I have a (pdf|Xe)LaTeX document and trying to keep it CMYK. For some documents, I use a certain color for it's elements, which is RGB #BDCDDA. As my final document should be using the Adobe CMYK profile "CoatedFOGRA39.icc", I need to manually convert that RGB value to e.g. this:


But, if in the future I want to switch to a different CMYK color profile for maybe another printing company, I have to edit the color definition again, as for example an USWebCoatedSWOP version of RGB #BDCDDA has different CMYK values.

Ideally, I would like to write something like


and have the color auto-converted from RGB (can be considered to be sRGB colorspace) to the correct CMYK value.

Can any LaTeX package help me here, or do I have to set up an external workflow to pre-generate LaTeX snippets with correct CMYK color definitions?

Sidenote: this question is not about embedded figures/pictures, but about using named colors for text and background.

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    Would it be an option to include the colors as RGB and post-process your PDF using, e.g., Adobe Acrobat to convert all RGB colors to CMYK using the appropriate profile? (I haven't tested it, but think that it should work.) – ilpssun Jun 26 '12 at 8:56
  • Post-processing would be an option for me, but not using commercial software. I would need a free tool running on Ubuntu. – TeXter Jun 26 '12 at 19:27
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    I had the feeling that tex.stackexchange.com/a/9973/13450 and tex.stackexchange.com/a/99666/13450 are somehow relevant here. – Christian Feb 25 '13 at 0:21

I think the simplest is to put your definitions in a local package so they can easily be shared between documents and customised to different profiles.

In your document put something like


if you specify a profile that you have set up, relevant definitions are made, otherwise you get an error. mycolor.sty could look something like this:



\PackageError{mycolor}{No color profile declared}{declare a color profile}


The above just declares one colour in one profile, but it could be extended...

  • This sounds as a reasonable simple workaround to me if no real ICC handling exists. – TeXter Jun 26 '12 at 19:29
  • Since there was no better idea proposed, I accepted this workaround as solution. – TeXter Jul 1 '12 at 6:56

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