Does Inkscape work with CMYK?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Does Inkscape work with CMYK?
what is the color tab (picture)?Does Inkscape work with CMYK?

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

You can see in Inkscape (and in GIMP, too) as one of the coloring options CMYK. It will show for ex. pure max. bright green RGB(0,255,0) as CMYK(100%, 0%, 100%, 0%) which is plausible.

It’s also exact if you have a CMYK color producing mechanism which creates all sRGB colors with the simplest possible linear transformation.

But Inkscape cannot output CMYK color files, CMYK exists only as a color selection possibility. Even worse problem with Inkscape and CMYK is that Inkscape knows nothing of real CMYK printing.

One can find easily in document settings and program preferences some interesting dialogs, but they do nothing, they are still only beautiful dreams. An example:

Does Inkscape work with CMYK?

The shown text Euroscale Coated v2 is the name of one generic CMYK printing color profile.

The transformation between normal on the screen RGB colors and printed CMYK colors is extremely complex, non-linear and depends strongly on the used print process and paper. Generally only a part of onscreen RGB colors are possible in usual CMYK printing processes.

That’s one good reason why Adobe succeeds to collect high profits year after year. Adobe’s programs know the conversion between real CMYK printable colors and the usual RGB. People select the right CMYK printing color profile into use and see on the screen what they will get from the printer. Programs also flag possible unprintable colors and help user’s to avoid the printed muddy mess which would come out if one makes his design with bright RGB colors and transforms them to CMYK like Inkscape does, not by having the right CMYK print process color profile.

As said already in the other answer, Scribus understands CMYK print process color profiles and can help you to see the realistic result if you import your file to Scribus and convert it to CMYK.

Unfortunately it isn’t available in the fly as you create a new design in Inkscape like a realistic result can be seen in Adobe’s programs during the design.

Krita is another freebie which knows realistic CMYK printing and can show the result during the design work. Serif Affinity series do the same with low cost.

BTW. A clever script programmer (definitely not me) maybe could find a way to link an Inkscape SVG file to a Scribus document and show the CMYK printing result with acceptable delay and amount of user intervention.

Another useful idea would be to decide the color palette in a CMYK printing conscious program. The RGB conversions of those colors could be used in Inkscape and see the realistic result in the fly.

Method 2

No. Inkscape is an SVG editor for on-screen vector graphics. It’s RGB only.

However you can export a design as a PDF from Inkscape, and then manually change the colours to CMYK using Scribus, which is also free and open source.

Method 3

Yes, kind of – there’s built-in Color management, built-in print preview and CMYK PDF export included with Inkscape. It requires Scribus to be installed, though, for this to work, and your file to be set up correctly.

More details are available at

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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