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I've googled and searched here for an answer to my question but haven't been able to find anything.

I designed several pieces of collateral, all using the same single color. Some of the pieces I designed in Illustrator, and one in InDesign.

The problem is, when I copy and paste the yellow color value (whether it's RGB or CMYK - I've tried both ways), it CHANGES between Illustrator and InDesign. The color stays the same between Illustrator documents, but if I C+P from InDesign - or vice versa - the color value literally changes before my eyes. And I don't mean it just "looks" different, the actual number changes.

Here's a real example:

Drew a box in Illustrator and chose the color #f8f1e0 / 2% 3% 12% 0%. Drew a box in InDesign, C+P'd the color values into it, and it DID change to the correct color for an instant. Clicked okay. Clicked back into the color picker and the color is now #f8f1e1 / 2% 3% 11% 0%.

If it's relevant, it seems the color will change to a marginally darker one every time.

And yes, both documents STARTED OUT as CMYK documents, and stayed that way. I also have my colors synchronized via Bridge. I'm working on CC 2015 and all programs are up to date.

Any clue what could be happening? Thank you in advance.

  • Okay, I just chose Overprint Preview in Illustrator and that also changed the #f8f1e0 color to #f8f1e1. I see now it's not a program malfunction but can anyone explain WHY this happens? I'm still new to color management and it's quite confusing to me. Thank you again. – user46448 Jul 8 '15 at 17:35
  • Something else - when I save the InDesign document out as a readable PDF and then pull it into Illustrator, the color is now #f8f2e2, even when viewing Overprint Preview. – user46448 Jul 8 '15 at 17:44
  • You can't use Hex colors if your art is CMYK. HEX colors are RGB values. And overprint preview is a print setting which, again, has nothing to do with RGB color. – Scott Jul 8 '15 at 18:18
  • Scott, thanks for the reply. I figured since the CMYK values were auto-populated in the color picker that it was okay to do it that way. So I should be using the CMYK color panel only? – user46448 Jul 8 '15 at 18:45
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    Well you can't compare RGB color breakouts to CMYK breakouts. – Scott Jul 8 '15 at 18:55
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You have to use the same color settings (for RGB and CMYK) in both software. I suggest you to use FOGRA39 (or FOGRA27) profile for CMYK and sRGB profile for the RGB colorspace.

Go to: Edit > Color Settings... and set the right color settings for all CC software.

But, as said, you can't paste hex color value inside a CMYK colorspace. Instead, just copy the right color values.

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To retain RGB values, make sure your Indesign File>Document Setup> Intent> is set to web instead of print. Note: You cannot print RGB values how your monitor displays them.

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