What I want to achieve:

I want to copy an image in Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop. The image is just a grey circle with a #d1d1d1 fill and no stroke.

The problem:

Bottom line, the color of what I'm pasting changes.The pasted image is a different shade of grey: #d5d6d8.

What I've tried:

I've checked my color settings in both Photoshop and Illustrator (Edit > Color Settings). The settings are identical.

Any ideas on what's causing the color difference?


4 Answers 4


The problem isn't in your color settings, it's in the document color modes and colors. From what you describe, you have your Illustrator document in CMYK and your Photoshop document in RGB or vice versa.

The #d5d6d8 you're seeing is very close to the screen representation of CMYK that I get after I eyedropper a #d1d1d1 RGB object in Photoshop into a CMYK object in Illustrator.

After quite a bit of experimenting, though, I wasn't able to reproduce your exact problem by just pasting into PS from AI, even when I brutalized and mismatched color profiles, turned color management off and on, etc. If your color settings include "Convert to Profile" (see the Color Management Policies in the dialog below), you should have no problem if the color profile and color space being used in each document are the same.

enter image description here


You have to make sure that both images and both software are using the same color.

Check the color type the images are using and be sure it's identical.

Also, to make sure both applications are using the same colors, save the color settings from Photoshop in a file, then load the file in Illustrator.

If the problem persist, be sure your VGA drivers are not changing or using two different settings for some of your applications. Could be that some color correction effects are being applied only to one of the two software.

Try printing the same color with the same printer using both softwares (assuming your prints have been identical using both softwares until now), and check if the color is the same.

Of course, you have to check both application colors on the same monitor.

  • Most of your answer would be correct if the problem was only a visual difference between the two colors. The color numbers in the application wouldn't change because of monitor or graphics driver differences, only the appearance on screen. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 0:47

Experienced this issue, in my case I copied a graphic from Illustrator CC 2015 into Photoshop CC 2015. because the Illustrator document originally created with CMYK profile and later changed to RGB, the existing objects created between caused the colors to be attributed as CMYK when Photoshop handled them.

Possible Workaround:

  1. Select the problematic graphic
  2. Edit -> Edit Colors -> Convert to RGB
  3. Copy & Paste in Photoshop

    enter image description here


Here's what finally helped to me:

  1. Save as PDF from Photoshop
  2. Open PDF in Illustrator

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