I experienced odd tints of grey-color after print out. Now I know, to avoid this and get clean grey color, only K value should be used for CMYK.

But I am wondering, why when I set C0 M0 Y0 K5 in InDesign, I get values of R241 G242 B242, BUT when I am setting the same R241 G242 B242, I get C4 M2 Y3 K0. In that case, I will get dirty grey again?

UPD. Current settings in PDF... enter image description here

  • 1
    How are you printing these images? Not all printers handle CMYK images well, especially not consumer grade inkjet printers. If you have one of these, convert your image to RGB before printing.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:46
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    I usually create a profile in the printer driver software (many have this facility). I turn off all the "vivid photo" stuff, and set the color management to "manual." This usually eliminates 75% of color problems when printing on office printers: the printer itself is changing things so your grandmother thinks your children are beautiful and the vacation sunsets are amazing.
    – Yorik
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:47
  • That's been printed on different consumers' printers... I am only preparing PDF. Are there specific settings for PDF that I should set? (I am adding print-screen of current settings.)
    – Olenia
    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


If you don't have a profile that is set to change specific RGB range into K channel you will always get "black" split into all CMYK.
In general if you want to use grey it would be wise to add it only in CMYK space.

Remember that a)printing machines add some paint in all channels and b) sometimes (as in very often) printers have their RIP set to add some paint in different plate to compensate for that. For example for the last 7 years I've been working with printer that had 10% extra in the M on machine. So that would relate to "odd" color in something that should be only K.

  • Thank for the input. Though, what about when I add value for K in CMYK space (and CMYK color mode), but when I click 'OK' and then reopen to check - it's displaying mix of CMYK again...
    – Olenia
    Apr 10, 2017 at 9:44
  • @Olenia In what program you make the changes? Apr 10, 2017 at 10:02
  • InDesign seems to keep values, but Illustrator doesn't. And what I noticed now, Illustrator is auto correcting my values even for RGB. I am confused.
    – Olenia
    Apr 10, 2017 at 10:17
  • @Olenia Illustrator have a nasty "feature" that remembers the native space and keep profile attached to it. Create new file with CMYK (check if illustrator is showing danger triangle next to color space), copy and paste the content and save. Apr 10, 2017 at 10:33
  • Good point. Dziękuję:)
    – Olenia
    Apr 10, 2017 at 11:01

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