Pantone Color books | Photoshop

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Pantone Color books.

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.

After the November 2022 release, the only Pantone Color books that will remain are:

  • Pantone + CMYK Coated
  • Pantone + CMYK Uncoated
  • Pantone + Metallic Coated

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.
  • New Photoshop files created after the November 2022 release will require a Pantone Connect license to access some of the Pantone Color books. Users can still access Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallic Coated after the November 2022 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.

Photoshop versions released in August, September, and October 2022 will continue to render Pantone colors Gray/Black unavailable. Updating to the November 2022 version of Photoshop will fix this workflow.

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