Plugin now required to use most Pantone Colors in Adobe products

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in macOS
Pantone now requires designers to use the Pantone Connect plugin if they want to access specific Pantone Colors in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign -- and the experience is less than stellar.

Image Credit: Adobe, Pantone
Image Credit: Adobe, Pantone


Adobe has begun removing Pantone Color books, a set of swatches included in Adobe color libraries. The company announced in July that they would be phasing out the Color Books in software updates released after August 16, 2022.

The change is happening because "Pantone's licensing with Adobe" has changed, according to the FAQ regarding the subject.

This change will also affect projects that have already been created with "legacy" swatches. If you open a Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign file that uses a removed color, it will be filled with black, and you'll receive an error directing you to download a plugin to resolve it.

Not all Pantone Color books have been removed -- CYMK Coated, CYMK uncoated, and Metallic Coated will remain.

However, If you want the entire library, you'll need to download Pantone Connect through Adobe Exchange.




Pantone Connect is an Adobe plugin that works with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. It requires you to make a free account with Pantone to use it.

The plugin states that Pantone Connect Basic gives you access to 15,000 colors, search, pick, and measure tools, and gives you the ability to save up to 10 palettes on the web.

For $15 a month, users can upgrade to Pantone Connect Premium, which adds " a dozen more tools to create smarter, more impactful palettes," the plugin page reads. "Premium also lets you save and share UNLIMITED palettes for work in all your Adobe design programs."

There's a bit of a hangup for Mac users, too -- the plugin does not feature any support for M1 Macs. Instead, you'll have to run an "Intel Emulated" version of the software you want, which you can do via the Creative Cloud app.

The experience is also not very highly rated -- the plugin currently has a 1.6 out of 5 on Adobe Exchange. In addition, many users note how the plugin is difficult to use, lacks M1 support, and is often prone to glitching out or crashing.

Some users also note that even after installing Pantone Connect and shelling out for a subscription, old design files still are rendered without the appropriate colors.

Several reviews mention how they have paid for physical color books, only to be forced to pay for digital ones as well.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    So subscribe to Creative Cloud and then ALSO subscribe to the colours separately to actually be able to do anything? Just how far does this have to go before people realize they’re getting s*****d.
    9secondkox2darkvaderVermelho
  • Reply 2 of 31
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    This sucks to be honest. I have more than a decades worth of client print files with spec'd Pantone colors in Photoshop and Illustrator, and across multiple workstations. So now something simple and set may become another point of potential failure and added design and print times.

    "Something changed in Adobe licensing" needs to be explained and fixed. I already pay subscription fees to the software, and it came with Pantone palettes. 
    9secondkox2marklarkdarkvader
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    marklarkwilliamlondonVermelho
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Pantone is one of those companies that makes absolutely insane amounts of money on the products that they sell. But as with everything, Capitalism decrees that any and every publicly traded company needs to keep making more money than they did last quarter. If they don’t then they’re seen as a failure. 
    ravnorodom9secondkox2AppleZuludarkvader
  • Reply 5 of 31
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,994member
    Pantone is one of those companies that makes absolutely insane amounts of money on the products that they sell. But as with everything, Capitalism decrees that any and every publicly traded company needs to keep making more money than they did last quarter. If they don’t then they’re seen as a failure. 
    Capitalism doesn’t decree anything. 
    muthuk_vanalingamravnorodom9secondkox2maltz
  • Reply 6 of 31
    I suggest to install PANTONE Color Manager, then to export the palettes into the apps from the Export function.

    Unfortunately, PANTONE Color Manager allows to export them one palette at a time and for every single Adobe application.

    Anyway, after the export, all the three Adobe applications will have the PANTONE palettes installed and ready to use.
    ravnorodommarklark
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    That is an impossible solution, Adobe has little influence here. Pantone is a proprietary industry standard used well beyond software. It was used in design, commercial printing, textiles, etc for decades before personal computers ever existed. A more realistic solution is everybody switch to another widely used color system, but none of them are open, all developed by private companies.
    edited October 2022 muthuk_vanalingamravnorodommarklark
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Clarus said:
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    That is an impossible solution, Adobe has little influence here. Pantone is a proprietary industry standard used well beyond software. It was used in design, commercial printing, textiles, etc for decades before personal computers ever existed. A more realistic solution is everybody switch to another widely used color system, but none of them are open, all developed by private companies.
    Have Adobe purchasing RAL or DIC color system right off and make it their own. Hell, even get Sherman Williams or Benjamin Moore on board and figure out something. Adobe squashed QuarkXpress before with InDesign and I think they can do it again to Pantone. 
    edited October 2022 Vermelho
  • Reply 9 of 31
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    No different than Apple.
    williamlondonITGUYINSD
  • Reply 10 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    No different than Apple.
    Use Windows.
    bloggerblog
  • Reply 11 of 31
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,066member
    Remember this next time someone’s spouting the greatness of free market capitalism. 
    DAalseth9secondkox2williamlondondarkvaderVermelho
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Well… that SUCKS. 

    Pantone probably wanting to monetize user data. 

    Not cool at all. 

    And that’s aside from completely crapping in a formerly seamless and smooth user experience. 

    I use Pantone colors every day. This really bites. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 31
    mac_dog said:
    Remember this next time someone’s spouting the greatness of free market capitalism. 
    The great thing about capitalism is that poor ideas fail and get reversed. Not so in socialism where you are dictate to by people more stupid than you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Ever. 

    People won’t realize how blessed they are until they are conned into willingly giving up such things and only after it’s done, kick themselves for a lifetime filled with regret. 
    marklarkwilliamlondonravnorodom
  • Reply 14 of 31
    gatorguy said:
    This sucks to be honest. I have more than a decades worth of client print files with spec'd Pantone colors in Photoshop and Illustrator, and across multiple workstations. So now something simple and set may become another point of potential failure and added design and print times.

    "Something changed in Adobe licensing" needs to be explained and fixed. I already pay subscription fees to the software, and it came with Pantone palettes. 
    Extremely well said. 
    williamlondongatorguydarkvader
  • Reply 15 of 31
    Pantone was probably hoping that Adobe would buy them out after they saw them plop $20B for Figma. The most expensive app purchase in history 
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 16 of 31
    melgross said:
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    No different than Apple.
    Use Windows.
    Why?  What does Windows have to do with Apple, who makes huge profits selling iPhones, iPads and Macs.  Apple doesn't sell their OS.

    I think the point @mikethemartian was making was that everyone stands behind Apple when it comes to huge profits on hardware and services and their controversial 30% App Store "fee", but when Pantone wants to get paid for their product, they're "blood sucking leeches"?
    muthuk_vanalingamdarkvader
  • Reply 17 of 31
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,080member
    Greedy executives from Pantone company. Adobe needs to create their own color swatches and ditch these blood sucking leeches. 
    It would be quite different to me if Pantone (owned by X-Rite) had developed an elegant subscription product. The promise of subscription software is that the continuous payments buys you a continuously updated product that works reliably. The Pantone Connect App does not deliver on this promise. I'd happily pay if they made it easy for me to access the full library. It would be worthwhile to me, even preferable to the incomplete Pantome libraries included by default in Creative Cloud software. If you wanted the full set, it's been necessary to create your own libraries using the legacy Pantone app which is laborious. I know IT at creative agencies that have built these libraries for the creative staff, but it's an onerous project for a solo freelancer to do on their own. 

    Give us a better App, Pantone. 
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 18 of 31
    1348513485 Posts: 332member
    Have Adobe purchasing RAL or DIC color system right off and make it their own. Hell, even get Sherman Williams or Benjamin Moore on board and figure out something. Adobe squashed QuarkXpress before with InDesign and I think they can do it again to Pantone. 
    Unfortunately, ink is an additive color, paint is a subtractive color. Mixing would be problematic.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,080member
    13485 said:
    Have Adobe purchasing RAL or DIC color system right off and make it their own. Hell, even get Sherman Williams or Benjamin Moore on board and figure out something. Adobe squashed QuarkXpress before with InDesign and I think they can do it again to Pantone. 
    Unfortunately, ink is an additive color, paint is a subtractive color. Mixing would be problematic.
    Ink & paint are both subtractive. Additive is monitors, projectors or other mixes of colored light. Think of subtractive starting with pure white light and subtracting colors as the light reflects off the colors to match the reference.

    Regardless, as long as you have a LAB value that matches your reference swatch, it's no more problematic than Pantone. The trick is getting a printer to mix custom ink colors to match non-Pantone colors. Mixing pantone inks is a well-known process. Mixing custom colors is trickier.
    darkvaderravnorodom
  • Reply 20 of 31
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,938member
    chadbag said:
    Pantone is one of those companies that makes absolutely insane amounts of money on the products that they sell. But as with everything, Capitalism decrees that any and every publicly traded company needs to keep making more money than they did last quarter. If they don’t then they’re seen as a failure. 
    Capitalism doesn’t decree anything. 
    Ah, but the accepted structure of the financial industry does. ‘Growth’ is mandated for publicly traded companies. Consistent profitability is considered failure if it’s not growing every quarter. Worse, growth has to exceed “expert” analysts’ predictions, or stock prices take a hit. 

    Capitalism is great, but this set of financial rules applied to it is not. 
    edited October 2022
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