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Code 0021: Output intent not CMYK

Launch Lab

Code 0021: Output intent not CMYK

Understand and solve colour issues in your print file

Tania Walker, 12 Feb 2023

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Error: Output intent not CMYK

Your Launch Lab Preflight Report PDF has returned the following warning:

What is the problem?

Any design software that exports to PDF typically offers a range of presets - pre-determined combinations of settings - during the export process. These presets set up the PDF to suit different conditions: one preset might make the PDF more suitable for screens, with less detail and a smaller filesize; another preset might make the PDF suitable for a home printer; and another might set up the PDF for a particular type of commercial print production.

Some presets include output intent profiles, which tell the document how to handle and display colour.

If you are seeing this error, you have exported your PDF using a preset that tells it to display colour in something other than the CMYK colour space, which may cause colour issues in your prints.

How do I fix it?

Adobe Illustrator and InDesign

For Adobe users, the simplest way to guarantee your files are set up perfectly for print is to use Launch Lab's export profiles and colour workspaces.

The export profiles and colour workspaces are available for Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, and colour workspaces are available for both, plus Photoshop.

Quick to download and set up, these files automate your export settings for best results. We strongly recommend their use.

Download the files for your app, and set them up as follows:

Export Profiles:


  • On the top menu, click File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define.
  • Click Load.
  • Select the INDD .joboptions file.


  • On the top menu, click Edit > Color Settings.
  • Click Load.
  • Select the AI .joboptions file.

Working Colour Spaces

Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop:

  • On the top menu, click Edit > Color Settings.
  • Load the CSF file appropriate for your Adobe software.

Once you have set up these profiles, export your PDF again, and upload it to Launch Lab.

Affinity Publisher, Affinity Designer, and other software

  • Find the Output settings in your application's PDF export process.
  • Under Output Intent Profile, select Working CMYK.
  • Export your PDF, and upload it to Launch Lab.

Further help

If this error code persists after you upload your modified document, please contact for assistance.


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