Adobe & Pantone Changes to Color Books

Below is quote from Adobe site. Many clients are asking what does this mean to them, specifically will Adobe libraries include Pantone colors and CMYK or something different?

Has anyone seen what this will entail?

" Standardized pre-loaded Color libraries, also known as Pantone Color books, will be phased out of Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop in software updates released after August 16, 2022 .

After November 2022 , 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."


I haven’t yet seen it directly but it seems it will affect some color conversions

Adobe states that “spot” color swatches (a type that are not included in the CMYK libraries) are not related to the document color mode. “Process” swatches are.

So if a user changes their document from CMYK to RGB and back, they will not return to the same CMYK values…

It seems Pantone keeps their toes in the water for Adobe users but, as you mentioned “Customers who rely on Pantone colors in their creative workflows will need a Pantone license” (emphasis mine)

There’s more information here and here

How it plays out in the industry remains to be seen.

I think it is important to emphasize that for people who own an Xrite/Calibrite measurement device, they
still can download Pantone Color Manager and get L* a* b* representations for the various fan deck colors. The Xrite/Calibrite measurement device acts like a license dongle for Pantone Color Manager.

Pantone Color Manager is also capable of saving out the entire contents of a given fan deck as CXF, ACB, ACO, and ASE files.

That’s good information



It seems Pantone Color Manager is no more sold on the Adobe’s website.
The product has been discontinued.
The fact is this software is no up to date with the latest color-book and references as well.

It has been extensively discussed on many forums yet and Dov Isaacs explained a lot about this potential issue: Pantone Color Libraries will be removed from future Adobe updates |

With this in mind, you also should read a very interesting serie of articles from a former European VIGC consultant: The Adobe–Pantone breakup: how brand owners, designers should deal with it -


This is the page for the download link for the final version of Pantone Color Manager.

Please note that Pantone Color Manager still accesses the Sun Chemical online systems that are the basis of current offerings like Pantone Live to get the L* a* b* values.

If you want verification of Pantone Color Manager’s continuing relevance and currency, simply download the software, install it. and you will note that Very Peri/17-3938 TCX(current pantone color of the year) is part of the Cotton TCX fan deck.

In the end, the point is that you can get the information you need to have up to date swatches for Adobe and Affinity applications. Sadly, Coreldraw does not process ACB files correctly and has no intention of addressing the problem by either correcting their defective ACB file processing or adding the ability to use ASE files… I know because I asked.

Thank you for the link!
But as Pantone explains on its own website, this product will not be longer updated : PANTONE® USA | PANTONE COLOR MANAGER Software DOWNLOAD for Desktop Mac & PC (DWNLD-PS-CM100)

So, you will need to use the payed Connect version from the Adobe Exchange:


The software will not be updated, but access to the color information as of now continues to function properly. We can only hope it continues to function for a very long time, considering how Pantone Connect as a means of getting L* a* b* info for the fan decks is a royal pain since you can’t do full fan deck exports of data.

I totally agree.

But with the new PDF 2.0 specification and CXF spectral datas, my guess is all software developper are going to push on this way, rather than continue maintaining Spot Colors with CMYK and lab values. Only using Pantone is an historical Graphic Designer matter.

My two cents.

What you mention about PDF 2 and CXF spectral data may not be relevant to the practical reality of implementing proper spot/brand/named color reproduction at the RIP level. Most RIPs with which I am familiar are setup to allow you to use Lab*, and then bind a Lab* specification to an ICC profile-driven ink build or enable you to bind a custom ink build that may come from a tool like Colorant or Colorpicker in order to get a better color match.

I regret that I must now revise this remark- xrite/pantone has removed the download link for Pantone Color Manager from its website, and Pantone Color Manager just recently did not show updates for names in the Cotton TCX fandeck.

Interesting to see. Thanks for the update.

I’m certain we haven’t see a clear sign of how this is going to play out over the longer term

I’m beginning to wonder if it is time to consider alternative models for color communication systems governance. Current color communication system governance is predicated on an entity that rigidly centrally controls the naming of colors and their mappings to respective Lab* and/or spectral power distributions. Maybe there is another way that is more equitably accessible and sustainable, with less likely disruption to the creative community.