I work on a lot of RGB files with Illustrator CS5 for Mac. In those files there are lines that must be converted to a specific percentage in the grayscale palette (but not all of them). As a result, I find myself wasting a lot of time opening the Color tab, and changing its palette from RGB to Grayscale (I have to do this for each line or object in the same file).

My question is: is there any shortcut to make the change to the Grayscale palette faster? Or maybe you know some other way or trick that will help me improve my workflow in this particular matter?

Thank you very much in advance for any tips you can give me. :)


Set a custom keyboard shortcut to convert the selected object to greyscale

Go to Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts. Change the dropdown menu from tools to menu commands. Then select Edit -> Edit Colors -> Convert to Greyscale and enter whatever shortcut you want.

Selecting any object and using the keyboard shortcut you just set will then convert that object to greyscale (and change the color panel to greyscale).

(note: tested on CS6 so unsure if it is the same on CS5)

  • This is the way – Funny Frontend Feb 1 '16 at 9:25
  • Although maybe SOIA is right and the panel will always switch back to RGB, CAI's answer does improve my workflow A LOT. So, thank you very very much, CAI. Your answer is exactly what I was looking for. :) – RoberRM Feb 1 '16 at 20:57
  • Glad I could help :) – Cai Feb 1 '16 at 21:00
  • Oh! And I can confirm your answer does work on CS5.5. Thank you again! :) – RoberRM Feb 2 '16 at 1:15


This has been a UI pain point in AI for literally decades.

There's no way to get the color panel to remain set on one specific color model. It will always switch back to the document color mode (RGB or CMYK) at some point while working.

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