Black text set as C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100 renders as composite black

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Symbology and text may render as composite black C=100 M=100 Y=100 K=100 instead of pure black C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100 in some graphics-, pre-flight- or rasterizer applications.


This is a known issue.


There are two possible workarounds.

  • Set the text to a color not used in the map, such as bright magenta. When sending the print job to a print shop, instruct them to exchange the bright magenta with pure black C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100 during pre-flight.

    While some raster-based graphic and pre-flight applications show this black text as composite black, Adobe Illustrator should display the black text correctly when viewing ArcMap 8.x created PDF, EPS and AI files.

  • Upgrade to ArcGIS 9.0 or higher. The output destination colorspace can be set to CMYK when exporting to PDF, EPS or AI files.
    [O-image] ArcMap PDF colorspace setting
    Ensure Service Pack 2 or higher is installed for best results from these exporters.

Article ID:000007914

  • ArcMap 8 x

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