Photoshop: 50% gray fill in CMYK changed in CS6. It fills with a 50% RGB value.

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • (Edited)
In CS 5, on a CMYK file, if you go to Edit-Fill and choose 50% gray, you get values of
C 50%
M 50%
Y 50%
K 50%

In CS6, on a CMYK file, if you go to Edit-Fill and choose 50% gray, you get a RGB value of 50% but the CMYK numbers are
C 18
M 15
Y 11
K 47

This is a visually correct solution however, when you need to make use of a 50% gray layer with noise added ( with the layer's blending mode of "Overlay"), it throws the entire image out of whack.

In CMYK, we need accuracy. Not RGB's good looks.
In other words, we need a true 50% fill in CMYK, not RGB's version of a 50% gray.

Is this a bug, or intended?

Either way, it is a major snag for those of us that work in CMYK.
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joshua withers

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  • Bummed a good thing got messed up.

Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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As intended - many, many other people complained that the old behavior was a bug (violates TAC limit, ugly brown, etc.).
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joshua withers

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Those people are probably not avid CMYK users... ugh.

If i ever wanted a 50% RGB gray in CMYK (which was rarely), i would type it in manually.

I use the 50% fill all the time and now i'm going to have to type it in every time... another uggh....
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Chris Cox

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Yes, they are avid CMYK users or they wouldn't have complained about CMYK percentages. Sorry, you got outnumbered (sic) on this one.

:-)
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joshua withers

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Arrrgggghhhhh....
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david wrase

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by Chris Cos's logic, Desaturate in CMYK should give a gray balance. But the real issue is Visual gray is one thing, and the 50-50-50-50- gray is a baseline for an entire section of blending modes. Why take away a foundational starting point for your 7 blending modes based on a 50-50-50-50 starting point. You could simply add a menu item for Visual Gray. The 50% Gray fill was an important tool, and it was taken away in ignorance, not wisdom.
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joshua withers

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A visual gray vs actual gray OPTION sounds like an amazing solution!