I'm more comfortable with resizing/cropping images in Paint.NET. My wife needs to submit a portrait for something and the requirements are a 3x5 300 DPI JPG or TIFF in CMYK. I can handle the size and resolution, but I have no clue how to save an image as CMYK. I'm clueless enough that I don't even know if "save image as CMYK" is the wrong thing to ask.

I found a Paint .NET plugin that seems like it does separation, but it doesn't mention if it saves the image so it is a CMYK image. I found an article about similar GIMP plugins but I'm still not sure if it's right.

I've got a 300 DPI bitmap appropriately sized and I'm assuming it's in RGB since I haven't fiddled with anything. Is there a free, easy process by which I can turn this into a JPG/TIFF with the CMYK color space?

4 Answers 4


I'm not at all familiar with Paint .NET. However RGB and CMYK are both color models. A lot of programs have a setting that allows you to change which color mode you are using. But after I Googled around a bit I found out that Paint .NET doesn't support CMYK (or at least not on its own).

GIMP, another free image-editing software also doesn't support CMYK directly but it does offer plug-ins. On their wiki about CMYK support they mention:

CMYK color model (or CMYK mode) is used mostly by DTP professionals that need to output images intended for commercial printing. For an average home user or even professional photographers, support for separating images using CMYK color is not necessary.

Even when you see Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black cartridges in your ink-jet or color laser printer, it doesn't mean that you need to feed it a CMYK file. In fact, most of them actually accept only RGB images or convert CMYK images to RGB internally.

Alternatively there are some online tools that can convert images for you. A google search on the matter may return additional resources.


You can't. Paint.net is RGB only.

GIMP is an RGB editor as well...no native CMYK support.

PhotoShop is your best best bet for CMYK support.

All that said, I bet you it doesn't matter. They can likely handle an RGB JPG just fine and they likely just didn't have someone all that knowledgeable write up the spec.


Krita has many different color spaces and models, including CYMK. It's available for Linux, PC, and Mac.


Paint.NET has a RGB to CMYK converter plugin. Download and instructions here. Download it, install by pasting into the 'Effects' folder in Paint. Restart Paint, click 'Effects' in top bar, choose RGB to CMYK. Ta da!

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