Does anyone know how I can convert a PDF (or EPS) file from sRGB color space to CMYK color space?

My workflow is currently the following:

  • Draw an image with Powerpoint
  • Print via postscript printer into a .prn postscript file
  • Execute a bash script that uses ps2eps, ps2pdf, and pdftk in order to generate a cropped PDF image

Unfortunately, this produces an sRGB PDF only. Instead, I need a CMYK PDF and I don't have an idea how I may get this.

Any help on this is highly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


You are already using Ghostscript in ps2pdf, so this answer would do it:

-o c:/path/to/output-cmyk.pdf 
  • Thanks Alan, unfortunately if I execute this command I only get this error message: Unable to convert color space to CMYK, reverting strategy to LeaveColorUnchanged.
    – taocp
    Jun 2, 2013 at 9:15
  • You can try to remove -dUseCIEColor . This is explained here as an apparent bug: bugs.ghostscript.com/show_bug.cgi?id=693169 Jan 27, 2014 at 15:52

well, you are naming a lot of stuff here, the point is: you want a conversion from an already existing file or you want to know how write a postscript file that goes with a CMYK color space ?

In general terms the postscript is used with an RGB color space, and a CMYK color space is just a conversion from RGB to CMYK, so in short, RGB is the "default" color space for PS.

In postscript you can explicitly call a CMYK conversion with /DeviceCMYK and you can read more about this in any Postscript related doc, for example this pdf.

there is also a sample with this tag here.

But unless you really know what you are doing, I suggest to live it as it is, your document will be less complicated and if you are using a monitor, you are using an RGB color space, so in the end nothing changes that much for you unless you have really special requirements.

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