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Convert SVG files from RGB to CMYK


The article explains how you can convert Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files, which use the RGB color model to SVG files using the CMYK color model with the help of Scribus.

What is Scribus? #

Scribus is a software designed for layout, typesetting, and preparation of files for professional-quality image-setting equipment.

Scribus is free and open-source desktop publishing software available for most desktop operating systems. It can be downloaded and used free of charge. If you like Scribus, please consider donating to the team.

Conversion steps #

  1. Open the SVG file in Scribus
  2. Go to “Edit” > “Color and Fills”
  3. In the “Color and Fills” window, select “Remove Unused”
  4. In the “Color and Fills” window, select the first color in the list on the left side. Then click “Edit”.
  5. In the Edit Color window, set the value for Color Model to CMYK. If needed, use the options on the right side of the window to adjust the resulting color. When done, click “OK”.
  6. Repeat the two previous steps for each color in the SVG file until all colors use the CMYK color model.
  7. Once done, in the “Color and Fills” window, click “OK”.

Save as CMYK SVG #

  1. Go to “File” > “Export” > “Safe as SVG …”
  2. Click “Save”.

The resulting file is a SVG file containing the vector information and colors in CMYK color model.

Save as CMYK PDF #

  1. Go to “File” > “Export” > “Safe as PDF …”
  2. In the Save as PDF window, go to the Color tab.
  3. In the color tab, set the value for Output Intended For to Printer and click “Save”.

The resulting file is a PDF file containing the vector information and colors in CMYK color model needed by e.g. printers. The file can be opened with any vector graphics software such as Illustrator, CorelDraw, and of course Inkscape.

Opening and editing the file in SVG editing software which does not support the CMYK color model, e.g. Inkscape, will again leave you with a file using the RGB color model, once it is saved.

Further readings #

Sources and recommended, further resources on the topic:


Jonas Jared Jacek • J15k

Jonas Jared Jacek (J15k)

Jonas works as project manager, web designer, and web developer since 2001. On top of that, he is a Linux system administrator with a broad interest in things related to programming, architecture, and design. See:


License: Convert SVG files from RGB to CMYK by Jonas Jared Jacek is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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