Pantone Color Books | Illustrator
Find answers to commonly asked questions about Pantone Color books.
With the October 2023 release, the last three remaining Pantone Color books (Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallic Coated) are removed from Illustrator.
Color system manufacturers like Pantone create standardized colors for relaying color information across apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, primarily for print design purposes. In early 2022, Pantone changed its licensing model with Adobe, resulting in changes to how customers access Pantone color books.
Standardized pre-loaded color libraries, also known as Pantone Color books, have begun to be phased out of Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop in software updates released as of August 16, 2022.
Frequently asked questions
Pantone’s licensing with Adobe was adjusted. Due to this change, customers will need to purchase Pantone Connect licenses to access Pantone colors in Adobe Creative Cloud products.
The changes to Pantone Color books access in Adobe Creative Cloud apps do not apply to other third-party color books available in Adobe Creative Cloud apps. The other color books (ANPA, DIC, FOCOLTONE, HKS, TOYO, TRUMATCH) will remain available in Adobe Creative Cloud apps without plugins or third-party licenses.
Use of Pantone Color books in Illustrator
The following scenarios apply while using any Pantone Color books in Illustrator:
- Illustrator files with swatches from Pantone Color books will function as before when opened or placed in Illustrator (inclusive of past or future software releases).
- Illustrator files in app versions released in February 2023 and after with place-linked Photoshop files that use spot channels work as expected in Illustrator when colors from Color books are no longer available.
- Illustrator files in app versions released before February 2023 with place-linked Photoshop files that use spot channels render Gray/Black in Illustrator when colors from Color books are no longer available.
- New Illustrator files created after the October 2023 release will require a Pantone license via the Pantone Connect plugin to access Pantone Color books.