Illustrator CS3 & Colours: What The @*!?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Jim Campbell, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #1
    So ... I need to carry a specific element from one page that I'm working on in Illustrator to the next. All I need is the stroke and fill colour, so I copy one instance of it from the first page, and paste it onto the next.

    When I pick it up, the fill is C100M40Y100K50. It's not a spot, or PANTONE, it's just a straight CMYK colour that I've input values for.

    I paste it onto the next page and the fill changes to C75M10Y100K50.

    How the hell is acceptable behaviour in an industry standard design application? How can Adobe justify charging the price they do for this software if I can't rely on it to hold a set of standard 4-colour values between two Illustrator documents?

    Gaah!

    Jim
     
  2. tsd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #2
    Make sure both documents are in the same color space (CMYK) and that both documents have the same ICC profile attached to them. If you're in CMYK, I would suggest using US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 as your profile in both documents.

    If it still doesn't work, try using the eye dropper to transfer the colors. Have both documents open and viewable on your display, click on the object in the second document, choose the eye dropper tool and click on the source object in the first document.
     
  3. Jim Campbell thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #3
    Both CMYK, both SWOP. Page Two is just Page One re-saved with a new name!

    Not the point. I know there are workarounds. I was merely observing that Adobe have a lot of nerve selling a £500 application on the basis of being a tool for design professionals, and then not being able to maintain a simple CMYK value through a copy-and-paste operation.

    For what it's worth, the eye-dropper is unreliable in Illustrator CS3. I've seen it sample a different value for a solid colour to the values in the swatch that were used to apply the colour in the first place.

    And that's before we get anywhere near Adobe's maddening inability to understand that when I specify K100, I mean K100 and not some faux black of C76Y55M86K90 that their apps have a habit of defaulting to when they think I'm not looking!

    Cheers

    Jim

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  4. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
  5. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Doesn't make sense, Jim.

    I've just replicated your action and it goes across fine. Illustrator CS3 on a G5 tower, OS 10.5.

    The only thing I can suggest is that something is happening to the data when it goes onto the clipboard.

    If both documents have the same profile then there should be no conversion (as you know).

    Anyway, even if there was a colour conversion taking place, it's unlikely it would be so basic as to simply remove exactly 30% of the magenta, it would be more like, say, C: 98.12%; M: 41.03%; Y: 99.52%; K: 40.09%, or similar.

    Under certain settings Illustrator will convert values on the fly, for instance if 'Convert to Working Space' in the CMYK colour management policies is selected. In this case, when a document is created and you hover over one of the cmyk swatches, it will tell you the values of that swatch. If you subsequently fill a shape using that swatch, then look at the values, you will see they have been changed to suit the profile of the document.

    Still can't replicate what's happening to you, though, sorry.
     
  6. RickDeckard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #6
    It's probably something in your settings, or your preferences are whacked out. I do this all day in Illustrator. I take pieces from multiple, individual files and copy and paste them into one big Illustrator file for my layout. There's nothing wrong with the way Illustrator works.

    Are you using a custom color setting in your files? Maybe your color setting is slightly different on one file. Or is there a transparency applied to the object? That might change colors if you copy and paste between 2 files, again, depending on your preferences.

    Maybe you need to go into your user library and throw out your AI preferences.
     
  7. Jim Campbell thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #7
    No, to all of that. Again: Pg2 is the same document as Pg1, just saved with a different name, so colour mode and profile are identical. The colour itself is not a spot or a PANTONE, it's CMYK values that I've input.

    Very clearly, there is. Whether I need to trash my prefs, use the eye dropper instead of pasting, whatever remedial action or workaround is required, that doesn't change the fact that AI can't hold a CMYK value between two documents through a simple paste operation.

    I have worked in print design for 15 years and I have never seen behaviour as flaky as this (well, all right, Quark 4.0 was unusable, but apart from that) and, in a £500 piece of software, that's unacceptable.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  8. RickDeckard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #8
    So did you get it working Jim?

    Maybe you need to do a re-install.
     
  9. Jim Campbell thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #9
    I probably do, but I'm seriously thinking about an upgrade when CS5 comes out ... I may hang on until then. Most of the time, it behaves itself, so I just have to remember to keep an eye on the colour values.

    Cheers!

    Jim
     

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