Paywall for Pantone Colors in Photoshop Starting Now


Have you ever thought about how annoying paywalls are? Now imagine you want to use Pantone Colors in Photoshop, but you can’t, because that’s now paywalled in as a feature.

Pantone-esque color selection. Photo by Christina Rumpf

Some Photoshop users are discovering just that as the iconic Pantone Colors find themselves moving out of the free zone and into the world of paid access, Kotaku reports.

While they used to appear in Photoshop without charge, now they’re going to cost you and this strikes more than a few people as absurd or what Kotaku describes as Pantone’s attempt at literally “owning colors.”

But there are no hard feelings according to Pantone even though everyone seems to think quite the opposite is the case. The announcement that Pantone Colors would be leaving Photoshop without a license struck many people as odd and, combined with the announcement from Pantone that this set hadn’t been updated since 2010 for Adobe products, we start to get a picture of two companies drifting apart more than anything else.

If only people weren’t firing up Photoshop to find their licensable Pantone Colors replaced with black, this probably wouldn’t be the story it is. There are some workarounds to this, including just waiting to update Photoshop then licensing the Pantone Colors again before opening up these files to inputting the metadata by hand. The first sounds feasible, the second sounds more than a little insane.

PetaPixel reached out to Pantone about this shift and received the following reply:

“Some of the Pantone Color Books that are pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were phased-out from future software updates in August 2022. To access the complete set of Pantone Color Books, Pantone requires customers to purchase a premium license through Pantone Connect and install a plug-in using Adobe Exchange.”

Do you use Pantone Colors in Photoshop? What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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