Image not showing in IE8 due to CMYK encoding

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A client experienced a problem with an image that didn’t show up in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) nor in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7).

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We were a little bit confused since it did work in all other browsers that we tried. After a while we realized that this was an issue that we hadn’t encountered in a while. Maybe since this is not a problem with new browsers or because we by chance have only got web encoded images lately.

Our client uses an image bank solution to which an highly resoluted image is uploaded. These images are later cropped according to predefined formats. This is all fine as long as you use RGB encoded images for the web.

My guess is that when you use images that are used not only for web purposes, but also for printed material, a few CMYK encoded images could slip out onto the website.

So why is the image not showing in IE8, well that is quite simply because IE6, 7 or 8 do not support  CMYK encoded JPEG/GIF-images.

How do you check the image mode?

  • If you have an Apple computer: right click and select get file info.
  • If you have Photoshop: go to the menu Image, then select Mode.

Browser support for CMYK encoded images

Browser RGB CMYK
IE6, 7, 8 Yes No
IE9 Yes Yes
Firefox 2.x Yes No
Firefox 3.x - Yes Yes
Safari 4- Yes Yes
Google Chrome 5 - Yes Yes