I'm editing a file made by someone else (it was a PDF, but I saved it as an .AI file after opening it), and it contains a few almost uneditable spot colors. I can change the actual color (by modifying CMYK values, or I can also convert them to RGB), but I can't change it into a process color (the dropdown box is inactive), and I can't remove it (the trashcan icon is inactive when the color is selected).

The thing is, I need to get rid of all the spot colors in the document, and convert them to process colors. What can I do here?

  • My first guess will be that you have a linked graphic in your Illustrator document containing spot-colors? If so: embed it, or remove spot-colors from that document.
    – 2rB
    May 20, 2020 at 13:46
  • Thanks for the reply! I thought so too, but there's nothing linked. The links panel is empty.
    – Meeep
    May 20, 2020 at 13:55
  • It's been a lot of years since I've seen this. Two questions. First, what version of Illustrator are you using. Second, have you tried making sure that all layers are unlocked (including sub-layers), then that all items are unlocked, and finally, selecting all, and going to Edit -> Edit Colors -> Convert all to CMYK?
    – Alith7
    May 20, 2020 at 14:25
  • I have the newest up to date Illustrator CC. I made sure everything's unlocked, selected everything, and did Edit -> Edit colors -> Convert to CMYK (there's no "all", and it required objects to be selected). That didn't fix anything, though.
    – Meeep
    May 20, 2020 at 15:15
  • This might be a bug. See the hacky solution in this answer. It's for InDesign, but it might work in Illustrator also.
    – Wolff
    May 20, 2020 at 15:22


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