may want to run a single line script to change them all to RBG or CMYK (or Lab, why not...)

app.activeDocument.colors.everyItem().properties = {space:ColorSpace.CMYK};


app.activeDocument.colors.everyItem().properties = {space:ColorSpace.RGB};

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