Pantone Color books | Photoshop

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Pantone Color books.


With the October 2023 release, the last three remaining Pantone Color books (Pantone + CMYK CoatedPantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallic Coated) are removed from Photoshop.

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.

Customers who rely on Pantone colors in their creative workflows will need a Pantone license via the Pantone Connect plugin available on Adobe Exchange.

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.

Customers who rely on Pantone colors in their creative workflows must purchase a Pantone Connect license and access Pantone colors via the Pantone Connect plugin on Adobe Exchange. You can find more information about Pantone Connect here.

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, TRUMATCH) will remain available in Adobe Creative Cloud apps without plugins or third-party licenses.

All App versions before August 2022 will continue to have all previous Pantone Color books pre-loaded and available. However, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop applications will be affected differently.

What's next?

Now that you've learned about Pantone Color books, read on to understand how they affect Photoshop once phased out.

Use of Pantone Color books in Photoshop

The following scenarios will apply while using Pantone Color books in Photoshop:

  • Photoshop files previously created using Pantone Color books will not disrupt Photoshop versions released in or after November 2022. Colors will render and function as expected.
  • Users will no longer be able to access Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallic Coated with the October 2023 release.
  • Photoshop files that are opened in Illustrator and use spot channels will render Gray/Black when colors from the parent Color books are no longer available.
  • Photoshop files that are opened in InDesign and use spot channels will render Gray/Black if colors from the parent Color books are no longer available.
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