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Convert RGB to CMYK Images Using Photoshop

A quick and easy way to convert RGB to CMYK images is to utilize the Actions panel and the Batch Automation within Photoshop. With batch processing in Photoshop, you can save all of your opened documents or multiple files within a folder on your machine.

Before creating an action for your conversion, remember to set your CMYK colour settings in Photoshop. For the best results, consult with your printer; as he or she may give you the exact colour profile needed for your final printing press conditions. ie: coated or uncoated paper, ink coverage etc… In Photoshop’s main menu, go to (Edit > Colour Settings) to set the proper colour profile for your print job.

Convert RGB to CMYK


To create an Action for your colour conversion, open an image in Photoshop, (File > Open) then open the Action panel (Window > Actions). Click on the ‘Create new action’ button at the bottom of the panel.

Photoshop Action Panel


Next, name the action in the text field (‘RGB to CMYK’). Once you have named your action, click on the ‘Record’ button.

Photoshop Action Panel Record


Now that your action is recording, go to (Image > Mode > CMYK Color). Then, click on the ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the Action panel. Your action has now been created and is ready to be used within the Batch Automation.

Photoshop Image Mode RGB CMYK


To batch process multiple images within a folder, go to (File > Automate > Batch…) a dialog box will open with various options.

Photoshop Batch Automation


Once the dialog appears, choose the ‘RGB to CMYK’ action we made from the Action list under the ‘Play’ section. Next, choose ‘Folder’ from the source section and choose where your images are located on your machine. You can now select a destination folder where you would like Photoshop to save your converted images.

Click on the ‘OK’ button at the top right corner of the dialog and the batch process will begin.

Photoshop Batch Automation Dialog



Actions that are created in Photoshop are saved within the Action Panel. You can always perform an action by playing its sequence within the panel via the ‘Play’ button at the bottom of the Action panel. You can also export your Actions by going to the Action panel’s flyout menu and selecting ‘Save Action’ from the menu. You can then load your action on other systems or send them to coworkers for use.




  • andisiwe

    August 26, 2016 at 7:00 am


  • marjorie

    January 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    this was great- i knew there had to be a quick way to do this!

  • Elsie

    March 19, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for your excellent tutorial! Very helpful!

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