Adobe removing Pantone colour books from the next release of Adobe CC

by Paul Sherfield | 16/12/2021
Adobe removing Pantone colour books from the next release of Adobe CC

Paul Sherfield discusses the decision from Adobe to remove the Pantone colour books from the next version of Adobe CC. Paul shares the technical and financial issues that this may result in.

As you may have seen in the trade press and online Adobe are going to remove the Pantone colour books from the next version of Adobe CC due the be released in March 2022.

This raises a number of issues, both technical and financial which both Adobe and Pantone have yet to address at time of writing:

  1. This all seems to be about money and Pantone wishing uses to subscribe to Pantone Connect to use these color books in Adobe CC.
  1. So, will a PSP or design company need to have just one subscription and copy the files, an .abc file, to all their Mac or PC’s. Or have a subscription for every computer using Adobe CC?
  1. Will this ‘change’ over of color books be seamless? When opening an Illustrator or InDesign file that had PMS colours from the current versions in the new March 2022 Adobe CC, what will happen to the colours, will they be recognised?
  1. Those with X Rite devices may have been using Pantone Color Manager to download the latest v4 versions of the Pantone color books as a .abc (Adobe Color Book) or .ase (Adobe Swatch Exchange) to load into the Swatch folders within Adobe CC. Will this option still be available as the Pantone web site now states the only way to get these is via a Pantone Connect subscription.

This is a very disappointing example of two major suppliers to our sector not thinking of the needs of their clients. While recognising the Adobe have been slow over the pass years in updating areas such as these colour books and ICC profiles to the latest specifications and standards, most were using the Pantone color books within Adobe CC in a seamless workflow.


At the moment there is a workaround if you need to retain your existing Pantone colour books after the upgrade in March 2022.
Below are the paths to the Swatch Libraries in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Copy this folder, or just  the Pantone Color Books you need, into a safe place. Then, hopefully, you will be able load them back after you upgrade. It is also unclear if the other colour swatches currently in the Swatch folders will be in the March 2022 release.

Source Information: This blog was written by Paul Sherfield ,Paul Sherfield who runs the Missing Horse Consultancy is well known in the printing and pre-media industry as having considerable knowledge on digital workflows, with a special expertise on the business reasoning behind such systems.

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