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Back to the Beginning: Quickly Convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

Posted by Rebecca Loring on

Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

Need to quickly convert your CMYK file to PMS in Illustrator? See below! 

Operating System: macOS
Illustrator CC Version: 2018 22.1

Assuming you have your CMYK file open...

1. Select the element you want to convert from CMYK to PMS.
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

2. Open the Recolor Artwork window by clicking Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork.
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

3. Click on the Swatch icon to the right of the HSB sliders, choose “Color Books,” and pick the appropriate color book for your job (for this example, I am using Pantone + Solid Coated).
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

4. After the color book has been chosen, you may not see a big change between your “Current Color” and “New Color” - which is good - that means Illustrator was able to find a close match. What will change is the process swatch at the top. It is now a spot swatch.
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

If you are happy with the match - yay!
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

Hit "OK" and you’re done. Your artwork has been recolored and the new spot swatch has been added to your Swatches Panel. 

If you aren’t happy with the match, keep reading. 

6. To adjust the PMS color, double click on the rectangle with the black line in the middle under “New” to open the Color Picker window. From the Color Picker Window, choose the PMS that best matches your CMYK color and click “OK.”
Quickly convert CMYK to PMS in Illustrator CC

Once you return to the Recolor Artwork window. Click “OK,” and you’re done! Your artwork has been recolored and the new spot swatch has been added to your Swatches Panel.

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