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When you're working on a project, it's best if you determine at the beginning of the project, whether you're going to print in spot colors or process, because you can get some disappointing results if you start by working in spot colors and then later on in the project you convert to CMYK. Now keep in mind sometimes you have no choice. So for example, if this job is now going to print on a digital press, we're probably not going to get quite as bright colors, because they can't print spot colors. But it's a good idea to find out what's going to happen early on, before we send this to the printer. So to get an idea, if you look at that bright green, it's quite vibrant. Over here in the swatches panel, if I double-click on that swatch and check preview, it would take me two steps to convert this to process. First, I have to change it from Color Mode Book Color, to Color Mode CMYK, and then it will allow me to change this to process.
And if we look at before, and after, before it's a very bright fluorescent green, and afterwards, this is as close as we can come in CMYK. But of course this is why we have spot colors, in order to enable us to print those vibrant colors that we just can't accomplish with CMYK. So, that's one way that I could change it from spot to process. But here's another way. If I hit Cancel, and I select all this artwork, I can go to Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to CMYK. And that does it immediately. The good news is that that fixes everything.
The sort of bad news is, that now I don't have swatches in my swatches panel that correspond to that orange and that green. And I still have the spot colors. So, to make my swatches panel content be consistent with my artwork, especially in case I want to create other objects using those colors, I need to add those colors to my swatches panel. And I think it'd be a good idea to get rid of the colors that I'm not using. So in the swatches panel, I'm going to choose Select All Unused. You can see that they're outlined. And when I hit the trash can, they're deleted. And now to add the orange and green, I'm going to go to the Swatches Panel menu again.
This time I'm going to choose Add Used Colors. And you can see there's my orange and my green. (SOUND). Now if you want to give them (SOUND) maybe more telling names instead of just the recipe here, you could name it, well, I don't know. Orange. And then, of course, you'd want to name the green. Now this is sort of interesting. Here are the actual values. In other words, that was the determination that Illustrator made. Well, this is as close as I can come to that green. And it tried to cut it fine as it could, but in the name it rounds it off. The name actually has nothing to do with the way it's going to look, it's this recipe over here that really counts. So it doesn't look as spiffy as it did before.
But at least now I have a better idea of how it's going to print. So I would say, in the interest of realism, when you know that at the end of the job it's going to print process. If you know that you're never going to print spot colors, I recommend that you actually specify your colors as CMYK to begin with. For one thing, it gives you a slightly more realistic view on screen of what's going to happen. It also ensures that your contents correct when it goes to the printing company. That way they know for sure that it's intended to print in process. So, the more you can do to make sure that your files in keeping the way it's going to finally going to print, I think the better off you are.
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