[NTG-pdftex] [pdftex-Bugs][4326] pdf image changes colour on inclusion

pdftex-bugs at sarovar.org pdftex-bugs at sarovar.org
Thu Feb 10 12:02:34 CET 2011

Bugs item #4326, was opened at 2011-01-28 12:27
Status: Open
Priority: 3
Submitted By: Matthis Thorade (thorade)
Assigned to: Nobody (None)
Summary: pdf image changes colour on inclusion 
Category: PDF inclusion
Group: v1.40.8
Resolution: None

Initial Comment:
my problem is more or less identical to #741 (filed in 2007) but the problem persists in 2011, at least for me. As almost four years have passed since and all programs involved are now available as newer versions, I filed a new issue.

Steps to reproduce:
 - Create input.svg with Inkscape 0.48
 - Create input.pdf with "inkscape.exe --file="input.svg" --export-area-drawing --export-dpi=360 --export-pdf="input.pdf" "
 - Include input.pdf into some LaTeX document
 - Compile using pdflatex 1.40.11 from stable MiKTeX 2.9 on Win7 64bit
 - Open output.pdf and input.pdf with Adobe Reader X 
 - Color in output.pdf is darker and less bright

I searched google and found some (maybe) related posts:

One suggested solution was to use a different pdf-Viewer.
Using gsview or Evince the colors in output.pdf look fine; but if input.pdf and output.pdf look different in Adobe Reader X, then the only explanation I see is that pdfTeX changed something !? 
(And I won't try to persuade my Prof to use GSview...)

Antoher suggested soultion (at least for png files) was to change the color mode from RGB to an indexed palette, but I have not yet tried this.


Comment By: Matthis Thorade (thorade)
Date: 2011-02-10 11:02

OK, as stated in ticket #741 this is due to some ColorSpace problems. 
The color space of pdfs can be checked with Acrobat Pro or for free at http://www.pdfcity.com/

Inkscape exports colors as RGB, even if they are specified in CMYK. Inkscape uses Cairo for exporting to pdf. 
Read more here:

pdfTeX outputs CMYK pdfs per default (at least this is what I assume, I tried a simple example containing only text and some colored text like hyperlinks created with hyperref package).

Now when there is an RGB image included into the LaTeX document, the whole page where the image appears in the output pdf turns into RGB and all images, hyperlinks and references on this page slightly shift their color.

In ticket #741 it was stated that a solution would be included in pdfTeX 1.40.6 or newer, but not how the solution would be implemented (or maybe I just did not understand it?), but the problem persists in pdfTeX 1.40.11.

So even as the pdfTeX behavior should be changed here (in my opinion), the cleanest solution would be to include images in CMYK only (as the output pdf probably will be printed).

As Inkscape does not support CMYK for pdf export yet, I will switch to some other vector drawing tool like Scribus, Illustrator or Corel Draw until CMYK export is available in Inkscape, too.


You can respond by visiting: 

More information about the ntg-pdftex mailing list