June 22, 2024

Lightroom 2.0 (and 1.x) has no official support for CMYK files. Alot of people are not happy about it too. However Ian Lyons has detailed a workaround which allows you to manage and even edit CMYK files in Lightroom 2.0. The major limitation is that you can’t export these files, but you can open them in Photoshop.
Check out his rather innovative workaround over at Computer-Darkroom.com

6 thoughts on “Managing CMYK in Lightroom 2.0

  1. Hi, I'm very new at photoshop and using it for basic work on some pictures. I need to upload some pictures but they were sent to me in CMYK format and I need to know how to convert them to RBG and still be able to export them again. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. I need to SEE my images, regardless of color space (CMYK or RGB, LAB or ?Ç6TB*X), because I like to centralize under one hate my image management.
    Lightroom isn’t capable (was beta-tester and appointed the lack to photoshop).
    Thats my point.

  3. Bret, I agree that most prepress / photo processing work should be done in RGB. But then, what if you still need to manage CMYK files (because you’re a pro…), and what if both parties know what they are actually doing?

    Aperture seems more of a solution, but it’s a bit unstable when managing over 100,000 pix, even with a proper organized library and projects. Also, it doesn’t integrate as nice as Lightroom into the CS workflow (Bridge, Version Cue, Photoshop…).

    So you’ve got Lightroom (2.x, forget 1.x) working VERY nicely with RGB, but it won’t handle CMYK, and Aperture (2.x) that handles CMYK but is a bit of a pain when integrated in the CS workflow (no synchronizing etc.).

    I thought I had found the solution to properly manage and preview (and not color correct!) large amounts of pictures meant for print/press with Lightroom, but alas, when I saw my CMYK files not being imported, I just started to cry…


  4. You’re spot on about that Sean! The scenario I described above is, unfortunately, a perfect world situation and not the way it happens everyday. In that ‘perfect world’ everyone should be using RGB (including prepress) and not convert to CMYK until output.

    I just get frustrated when I see people misuse color spaces and color management.

    P.S. Love your blog. I’ve been a subscriber for a while. Keep it up!

  5. I have no idea why someone would want to manage CMYK in LR. CMYK should be for prepress/printing. Not for togs, IMHO. Nobody is doing anyone favors by delivering cmyk files to anyone else unless both parties KNOW what they’re doing. Hand off RGB to a prepress house or printer and let them convert to their own CMYK profile with their own black generation.

    Sorry for the strong comments but I’ve spent a lot of years in prepress and seen this backfire over and over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights