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Illustrator - Recolouring a vector remains in grayscale

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  • Illustrator - Recolouring a vector remains in grayscale

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to Illustrator and am working on a graphic for my clothing business. I want parts of this in different colours, so I'm slicing them using the knife tool, and going from there. When I go to recolour the parts of the vector file, they remain in grayscale. I've made sure I'm working in RGB, I've changed the colour tab to RGB from grayscale on the right side colour toolbar. Nothing is working. When I go to recolour parts of the design, the colour I'm after will show up no problem as a colour preview, but when I go to apply these changes it remains in grayscale. The "recolour artwork" box is checked. I'm using Illustrator CS6.


  • #2
    It sounds like you've run into one of my personal annoyances with Illustrator, and I have no idea why Adobe hasn't fixed this old problem. I half suspect there's some reason for it that I'm overlooking, but I sure don't know what it is. If I wanted something colored gray, I'd color it gray.

    Anyway, I'm using CS6 right now, and here's how to fix the problem. I think it's the same in CC, but I can't say for sure. Click on the Window menu and select the color option. A palette will come up that, as far as I'm concerned has no purpose other than to deal with this annoyance. If this is the problem you're experiencing, the color in the palette will be grayscale. In the little hamburger menu in the palette, select one of the other options, and the problem should be fixed.

    If that's not the problem you're having, well, I don't have any other solutions.


    • #3
      Thanks for your response! Had a break and came back to it, and I think I stumbled upon your method by messing around, and it's worked! Cheers for the help, appreciate it!


      • #4

        Never seen this bug before. Good one B!

        I'm not exactly sure what you are designing, but if you are just cutting a shape with a knife, you no longer have a closed shape. While it will fill, it will only fill in a straight line from here to there.

        I wondered why I was seeing files with shapes not closed.
        Now I know....
        It's these little things that justify my set up charges when doing signage and vinyl.

        If you are working in RGB, your output intent is for web, right?
        With Illustrator, if you will be printing it is best to set the Document color space to CMYK before even starting your design. Converting after the fact can wreak havoc on your color palette. It'll can even mess up applied pantone spots.


        • #5
          Hi Keluitry and welcome to GDF.

          We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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          • #6
            Not a bug, per se.

            Illustrator supports object-level color modes . . .

            Start a new document in CMYK (Document Color) mode, for example. Draw out a rectangle, give it colorful fill/stroke, leave it selected. Choose Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to Grayscale* . . . and watch your colorful fill/stroke change to black values. At that point, attempts to assign C, M, or Y values via the color picker will only apply varied black value (the OP's issue).

            B's Color panel menu advice is one way back, or, of course, you may go back to Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to...

            *Note that conversion to Grayscale and to RGB will be available in a document which was started in CMYK Document Color Mode; conversely, conversion to Grascale and CMYK will be available in a document which was started in RGB Document Color Mode. (Presumably, conversion to the color mode that was chosen as the Document Color Mode is unavailable because a native drawn object in that document will already be in that same color mode.)

            So, per all above, a single Illustrator artboard may be home to a mix of object-level fills and strokes of 4 color modes: Grayscale, RGB, CMYK, and Spot Color.

            Suck on that, pre-press technicians!
            Last edited by HotButton; 10-17-2017, 11:04 AM.
            I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


            • HotButton
              HotButton commented
              Editing a comment
              Oh, Illustrator is like a Swiss Army Knife without the springs that keep the implements folded up. Just pray no one tosses it in the air.

            • B
              B commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the explanation, HotButton. Object-level color support is good; it's Adobe's convoluted and cumbersome way of implementing it that I have issues with..

              For example, sometimes I want to toss in a spot color with the CMYK. But that just requires selecting the object and assigning the spot color to it. If I want a black screentint instead of a rich gray, it's easy enough to just color it with a screentint of black.

              In other words, this ''feature'' doesn't really do anything of any particular value except in rare instances and, then, only for a small minority of its users. For everyone else, it's a constant annoyance to be dealt with.

              Just my opinion, but this is a good example of how Adobe has bloated out a formerly slick and straight-forward application with questionable features that involve multiple palettes, settings, dropdown menus and conflicting overrides that interfere with typical workflow processes and accomplish very other than to get in the way for most users and make things more difficult than they need to be for new users.

            • HotButton
              HotButton commented
              Editing a comment
              One reason I know the feature well is because one aspect of it is significantly useful in my technical documents workflow.

              Almost all the technical documents I work on contain vector line drawings of various things, and of the ones that originated before my time with this client, it's fair to say that these drawings have originated in various places, by varied methods, over a period of time. They've been saved as EPS, PDF, AI, and sometimes other formats. Many of them are derivative of CAD drawings or 3D engineering models. Among them I often come across files with all sorts of color comprising a number of ''blacks,'' whereas my over-arching objective is of course, one-color (K) output.

              So as you might guess, before the print files are final, they get a check in Output Preview with the K plate hidden. Any vector artwork that produces output on the C, M, or Y plates gets re-opened, to change the document color mode, if necessary, to CMYK, and then a Select All > Convert to Grayscale.





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