When I open an InDesign file and edit a linked PSD by changing the color mode CMYK, I see a difference from my Windows PC to my Mac.

The other day I made a CMYK version of an PSD on a Mac and put it in my print file. Today, working on my Windows PC, I opened the InDesign file made a change to my PSD and changed the color mode to CMYK. When I relinked the PSD to my InDesign file I saw the color change.

I'm guessing that the values of the CMYK will be different when you change a PSD from RGB to CMYK on a Mac and on a Windows computer.

Does anyone else have the same/similar experience?

  • Has the computer you have been using been calibrated? If not expect the cmyk display to be random on the machine.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 13:24

3 Answers 3


There are many things to consider beyond RGB/CMYK or MAC/PC.

The first one is the CMYK color profile used for CMYK; if it's different, the results will be different as well. Did you use the exact same color profile? If so, the results would be the same on any computer.

Also, each screen has a color calibration with its own profile. If you didn't calibrate your monitor, colors will display differently. However, if CMYK profile attached to the image is the same, then the print result will also be the same, no matter how you see it on a screen.


Maybe your profile is wrong.

You SHOULD see a color change when converting from RGB to CMYK so that's normal to see. This might be the issue and then your problem is solved.

Additionally if you're converting to sRGB or other color profiles the source art might be holding onto a profile you don't want.

Regardless you should read up on color spaces and color profiles to further understand how they can benefit or harm the appearance of your work.

It's probably your monitors.

Colors will appear differently on different monitors and at different times of the day.

The "best" option is to calibrate your monitor but that requires expensive tools, software and more time than most firms are willing to invest.

If you are designing for print media you will be able to proof what you are working on and then adjust your design based on the output.

This document has good information about calibration and how to adjust, work with and remove profiles in adobe software.

  • i dont think hardware for doing the color calibration is that expensive. Its just that some people operate on less that a shoestring budget.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 22:05

Printing, and not monitor view. Talking monitor muddy’s this discussion I would think.

For me same color document (Word), un-retouched, prints close, not same, in Win., Mac, Office for Mac. We don’t care what screen renders.

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